Challenging, thought provoking issues for the need of this hour.
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THE STIFLING ENVIORONMENT OF ORGANISED RELIGION
The premise of absolute submission is predicated on the hypothesis that
spiritual leaders are in effect “spiritual mediators” who go
to God on behalf of their followers. These leaders however would emphatically
deny the attribution. According to the premise, the followers are spiritually
deficient and inferior to their leaders, and therefore basically incapable
of seeking and hearing from God for themselves; or cultivating on-going communion
and fellowship with Him, so they need the help of a “mediator”;
a priestly “go-between; somebody who supposedly has a more elite standing
with God; someone who stands in the gap for the less fortunate. The hypothesis
is that because these leaders are far more spiritual than their people, and
more capable of receiving from God, therefore they are indispensable.
Every knowledgeable believer should be thoroughly disgusted, appalled
and totally outraged at such an outlandish and even blasphemous notion.
The Bible explicitly says: “There is ONE God, and ONE mediator
also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as
a ransom for all 1 Tim. 2:5. Babies and young children in the Lord
need nurturing, but they should be weaned as soon as they are able
to feed themselves. The divine intention is for all of us to grow up
into Him in all things, and not be dependant upon “spiritual
When the leaders of our churches tell us that we should ‘do
what the pastor tells us even if we think he is wrong’ (I have
heard those words said myself) warning bells should ring. This instruction
reflects the view of the pastor standing in for you before God even
in matters of conscience. In this way the pastor becomes a surrogate
conscience. He is covering for you before God.
If people constantly choose to rely on leaders as their spiritual
guides and surrogate consciences without question, how will they ever
mature in their personal relationship with God? So what should we do
about it; or where do we go from here? According to many it’s
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE
Reflections of an honest house church leader.
When we commenced gathering in homes, it seemed so cool and radical
to break out of the 90 minute service. It seemed so cool to take
3 or 4 hours, sharing, praying and eating. And the food, the meals,
unbelievable, out of this world! Going to a service in a church seemed
so grey and lifeless alongside what we experiencing. But after two
years, what was positive once can also become a negative at times.
I think one of the key answers is that 'Variety is the Spice of Life'.
Anything no matter how amazing gets boring and stale without change
and variety. In the end this happens when people show no leadership,
initiative and effort. If people stay on automatic pilot then the same
thing happens week after week. In the end it takes initiative, planning,
and form. Other than that I don't have answers at this time to these
- Because of the length of the gatherings, people are put off coming
so regularly, and also put off through losing a whole Sunday when they
have to host it.
- It's been great to be participatory and we never want to lose it,
but the problem is that a lot of the time with everyone sharing it
can drift, and become shallow because of a lack of preparation and
- For the women (sounds sexist!) getting something decent prepared
for the gathering has become a stress and a hassle, having to do it
P.S. the groups folded and scattered. (And so that was that). The life
a house church is less than 3 years in most cases.
I certainly didn’t see what I was looking for in the House Church
movement. Yet it is clear that the saints in the New Testament opened
their homes and gathered there for fellowship etc Acts
2:42. In all
honesty I didn’t know what I was looking for, all I knew was
that something was radically wrong with what we were doing, and I didn’t
know what to do, or where to go. I felt certain that there was a perfect
model in the bible somewhere that we hadn’t yet seen. If you
still think the house church is the way to go, then go for it, but
I feel you will be as disappointed as the writer of the above comments
was to be sure.
Most people of course think if you haven’t been branded and
in a Herd somewhere, and committed to its leaders, then you are at
least drifting, or worse still backslidden. These saints are often
referred to as loose cannons. For many years we had been involved in
leadership at several levels, yet from the time I left my former companions
and began to live in the Kingdom and follow Christ, no one ever came
to seek us out with the view to restoring us to the herd; or to find
out what had happened to us. Today some 20years later I am spoken of
as a lost soul, or a brother that is in deception or even worse. It’s
as though we have leprosy.
PS. There are more sick and weakly lost souls in the system than they
care to admit.
