House Church Talk - do it yourself

jesusislord343 at jesusislord343 at
Tue Jun 22 23:50:20 EDT 2004

Thanks for sharing this.  The title "Do-It-Yourself Religion" is an apt
and memorable one.  This type of thing is what gathering to the Lord in
His name must never become.  House churches especially must resist the
temptation to simply have everyone "do their own thing."  Just as the
question, "What would Jesus do?" smugly invites the world to try to act
like Jesus (or at least what Jesus is imagined to be like), and should be
asking instead, "What IS Jesus powerfully DOING in His saints?"--men
"doing-it-themselves" for church should be replaced by the Lord Jesus
Christ doing His perfect will, according to His word (I Cor. 11:17-34,
14:26-40; Heb. 10:24-25; I Tim. 2:8-15, etc.) in His saints.

"Apart from Him, we can do nothing"--and in a world of religious chaos
and flurries of extrabiblical activity, the many are ultimately doing
just that.  May our Lord in His great grace work His incomparable joy of
obedience to His word.

Grace in Christ,
Glenn S.

On Tue, 22 Jun 2004 19:48:54 -0400 David Anderson <david at>
> Lotsa things going on around here. Hope your summer is off to a fine 
> start.
> The piece below was referred to me by Steff Bennett. It may be of 
> interest to some. Those who examine trends in the church might also 
> try 
>                                          David Anderson
> Do-it-Yourself  Religion 
> Staff Reporter of THE  WALL STREET JOURNAL
>       June 11, 2004
> Looking for a priest she could relate to, Cecilia Schulte had been 
> church 
> shopping since moving to Austin, Texas, a few years ago. But when 
> the 
> fifth parish she tried had an elderly priest and, in her view, not 
> enough 
> participation by women, the 43-year-old internist took a novel 
> approach: 
> She started her own worship group. 
> "It's as deep as anything I've experienced in the Catholic Church," 
> Dr. 
> Schulte says. "Dogma doesn't get in the way." Her prayer gathering 
> of 
> about 12 people meets every two weeks in her living room, 
> incorporates 
> readings from many sources and doesn't use a pastor. Dr. Schulte 
> acknowledges that the approach is outside the bounds of Catholicism, 
> but 
> she says the group helps strengthen her spirituality. 
> In a move to deepen their spiritual lives, some Americans are 
> tackling a 
> new do-it-yourself project: religion. From Christian gatherings that 
> emphasize postsermon discussions to small Jewish congregations that 
> aren't centered around a synagogue, worshipers are crafting 
> special-interest prayer groups to supplement or even replace 
> services 
> offered by their regular houses of worship. Some say they are 
> looking for 
> a more creative approach to spirituality, such as the start-up 
> church in 
> Dallas that -- while it still uses the Episcopal Book of Common 
> Prayer 
> and has a pastor -- asks members to write their sins in sand and 
> brush 
> them away. Others say they want to be more inclusive, such as the 
> new 
> Irvine, Calif., mosque that explicitly welcomes both Sunni and 
> Shiite 
> Muslims. 
> In some cases, the DIY approach is a backlash against churches' and 
> synagogues' recent attempts to make religion more relevant and 
> attract a 
> younger generation. Instead of warming to innovations such as jazz 
> Masses 
> and video presentations on the pulpit, many worshipers say they 
> prefer a 
> smaller, more participatory experience. While megachurches are 
> booming, 
> some Christians have found the 2,000-member congregations too 
> impersonal. 
> Also, intense divisions over such subjects as gay clergy and the war 
> in 
> Iraq have left a number of worshipers dissatisfied with existing 
> religious leadership -- whether conservative or liberal -- and in 
> search 
> of a new spiritual forum shared by those with similar views. 
> Mixed Reaction 
> Reaction by established congregations has been mixed. A few welcome 
> these 
> groups, hoping they will at least keep members spiritually active. 
> Others 
> stress that ad hoc gatherings can't take the place of official 
> observance, particularly when there is no ordained officiant. For 
> example, Catholicism requires its adherents to receive sacraments 
> administered according to strict guidelines, and Orthodox Judaism 
> demands 
> a quorum of 10 men for certain worship obligations.
>        See the Journal's site for the entire article.
>     --- Info and subscription management at 
> ---

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