Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A major announcement about house churches (The fastest growing Movement in Christianity)
WorldNetdaily.com ^ | 06/27/2006 | James Rutz

Posted on 06/27/2006 9:56:30 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

A major announcement about house churches

-------------------------------------------------------- Posted: June 27, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

The little guy is back. For the first time in 1,700 years, simple churches meeting in homes are once again a factor in human events.

In many countries, they're booming so strongly that critics and opponents can no longer brush them aside as a fringe movement. And as I documented repeatedly in "Megashift," home churches are producing millions of proactive Christians who now and then perform miracles (though the credit ultimately belongs to God, of course).

But this week, even I was shocked to discover how big our house church community in North America really is. Briefly stated, we're right about halfway between the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention (which is the second-largest denomination in the U.S.).

OK now, let's inhale. I'm stunned, too. This really is starting to alter the landscape for all of us.

Let me state up front: These are solid numbers. George Barna, the leading U.S. church pollster and perhaps the most widely quoted Christian leader in America, is the author of the figures below. They are based on a full-on, four-month scientific survey of 5,013 adults, including 663 blacks, 631 hispanics, 676 liberals and 1,608 conservatives.

Nobody argues with numbers from The Barna Group. They employ all the professional safeguards to ensure tight results – in this case, a sampling error of +/-1.8 percent. Here are the results stated in five ways:

In a typical week, 9 percent of U.S. adults attend a house church.

In absolute numbers, that 9 percent equals roughly 20 million people.

In a typical month, about 43 million U.S. adults attend a house church.

All told, 70 million U.S. adults have at least experimented with participation in a house church.

Focusing only on those who attend some kind of church (which I recall is about 43 percent of us), 74 percent of them attend only a traditional church, 19 percent attend both a traditional and a house church, and 5 percent are hard-core house church folks. The study counted only attendance at house churches, not small groups ("cells") that are part of a traditional church.

George Barna is the author of the new best seller, "Revolution," which talks a lot about the kind of person who is leaving the fold of the institutional church and joining things like house churches. Revolutionaries are highly dedicated to Christ and know the Bible better than most. Barna predicts that within 20 years, Revolutionaries will comprise 65-70 percent of U.S. Christianity, leaving in the traditional setting only 30-35 percent (primarily the white-haired crowd).

Please don't think of the house church as a new fad. For the first 300 years of Christianity, house churches were the norm. In fact, church buildings were quite rare until the fourth century, when the power-hungry Roman Emperor Constantine suddenly outlawed house church meetings, began erecting church buildings with Roman tax money, and issued a decree that all should join his Catholic Church. If you want to stick to a biblical model, the house church is your only choice.

In China, the world's largest church (120 million) is 90 percent based in homes. The cover story in this week's World magazine (June 24) is on how Christian business leaders in China are beginning to change the whole situation in that country. Yes, even while Christians in many provinces are hunted down and tortured, CEOs of corporations in areas with freedom are changing the way government looks at Christianity. That is major.

Bottom line: Worldwide, the original church is back, re-creating the biblical model: "Day after day, they met by common consent in the Temple Courts and broke bread from house to house." (Acts 2:46) God is again pouring out His power on plain folks, bringing a megashift – not in our doctrine, but in our entire lifestyle.

House churches in North America are no longer seen as being in conflict with the traditional church. In fact, much to our amazement, noted leaders like Rick Warren have recently come out strongly in favor of house churches. Saddleback Church is even sending out their own members as "missionaries" to start house church networks! And just last week, John Arnott of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship asked me, as a house church spokesman, to speak at his big annual conference. Unheard of.

Of course, many Christians will prefer to stay in their traditional roles, and that's OK. But now there is a strong alternative for ambitious souls who are crying out to do more, to have more, to be more.

----------------------------------------------------

James Rutz is chairman of Megashift Ministries and founder-chairman of Open Church Ministries. He is the author of "MEGASHIFT: Igniting Spiritual Power," and, most recently, "The Meaning of Life." If you'd rather order by phone, call WND's toll-free customer service line at 1-800-4WND-COM (1-800-496-3266).


