But what does that mean?
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Matthew 18:20
Very literally the building means nothing people getting together to learn about God is the church. You can do this in the parks, abandoned warehouse, a bedroom, the mall… any where you can get more then 2 people together can be the church.
Lately there’s been a lot of chat about church attendance dropping. To be honest it’s hard to say that’s fully true. Yes we see a rise in atheism, but it’s not as much as you would think. USA census tells us atheist make up about 23% of the population. That number hasn’t changed much since the 80s, it’s reasonable to say atheist talk a bigger game then they really walk. But where are all the Christians going?
Many churches might have you believe the people leaving are Luke warm and just don’t want to come. Yet in recent years Christian books and websites have been on the rise like never before. It was said by Hollywood 2014 was the year for bible movies- the reason being people want to hear more about God and the bible. (Now movies like Noah and Exodus were not particularly the best biblical movies ever made, but I point more to the rise in interest that Hollywood’s statistics are showing).
So it seems Christianity hasn’t disappeared from America at all yet we still have people leaving the church. How could we interpret this?
It’s a REVIVAL!!
No not an organized bake sale where Christians congratulate each other for being Christian. The revival is in the Christians hearts. Many Christians are sick of hearing fluffy feel good sermons. Others are sick to death of the Fire and brimstone pouring down from heaven. People are actually shutting their pastor up and reading their own bibles for what the book has to say. They are studying together, they are reading blogs, they are chatting on Facebook, they are studying the bible and taking it very literally. PRAISE BE TO GOD!
This revival kinda started when people were waking up to 501(3)c status. Here’s a video that explains this perfectly.
What Richard high lights is something were starting to see happen now in full swing. Have you noticed the lawsuits against churches that refuse gay weddings lately? This kind of thing was predicted by many house church goers in the early 90s. Slowly but surely the government will chip away what a pastor can and can’t say or do- even if it violates the Constitutions 2nd Amendment.
There’s an increasing obvious difference between the home church goer and mundane church goer.
1. Home church Christians know their scripture, they take it very literally. The bible is the authority above especially the government, yet they are not anarchist- but simply will not compromise the word no matter what. Calling these people Luke warm is very difficult, particularly in a time when the average Christian church goer can only cite verse Matthew 7:1
2. Dumbing down in church has always been a factor. The pastor who gives a sermon to 75 people or more finds himself always having to speak to the lowest level of understanding- each and every mind numbing sunday. What this results as is 65 people keep hearing the same old same old 13 people are not paying attention, but 2 brand new people in the church are getting something new. (65+13+2=75)
Honestly why should 65 people suffer in the off chance those 2 people even show up on sunday?
What if I told you Church is not supposed to be mind numbing? It’s actually supposed to be liberating and make you learn something new every day of your life? (What you think God gives us a 4000 page book and all that’s in it is ‘love thy neighbor’?)
No this image is not biblical at all, it’s completely a false depiction of Noah’s ark entirely. It also leaves a false impression of Noah’s ark- kids learn to see these stories as cartoons instead of history. This mentality is only advanced in the child’s mind by the church because they teach only the nice things about Noah’s Ark. The things that’s important that give this story life they completely leave out.
What is the result of this, you may ask… Give me a show of hands of how many adults reading this ever heard of “The Table of Nations”? Better yet how many knew Noah’s son Ham raped Noah while he was drunk and passed out? Did you know according to the Bible the whole world is not descended from the Jews?
That’s my point you as an adult have all the candy about Noah’s ark, but some of the most important things only handful ever heard of it. This “scrubbing up” of the bible leaves Christians completely unprepared to be warriors of christ. Church goers barely grasp reading the context of the bible and why people do such things in it. If I were an athiest throwing this in your face many wouldn’t even know where to begin to explain the bible intelligently.
4. Not everything needs to be in the bible parsè. I mean a really big PARSÈ.
Studying on your own or with friends you learn to be self sufficient in your studies. This allows enormous freedom delving into archeology, creationism, first century sermons, and just about anything you can think of. Home church goers can spot a flaw in science a mile away usually because they’ve read every thing about it and found where sound doctrine is. They have checked sources and backgrounds before they accept something as science. Where as a church goer is perfectly content going along with whatever science or religion thing is given to them- Often taking it at face value. You want to be Christian in the end times, you are going to want to be a independent thinker.
Considering Leaving the Church
The church is becoming a lukewarm christian center for people who just want an excuse to get out of the house on Sundays. For many this is a problem. Yes you will be more independent but with that may come some disadvantages worth considering:
1. Lack of organization. Part of the reason Christians got rid of house churches in the first place was it’s difficult to get Christians on the same page with things. In the early church there was a rise of Gnostic influence spreading due to uneducated/ungodly pastors. In today’s world many of the problems of the 1st century is conceivably non existent- so long as they stick only to the King James Bible. However there were other factors like where to go, and what to do- It was just easier to have one building with an educated pastor as the church leader. To some this may not be considered a disadvantage as it may sound, because we’ve read about the corruption of the catholic church after which.
2. The Children. No youth Groups, Vacation Bible things, Puppet shows, or other things for kids. I’m sorry your kids are going to have to actually learn and study the bible, instead of running around eating candy. That’s not to say they wont have friends and cant play or do things. Honestly ask yourself is that really a bad thing?
3. Staying committed to study. By nature people are lazy and think Studying is boring. That wont necessarily condemn you to hell, so long as you have at least one book worm in the group who can teach others. Even then yes, you are going to have to devote some attention on your own.
For a full understanding of the house church verses the church building, I found a sermon on youtube that explains this well in depth. Its lengthy but well worth the study: