Popes and Polls

July 10, 2007 § 9 Comments

Today in one of my yahoo groups, earlychristianstoday, someone posted a poll asking where Christians should worship, in homes or in churches?

I objected to there being only two options with the following:

There aren’t enough options to this poll. I would like to see an “It doesn’t matter” category. There are also no “Catacombs” or “Caves” options, either. 😉

To ask “Where *should* Christians worship?” indicates that there is a definitive, absolute, concrete, scripturally commanded mode for such. All that Scripture says is that they “met in one another’s homes” but it doesn’t say they HAD to– it merely observes that they did. They also met in the synagogues. Eventually, they couldn’t even do those two things, and met in secret places.

This is a debate that is more about preference and tradition than it is about the teachings of Christ or His Apostles, and it isn’t one that is black and white for most folks (I should think– at least, I know it’s not for me.) The reason it even comes up today isn’t so much because folks object to the buildings per se, but to the organizations they represent, and the apostasy wrapped in tradition with which they are filled. But of course, house churches aren’t immune from that.

Personally, I don’t care if we gather in a house, or a basilica, or a tent, or a field, or a van down by the river. Jesus has promised us that wherever we gather in His Name, He is with us. Those called by Him and following His commands are His Church– not the places where we may assemble. We are the aliens, the sojourners, the Kingdom. Christ is where we are, so it shouldn’t matter where we find ourselves or where we worship Him.

Where do we worship Him? In spirit, and in truth.

“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:20-24

So, unfortunately, I can’t participate in the poll, because I don’t see my answer. 🙂

So now, I want to hear what y’all think. Does anyone have a strong opinion about house churches versus “denominational worship”?

On another note, this article might raise some eyebrows. It’s not new but it still may take some by surprise.

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§ 9 Responses to Popes and Polls

  • hearmemeep says:

    On another note, this article might raise some eyebrows. It’s not new but it still may take some by surprise.
    Sad thing is, my grandparents believe that about the Churches of Christ as well. That it’s the only denomination (which, according to them, it’s not a denomination at all) that’s going to heaven.
    Obviously I don’t agree. And please don’t think that all CoC members think that. Just typically the older ones. I love my grandpa to death, but I have to just smile and nod at him in regards to that one… there’s no use arguing him -.-

  • silver_nyssa says:

    I didn’t have time to read the article, but regarding worship: I agree with you. You summed it up here, “There aren’t enough options to this poll. I would like to see an “It doesn’t matter” category. The point isn’t where we worship, it is that we *do* worship. So often (I’m including myself here!) I go to church and am singing and I catch myself because I may be singing the songs, playing the part but my mind is elsewhere. That isn’t worship. But there are also times when I feel to the point of overcome with awe of our Lord and I’m by myself in my room, and I think that is more worshipful than a wandering mind in church.
    Ahem, wrote more than I meant and in a hurry! So I hope it made sense. =)

  • kengara says:

    Wow, that articles DOES take me by surprise.
    Is Benedict doing anything other than making stuff up? :/ Apostolic succession? What does that have to do with salvation at all?

  • eric_hinkle says:

    Are we even sure that the article is reporting his words accurately? Anyone remember last year when he was reported as having ripped into Islam, and it turned out he said the exact opposite?
    When it comes to Catholics — hell, to Christianity in general — I do not trust the media to be accurate.

  • DT says:

    Good point. Actually, I saw someone else say they would check out the Vatican’s website to see what the Official Stance is.

  • DT says:

    Well, the RC church has long (since the Reformation) maintained that they are the True Church, and that they are in direct line from the Rock Christ built on Peter (whom they see as the first Pope.)
    If I understand correctly, (and here I may be making stuff up) at least some of the reasoning is that Christ gave the Apostles the ability to loose and bind, forgive and withhold forgiveness etc. That was an ability exclusive to the apostles, and it is only through that succession that such abilities are maintained and passed on. So if you aren’t in that line of succession, then you can’t be forgiven your sins and thereby saved.
    Not exactly scriptural, but how many churches today can really claim that they reason exclusively from Scripture– or even logically from Scripture?
    BTW, I’m starting a new LJ community, and wanted to invite you, I’ll be making a post about it soon (I’m making it look pretty right now. ;))

  • DT says:

    You are right about the wandering mind thing. The thing is, what we call “church” today is what is called “assembling” in Scripture. The Church are the people who are part of Christ’s body, not the building or the activity of gathering on Sundays (or whenever you might gather.) The Ecclesia– the called out ones– are commanded to meet together, not just for the purpose of worship, but for the edification of the Body. We are supposed to be strengthening our bonds of fellowship by frequent assembling; for exhortation and encouragement, and the sharing of the Eucharist, and to experience koinonia with one another and Christ through the Spirit.
    What we experience today is so completely anemic compared with what is described in Scripture and what was experienced by our early brethren. I’m making a new community, BTW, and hope you might be interested in joining. I’ll make a post about it later.

  • kengara says:

    Yeah, that’s a good point.

  • kengara says:

    Hm I thought those scriptures were probably the basis of RC stuff… it doesn’t quite seem to follow though.
    Good point about not many churches being entirely scriptural 😛 Still, that’s no excuse XD
    I look forward to finding out what your community is about!

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