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: christians; growth; housechurches
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-124 next last

1 posted on 06/27/2006 9:56:34 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
House Churches are tapping into an "organized religion" backlash that has left many people feeling abandoned by "traditional" religion. Many times this is due to differences in doctrine or it is due to differences in worship style or even a scheduling conflict that prevents people from attending church during the normally scheduled hours of worship.
2 posted on 06/27/2006 10:02:23 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

Home Schooling...anyone?


3 posted on 06/27/2006 10:04:05 AM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

Slight correction: there is also "backlash" from churches who are abandoning "Traditional" religion to fall into the fad of the week contemporary movement. Traditionalists are being forced from churches in large numbers now, because they refuse to follow the slick marketing of megachurch psychobabble.


4 posted on 06/27/2006 10:05:11 AM PDT by TommyDale (Stop the Nifongery!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

I switched to a non-denominational church a few years back because the Pastor teaches from the Bible and uses it as the standard instead of letting the decline of society serve as an "interpretation aid".


5 posted on 06/27/2006 10:07:08 AM PDT by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Terriergal

Ping


6 posted on 06/27/2006 10:07:41 AM PDT by TommyDale (Stop the Nifongery!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TommyDale
I would see that as a difference in doctrine. I find myself in a similar situation, where the doctrine of the traditional church is counter to the truths that I find in the Bible. I still attend a Church and give regularly (though to be honest, not as much as I should).

But I still have differences with the dogma presented. Mostly because they are only presenting the same material and not actually studying the texts. I'm a scholar and administrator at heart, those are my gifts. When a point of religious doctrine is presented to me I want to know the apologetics for that position. I need to know where it came from, what does the original Greek say, what other possible translations / interpretations exist for that particular passage. How much is the scripture being "stretched" to fit a particular belief or concept.
In doing so, I have found that many of todays Christian PC beliefs and dogma are not very well supported by scripture.

But I also know that I need the support of a community of Christians. So I choose to attend and keep my silence on areas where we differ.
7 posted on 06/27/2006 10:14:01 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

"Focusing only on those who attend some kind of church (which I recall is about 43 percent of us), 74 percent of them attend only a traditional church, 19 percent attend both a traditional and a house church, and 5 percent are hard-core house church folks."

Define "house church." If it is truly akin to the first-century Christians, whose "house church" ceremonies were quite elaborate and included the Lord's Supper, fasting beforehand, scripture, and a homily/sermon, led by an ordained pastor/presbyter, I'm impressed.

If they are simply referring to Christian faith-sharing groups, I'm not at all. People have been meeting to discuss their faith and pray together since this country was born, and the fact that 9% of Americans now like to think of this form of gathering as "house churches" is completely meaningless. Given that 4 our of 5 "house church" attendees also attend weekly church services, this seems to be what they are talking about.

Any further information about how "house church" is defined would be greatly appreciated.


8 posted on 06/27/2006 10:14:36 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
It makes sense when the one considers what an incredible waste of resources a “traditional” church is with buildings that are used a couple times a week a paid staff.

Where did the idea that Jesus called anyone to build cathedrals and form corporations under the umbrella of "a church" come from anyhow?
9 posted on 06/27/2006 10:15:18 AM PDT by j_k_l
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
In fact, church buildings were quite rare until the fourth century, when the power-hungry Roman Emperor Constantine suddenly outlawed house church meetings, began erecting church buildings with Roman tax money, and issued a decree that all should join his Catholic Church. If you want to stick to a biblical model, the house church is your only choice.

I like a writer who can make his point with subtlety.

10 posted on 06/27/2006 10:16:40 AM PDT by Southside_Chicago_Republican (The moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

>> House Churches are tapping into an "organized religion" backlash that has left many people feeling abandoned by "traditional" religion. <<

Apparently not. 4 out of 5 House Church attendees also attend a regular-Church weekly service. It seems like what is really happening is a little extra strengthening on a smaller scale. Anyone know if "House Church" is anything more than simply Cursillo-, Renew-, Crysallis-, Emmaus-, or Alpha-style meetings?


11 posted on 06/27/2006 10:18:32 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

These numbers make no sense.

