The new denomination?
I am listening to a podcast by Brad and Wayne from “The God Journey” and I think it is one of the strongest, most realistic warnings to the “House Church Movement”. Listening to Wild and Free! and thinking hard about my own motivations, I get a little worried.
Here is a quote from the podcast description:
“Wayne is back from the National House Church Convention he spoke at in Dallas, TX and shares with Brad some of his joys and frustrations he experiences at a conference like that. While enjoying the people and the journeys they are on, it is also frustrating to be alongside a movement that thinks the next step is to focus on infrastructure and leadership.”
It seems like when there is something new, and pure and honest, someone will screw it up. Someone will decide, either out of selfish ambition or misplaced ambition, to define and lead it.
I know what “conferences” are. I’ve seen how people (churches) feel disconnected if they don’t have representation at “conferences”. Conferences take autonomous groups, stack them up together, and form a system and rules and clicks. They fear being “alone” in the world. It’s comforting. Individual worth becomes defined by who you know and where you’ve been (other than Christ and the cross). We want to be a part of something where we get approval and acceptance from others.
Russ Reese commented on the podcast and said, “I realized that most of what I had done in the church was to get “approval” from strangers.”
I worry when things get big. When people with pure hearts for God find something that has been hidden for a long time, and more and more people are drawn to it, Satan will not take kindly to it. I think he has had an easy time here in America lately in distracting christians. He may just have his game face on now with these simple churches, trying to draw them in to the “HCM”. Then they may be just another denomination ruled by men and not God.
“A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.” (From Wikipedia)