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.