If 70 million adults in the US have participated in "house church" religion, the term would be widespread and widely understood.

I wish all people seeking to know Jesus better and lead others to Him well. But hyping the popularity of this idea is not that helpful.


12 posted on 06/27/2006 10:19:44 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: trebb
I understand and wholly support your decision.

What I have FAILED to see from most religions much less churches or pastors, is a "flow of beliefs". Such a flow starts from the most basic presumption or article of faith... that there is a Gog, and then works out the details of how they believe. What is accepted on faith, what scriptures are accepted, do Christ's teachings carry more weight, etc. Then go into particular doctrine, explain the supporting scriptures, historical contexts, etc.

I believe that for me, this is important. In fact, it is a self project that I have started... to map and document my own faith and beliefs. A personal apologetics if you will.
13 posted on 06/27/2006 10:20:38 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: dangus

... I meant 19 percent, but given that only half of Americans belong to a church, 9 percent is probably closer to an accurate portion of Americans overall.


14 posted on 06/27/2006 10:21:22 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Southside_Chicago_Republican
As a very weak Christian, I only go to home bible classes as I have been totally disappointed in every "preacher" I have met.
15 posted on 06/27/2006 10:22:11 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: dangus

I agree.

These stats strike me as sort of meaningless. They seemto be the equivalent of counting as Catholics any person who has ever attended Mass.


16 posted on 06/27/2006 10:22:17 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

Interesting that all the reasons that have been given are negative. Let me give one that is positive:

Many people are being called to lead and cannot do so in their own church, so they begin a new one.

I see this all the time in my area and it is quite a positive thing.

And for those who think these house churches are just faith groups, many Christians attend two churches.


17 posted on 06/27/2006 10:23:44 AM PDT by TexanToTheCore (This space for hire...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dangus

The article specifically states that it is not including small groups (cells within a church). So while I see your point, I would say that the author would differ in opinion.


18 posted on 06/27/2006 10:24:24 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: dangus

This article is an inappropriate PR hype.

"Join the future or get left behind with the gray haired curmudgeons. Be there or be square."


19 posted on 06/27/2006 10:24:55 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

The abandonment of some churches of Traditionalism isn't necessarily an abandonment of doctrine. Many communities are now void of Traditional churches entirely within a given denomination. Those who want to maintain Traditional worship are forced to drive long distances, or begin holding services in their own homes. This is becoming more common than you might think. You can thank the "Purpose Driven Church" for this phonomenon in my area.


20 posted on 06/27/2006 10:25:47 AM PDT by TommyDale (Stop the Nifongery!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

>> In fact, church buildings were quite rare until the fourth century, when the power-hungry Roman Emperor Constantine suddenly outlawed house church meetings, began erecting church buildings with Roman tax money, and issued a decree that all should join his Catholic Church. If you want to stick to a biblical model, the house church is your only choice. <<

Constantine did authorize the construction of church buildings. The notion that he "outlawed" house churches seems very strange and almost silly: "House churches" existed precisely Christianity itself was illegal prior to Christianity; they were a form of staying hidden from the Roman police. Anyone know anything to support this, or is this more of the Constantine-did-everything-evil mythos from the likes of Dan Brown?


21 posted on 06/27/2006 10:27:56 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexanToTheCore

Is it really helpful for those who don't feel they fit in to start their own church?

Of course it is the Protestant ideal: break away if the reform you think is needed does not happen exactly when and how you think it should.

But how does splintering off help the universal Church?


22 posted on 06/27/2006 10:28:19 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Notwithstanding

Love the tagline.


23 posted on 06/27/2006 10:30:55 AM PDT by gunsofaugust (Moral liberals are the most repulsive excrement.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: dangus

>If they are referring to Christian faith-sharing groups, I am not at all.<

I attend a fast growing Pentacostal Church (having been sorely disappointed in the antics of the Episcopal Church long ago) and our Pastor sticks purely to Biblical teachings. We also have house churches which meet once a week in small groups to discuss the prior Sunday's sermon and how it applies to each of our lives, our own concepts of it, prayer, worship and a short social time with refreshments afterward. We find this time very fulfilling, and an important part of our week.


24 posted on 06/27/2006 10:34:02 AM PDT by Paperdoll ( on the cutting edge.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: dangus

I was a house church leader for 6 years. It was one of several community groups which met once a week. Our church was 25 miles away and we all attended that church on Sundays, but 8 of us who lived near each other got together every Wed. to pray for each other and support each other's Christian walk, with a little Bible study thrown in. If someone was sick we laid hands on them. We essentially formed a small intimate community within a larger community. It was very effective and fulfilling. Hope that helps'.


25 posted on 06/27/2006 10:34:53 AM PDT by tinamina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

Our Pastor believes in the usefulness of apologetics and uses it. We are currently going through a series that explains how the Bible was put together and vetted out as an exercise in understanding the truth and being able to give intelligent answers to folks who might be swayed or confused by things like the DaVinci Code. He also has an awesome one-hour synopsis of Revelations. He makes no bones about Biblical truth and is unapologetic to those who find it sexist, un-PC, etc. The best part is that he is a teacher vs. a preacher and doesn't sermonize, but he does use real life situations to help clarify his teachings.


26 posted on 06/27/2006 10:35:21 AM PDT by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Notwithstanding
(I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)

I love my Jewish shepherd - Jesus reigns!

VBG
27 posted on 06/27/2006 10:35:24 AM PDT by Proverbs 3-5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: dangus
Define "house church." If it is truly akin to the first-century Christians, whose "house church" ceremonies were quite elaborate and included the Lord's Supper, fasting beforehand, scripture, and a homily/sermon, led by an ordained pastor/presbyter, I'm impressed. What ever gave you the idea of early Christians having ceremonies, ordained pastors, sermons, etc.? Luther and company reformed much of the doctrine, but certainly didn't reform the practice of the church. What happened to the priesthood of all believers? We've gone from one pope to many popes (senior pastors). The self chosen few to lead the people. The Lord said, I myself will shepherd my people. We have one Father, and one mediator.
28 posted on 06/27/2006 10:37:58 AM PDT by ktupper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

But what does he mean by saying that it doesn't include "cells within a church," when he also states that the overwhelming majority of house-church members ARE, in fact, active churchgoers within a non-house-church church? Is he excluding only those organized by the church leadership within a given parish? Are Cursillo/Emmaus/Chrysalis groups counted? How about charismatic prayer meetings? Ecumenical praise meetings? Non-parish-based Young Adult prayer meetings?

Does a house church, by definition, include a pastor, minister, or anyone with some formal training? Do they have any rites which set them apart from mere prayer groups? Or have we simply dumbed down the notion of church so far that people are thinking of mere prayer groups as churches?

The very fact that the author claims that only house churches are biblical shows that the author has a fantastic ability to warp facts to his liking; the early Christians convened in houses because they were forbidden by Roman law to purchase church buildings; that is, until "power-mad" Constantine legalized Christianity.

If he's claiming house churches are more biblically authentic, do house-churches have annointed leaders? Presbyters? Episcopi? Do they partake in the Lord's Supper together?


29 posted on 06/27/2006 10:40:24 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Paperdoll

Why does he stick strictly to Bible teachings?

Does he not know that the Bible commends us to take advantage of other treasures the Church offers?


30 posted on 06/27/2006 10:42:21 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

I don't think this would be my cup of tea -- I have always been involved in the traditional church and I like it. But I understand why a lot of people would like this. It isn't always easy to find a good, solid congregation. House churches might even become a significant source of spritual renewal. I'm thinking in terms of early Methodism, which operated across denominations and largely outside of them.

With house churches, I would be concerned about doctrine and accoutability, though, because, even with the best intentions, and with doctrine defined and a structure for accoutability in place, it is quite easy to drift into error and deception.

What got to me about this article was its tone and implication -- that here are a group of "revolutionaries" out to finally reverse the mess made by bad old Constantine. Well, we've heard that one before, and it always smacks of arrogance and a willful disregard for what God has done and continues to do in and through His church (not Constantine's) since the days of the apostles.


