From the OG: Different styles of church--all one Body

Rules and guidelines, and how to do things. Have a question about how the boards work? Here's an answer.
User avatar
Dale
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Posts: 3062
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:46 am
Location: Somewhere between Mordor and Rivendell

From the OG: Different styles of church--all one Body

Postby Dale » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:05 pm

Different styles of church—all one Body

Recently, there has been much debate on the TMB boards in the Off Topic areas about the so-called “simple church” movement and its validity, or lack thereof, especially versus the “traditional church” model. Because of the controversy which this debate engendered, the Oversight Group feels it necessary to clarify the position of TheMarriageBed on this issue.

Since the Church first began, Christians have met and worshipped in a variety of different ways. In the first century, the norm would likely have been what we would term today as a “house church,” where a group of believers would gather together in a home to fellowship and worship. This “style” of meeting together was no doubt due in large part to practical issues, such as clustering in smaller groups meant less notice would be attracted to the group, making it less vulnerable to violence and persecution from outside authorities. Since there were no cars or other means of fast transport in the early days of the Church, this style of meeting together would not place undue burdens and dangers on people by forcing them to travel long distances to meet together.

As times changed, the Church changed its style of fellowshipping together as well. Central places of worship began to be constructed, especially after the legalization of Christianity under Emperor Constantine in the fourth century. The small cluster of believers gathered in someone’s home to worship and pray was gradually overshadowed by a more institutional model, similar in many respects to what we think of today as “traditional-style church.”

One thing remains abundantly clear through all the changes of church history: that where “two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in their midst.” Whether believers gather in a formal church building, complete with crosses and banners and pews and hymnbooks, or whether they gather around a dining room table in someone’s private home, or even on a mountaintop or on a seashore, as long as they are gathering in the Name of Jesus Christ and are worshipping Him in spirit and in truth, then church is taking place!

To get caught up in overly debating the merits of one style of meeting versus another, or to complain that a “simple church” must lack leadership, or that the “traditional church” stifles the Holy Spirit because it is more structured (or whatever other angle you wish to put on the debate), only serves to bring disunity to the Body. Discussing is one thing—calling or insuinating that one style is unbiblical is another. Christians disagree about many things, and that is all right, for good healthy debate is essential (iron sharpens iron, as it says in Proverbs). But in the end, whether we worship in a house church with no one identified as a “pastor”, in a large megachurch with multiple pastoral staff, in a small or medium-sized church where one pastor struggles to make it to every board meeting he can and still preach a good sermon, or any other “style” of church you would care to name, the fact is that anytime Christians come together and worship the God of the Bible as the One True and Living God, then that worship is acceptable to Him. The “painting” of the worship may have differing brushstrokes, but it is the same Artist that varies the hue and shade of the “painting” to His Glory! As followers of Jesus, we dare not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of condemning brothers and sisters in the Lord in an area which is a nonessential to our salvation. Satan delights in dividing us, and in smearing the painting which the Master Artist is creating, but we are to be wise to the ways of he who would drain the color and life from the canvas of our worship!

In conclusion, let us reiterate that we, as the Oversight Group and Moderators of these boards, will not allow the Enemy to gain a foothold through dividing the Body over the issue of which style of “doing church” is the “right” style. We will continue to allow discussions on the topic of the “simple church,” but there will be a tighter rein exhibited in terms of moderation on this issue, as well as all other Hot Topic issues. If at any time, the discussion is deemed to have run its course, or a particular thread has devolved into personal attacks or flaming, the offending posts will be removed, and it is possible the thread would be locked or deleted altogether.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping the TMB boards a safe and healthy place to discuss sexuality from a Godly perspective, and to even veer off into areas of interest that are not germane to the overall emphasis of the boards.

Dale
On behalf of The Oversight Group of TheMarriageBed discussion boards

Return to “Rules, Guidelines, How To's and FAQ's”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users