House churches. Why start or attend a house church?
If, as an ex-evangelical (or ex-whatever), you conclude you have to belong to something, attend something, you are mistaken. You belong to Christ, you have been bought and paid for by His innocent blood, you are now His. Those mindful of belonging to Him have no inclination to belong to something.
Attending, however, doesn’t have to (and should never) emerge into belonging. If attendees of a house church (hc) possessed and maintained a healthy perspective the gathering would be beneficial to all.
The impulse for christians to gather is strong simply because of Whom we have in common. Gathering in homes should be normal christianity, not peculiar, friends and neighbors being friendly and neighborly, sharing and caring for one another. But something went wrong way back in church history that caused christians to embrace a detrimental and synthetic christianity. Institutional churches are now considered Godly, and hc’s considered fringe.
But not all hc’s are healthy, no more than all friendships.
So what makes a hc healthy? The same that makes an individual healthy…. a right agenda.
To be sound, the hc’s agenda must be the same as a (sound) individual’s agenda…. which is the same as Paul’s agenda…. and John’s and Peter’s and all other enthusiastic followers of Christ throughout the ages: to know Him.
A man of God is not an ‘us’ person. Something’s fishy with “We believe this or that.” Christianity is a one-to-One issue. The ultimate healthy hc consists of Jesus-and-me adherents intent on surrender and obedience. And when Jesus-and-me people gather, they gather, not unto each other, but unto Him.
Jesus-and-me disciples must guard their hearts from the constant danger of slipping into Jesus-and-us. While Jesus-and-us christians are the norm, a Jesus-and-us disciple is an impossibility. One intent on keeping stride with the assemblage will lose his focus on Christ. And an improper focus will most certainly eventuate a shift of loyalty.
A pleasant and sturdy hc is a Christ-enraptured hc.