31 posted on 06/27/2006 10:43:31 AM PDT by Southside_Chicago_Republican (The moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: ktupper
As a Pastor, the "House Church" is basically, a "small Groups" "Growth Group", Bible Study Group". My church is small but we have growth groups, ie. That would comprize of about 50% of Church attenders.
32 posted on 06/27/2006 10:44:11 AM PDT by DocJ69
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Paperdoll; tinamina

From what you say, it sounds like it IS simply a faith-sharing group. I should be clear that those are obviously very important to Christian faith; by saying I was unimpressed, I only meant that I was unimpressed by assertions this was some new phenomenon. Such activities are a wonderful SUPPLEMENT to community churches, but from what I'm hearing, they are not a replacement. Do you find anything I've stated that you disagree with?


33 posted on 06/27/2006 10:46:08 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

I would think that 100% of married Christians who truly adhere to Biblical teachings attend "house-church" every day. After all, in a marriage there are always 2 people. In a Christian marriage they are both believers. And finally, if they are following His teachings they are gathered "in His name." At least that's how it should be. It's what I work towards. Repeat after me: A church is not a building.


34 posted on 06/27/2006 10:46:10 AM PDT by fix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ktupper

Where did you discover exactly what the early members of the Church did and did not do?

Is that info all in the Bible?

If it is not in the Bible but from elsewhere, then why would you deviate from simply ticking to what's in the Bible?

If it is because historians have told us what their traditions were, then do you think it is important to follow tradition?


35 posted on 06/27/2006 10:46:33 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

For those wanting more information on relational Christianity and moving from religious thinking to relational thinking take a look at...

http://www.lifestream.org/LSBL.Feb02.html

http://www.lifestream.org/transition/transition.html

http://www.lifestream.org/blog/


36 posted on 06/27/2006 10:47:18 AM PDT by ktupper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Southside_Chicago_Republican

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html

Above URL goes to the Didche!

Chapter 11. Concerning Teachers, Apostles, and Prophets. Whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him. But if the teacher himself turns and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not. But if he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, act according to the decree of the Gospel. Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain more than one day; or two days, if there's a need. But if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet.


37 posted on 06/27/2006 10:49:01 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: fix

Pope John Paul II emphasized this idea of the family as church. The "domestic church". He once exhorted all families: "Families, become what you are!" - explaining that the family is the ideally-designed (By God, of course) "community of persons" that can remind us - right where we grow up - of the perfect community of persons, the Holy Trinity. That is what we try to do in my family.


38 posted on 06/27/2006 10:50:35 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

Well, Barna's a pretty darned good pollster, but I'd want to go see the results of this poll on his own site, rather than have it interpreted by someone who seems to have a decided bias.

The home church movement is certainly growing, but this guy seems to count every little bible study group meeting in a home as a home church, and I think that's off the mark.

If you think of the Vineyard Fellowship, you get a little closer to this.

To me, the growth of the home church movement represents the end stage of the denominationalism that has split the church again and again, ever since Martin Luther rebelled against the "evils" of the RCC of his day.

Someone estimated that there were 27,000 separate denominations or groupings of Christianity. I think the number's higher than that and, if you count the home churches, it's way higher than that.

My question is: Is there a center to Christianity any longer? A central doctrine or set of doctrines that all Christians can agree upon? It's beginning to look more and more like that center is not holding any longer.

Will the splintering continue until every person is his or her own church? It's an interesting question, I think. But, I'm an atheist, so what do I know?


39 posted on 06/27/2006 10:51:34 AM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

Ah, the Didache - Tradition is afforded its rightful place of honor!


40 posted on 06/27/2006 10:52:07 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

just curious...why do you say weak? we are "baby sheep" ourselves (7 months). what disappointed you in the pastors you met?
really i'm just curious, not wanting to start a holy war or anything. tryin to make sure we're not missin somethin.