ALRIGHT WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND
The answer for us was simply to follow Christ!
Some time ago a Pastor friend asked me this question, “what
benefits are you getting from what you believe and the way you live
now, that you didn’t have before. Can you name anything different
that you are specifically doing?
My response was, yes I have “I entered the Kingdom of God and
began to live there”. It never registered with him; and I doubt
that he heard me, or even tried to understand what that comment meant.
So sadly he continues to struggle along urging his flock to pray for
Luke 16:16 "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that
time the Kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing
Woe to you lawyers for you have taken away the key of knowledge.
You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you
hindered." And as He said these things to them, the scribes
and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine
Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch
Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him. Luke 11:52-54"
Matthew 23:13-14 "but woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces; for you do not enter,
yourselves, nor do you permit those who are about to come in, to enter”.
Neither shall they say, lo, here! Or, there! For the kingdom of God
is within you. Luke 17:21 It is not a matter of where we meet as
much as what we do when we are there.
Next, I speak for Anne as well as myself when I say; we found that
our relationship with Christ took on a new dimension such as we had
I told my friend what an incredible revelation, and marvelous relief
it was when I realized that He has not called us to build His Kingdom,
but SIMPLY TO LIVE IN IT. Yes that’s right, just live in it,
down here, right where I am, in the here and nasty now. What a joy.
What a glorious deliverance from the torturous fundamentalists; the
mission driven evangelicals and raving charismatic’s, who are
ever insisting that we must go! And we must do more! And give more.
So to counter this we just began to resist religious party political
activists and to begin instead to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit,
and follow Him and do His bidding. We began to live by Kingdom principles
in His secure environment that the gates of hell cannot hold out against.
We found that so much of what we had been taught, (if not all) and
what we had done in former days was not declaring the Kingdom of God
but building the kingdoms of men. To be sure the old environment had
satisfied our ego and that of other pastors, but it didn’t do
a lot for everybody else. Looking back I see it was an extraordinary
waste of time and resources that should have been utilized elsewhere;
like spending time with the family instead of at the Christian factory
pleading for a reluctant God to save the world.
Initially there were aspects that were testing. These came from our
detractors. They threw everything in the Book at us (those things that
they preached but never practiced). I admit their arguments were rational
but the Lord gave us the wisdom to see the difference. Gradually we
realized that we could stand without the trappings of services and
programs to prop us up and keep us from falling. That we could stand
against anything the world threw at us as long as were clothed in the
amour He had provided for us. We knew that were not sufficient of ourselves,
but that our sufficiency was of God who enabled us to stand upright
against all the wiles of the enemy.
Truly we can sing “Jesus thou art everything to me” We
dine as oft as we can with Him around His Table, and love to tarry
We began talking to Him about every aspect of our lives. We soon began
to find other brothers and sisters on the same journey. We opened our
homes to one another, where bread and wine (the food of our God) on
an open was available where all that love Him could come and dine.
We felt more secure than we could have ever imagined. We have learned
that where He guides He provides, and as He leads He feeds. We saw
that money is power, and what desolation it can cause personally and
collectively. How religious building programs have destroyed more relationships
than they ever edified. I have seen the power it gives to men to promote
their ministries, even to build themselves churches, and to buy fame.
I saw that although money is amoral it takes on the character of the
user. I found one does not need a pulpit to serve God, or money to
further His cause. He has brought us into partnership with Himself,
and all that we need to do whatever HE asks of us will be supplied.
I refuse to beg or borrow; He the source of our every supply.
THE QUESTION NOW IS WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
The law and the prophets were until John, and since that time the “kingdom
of God” is preached unto you.
A time of unusual shaking is taking place, so it behoves us to ensure
that our house is on a firm foundation.
Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are
being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot
be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which
cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably
with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire”.
WATCH OUT FOR MORE ON KINGDOM PRINCIPLES IN THE FUTURE
If you have any questions please feel free to ask and we shall seek
together to find the truth.