“The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” 1 Corinthians 16:19
For 2000 years followers of Jesus have met in homes all over the world, where ever the Gospel has been preached. In the New Testament, this is how Christians fellowshipped: Acts 2:1-2, 2:46, 5:42, 12:12, 20:20, Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Philemon 2. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Christians meeting like this today and there continue to be many all over the world who do fellowship as the Body of Christ in people’s homes.
Unfortunately, the “House Church Movement” includes as much deception as any of the institutional religious systems. That’s why we don’t advocate joining any “movement” whether religious, theological, denominational, political, economic, educational, etc. We homeschool but we warn against much that is in the “homeschool movement”. We fellowship in people’s homes, but we warn against much that is in the “house church movement”.
In the name of “home church” I’ve seen lists that include, e.g., New Age flavored “Ground Zero” in Kitsap County, Washington State, which has included Catholic nuns and promoted anti-war speaker, Starhawk, a witch!
I’ve seen discussions in which it was clear that some home church advocates did not take God’s Word as seriously as they ought. They might as well have been Unitarian for all of their talk of “tolerance” at the expense of sound doctrine.
There is one name that often comes up in some segments of the “house church movement”, Gene Edwards. I’ve seen some home church websites for him and some against him. As Dan Trotter, who fellowships in a house church, puts it (tongue in cheek), there are those who believe, “Gene Edwards is the Antichrist.” and others that, “Gene Edwards is the fourth person of the Trinity.” I understand that many who came out of the coercive, authoritarian “Shepherding Movement” in the 70’s and 80’s were blessed by Edward’s book, A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness. I bring Gene Edwards up as an example that there are controversies among house church assemblies just as there are among the institutional churches. Guruism remains a problem. All of us must be willing to be open to correction.
I’ve spent at least ten years now exploring what Christians have to say on the internet. Unfortunately, many who understand true New Testament teaching about the Church, are not willing to take a stand against deceptions within the Church. And many Christians who do take a stand against deceptions within the Church are sold out to Institutionalism and the Professional Clergy! It can feel awfully lonely for people who want to be Biblical on both counts. I’m sure some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
What I recommend is that individual Christians be Acts 17 Bereans about EVERYTHING! Let’s not just TALK about the Bible being our standard of Truth, but let it be the standard of Truth when it comes to: Who Jesus is, What is the Gospel, Contending for the Faith, What is the Church, and how should we function and fellowship.
What I recommend is that followers of our Lord Jesus trust him for simple New Testament fellowship; not joining any movement or bandwagon. Consider meeting in homes with other like-minded Believers and be the Church of Jesus together. Consider searching the Web for sites that discuss New Testament Fellowship, Home Church, House Church. Be a Berean and realize that some will be unbiblical and some will be right on. The Truth will set you free!
If you fellowship in a house church, I’d like to hear about it. Or if you have questions about this topic, please write me and refer to this page.