41 posted on 06/27/2006 10:53:39 AM PDT by wayne_b24 (every day in the Light is a good day...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

IMHO there are two primary reasons for the decline in organized, mainstream religions: 1. Many Christian religions have embraced the influence of the PC crowd even to the extent that it is in conflict with scripture--this is a huge issue for people that look to the Bible for guidance and not to the arbitrary leaders of the PC church. 2. The constant assault by the old media and hollywood who view the church as a threat to their power to shape opinions and to compete with their financial gain. It is a control thing from the left, the secular worshipers, and mind controllers.


42 posted on 06/27/2006 10:53:54 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MineralMan

The center is in Rome.

No other core exists, as none of the 27,000 groups thinks having such a core is necessary.

Peter, you are Rock, and upon this Rock I will build my church!


43 posted on 06/27/2006 10:55:07 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (I love my German shepherd - Benedict XVI reigns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

"But I also know that I need the support of a community of Christians. So I choose to attend and keep my silence on areas where we differ."

Never be silent. This allows the PC crowd to win.


44 posted on 06/27/2006 10:56:16 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Notwithstanding

My center is Jesus. Not Peter. Not Rome. Not the Pope. Not anything of this world.


45 posted on 06/27/2006 10:57:34 AM PDT by fix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: ktupper

>> What ever gave you the idea of early Christians having ceremonies, ordained pastors, sermons, etc.? <<

The Lord's Supper is described in the bible. It is a ceremony. Those who led it were "presbyters" (presiders), who were appointed by "episcopi" (bishops), who were, in turn, appointed by the apostles.

The first-century work, "The Teaching of the Twelve," also simply known as "The Didache" (which is Greek for Twelve, and is pronounced DID-uh-kee) describes in considerable detail the conduct of house church meetings. There is no record of any church father criticizing the work by name. It was probably left out of the bible only because it was for ecclesiastic administration by pastors, not public worship. It's only conflict with the bible is that it cautions not to pay prophets, whereas Paul says to do so, but this conflict is likely referring to a different circumstance than Paul meant; Paul referred to ordained, traveling preachers raising funds for other communities, whereas the Didache seems to be referring to unordained members of the local community.

Incidentally, the Didache contains the Lord's prayer, followed by (or including) the prayer, "For Thine is the power and the glory," nine centuries before this was included in any publication of the bible.


46 posted on 06/27/2006 10:57:59 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: dangus
All interesting questions and likely not answerable in this form. An interesting discussion would start with 1) is a "Church" required by scripture and 2) what does a "church" look like? Does it require a central leader figure or can it be an association of equals, etc.

This is a topic area that I have not yet researched for my own personal apologetics and will need to include.

This is EXACTLY why I like FreeRepublic, the introduction of new topics for research and self education.
47 posted on 06/27/2006 11:01:47 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Neoliberalnot

I would tend to agree with your assessment.


48 posted on 06/27/2006 11:03:56 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: MineralMan
I think the divisions have helped a pure doctrine survive. It forces everyone into scripture to study and prove their doctrines according to the Word of God. Certainly the Bible in the hands of everyone has helped.

There is still a core doctrine of beliefs, we just have a lot of heresy to deal with too. Don't worry, God will protect His church. Right now it seems that he is reorganizing things.

I have no particular statement on house churches one way or the other. The building you meet in is not a significant issue. However, I would question the doctrines of some of these groups. That matters.

49 posted on 06/27/2006 11:08:30 AM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light..... Isaiah 5:20)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: MineralMan

Barna may not even be a very good pollster, at all. He is respected among Protestant Christians primarily because is the only pollster to specialize in Christianity, and because he uses extremely charged, Protestant-sectarian definitions. For instance, he frequently phrases questions in such a manner that few Catholics would ever answer "yes" to, and then uses those questions to establish that those who answer "no" to them deny central teachings of the Catholic faith, such as the infallibility of the bible.

Even when his phrasings are not extremely charged, he gets results which are often wildly, even preposterously different from other pollsters asking very similar questions.

My basic assessment of his polls is that they are the absolute worst of any major pollster as measured by validity (the ability to measure what they intend to measure), accuracy (the ability to obtain the proper measurements for what it is that they actually do measure), and reliability (the ability to be repeated by others so that the others get the same results).


50 posted on 06/27/2006 11:08:36 AM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-124 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson