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There Is Freedom In The House

August 7, 2016

Greetings,

This past week I had both the pleasure and the privilege to be able to participate in three different house church gatherings.  I just love totally free and open, Spirit led fellowship.  To me it is the best way to really go about BEing the Church together.

In all three of these different gatherings every single person present had something of value to contribute and share with the rest of the Body Of Christ.  Every member ministry is a passion of mine and in the fellowships I relate to everyone has the opportunity to share whatever is on their heart and mind.  In an open and free environment where everyone is expected to share in song, prayer, scripture and teaching, some amazing things can happen.  When you allow every age, every gender and every perspective to be shared you always end up being blessed well beyond measure. More importantly Jesus is lifted up and glorified every time instead of being an afterthought.

I know that the concept of absolute freedom in sharing scares the hell out of some people, but listen a minute before you cry HERETIC!  Clergy in the traditional/institutional “church” all say we need structure, but they are dead wrong.  What the church needs is fluidity so we can all FLOW in the Spirit together.  Quite frankly un-flexible structure hinders the work of Christ.  Since 1976 it has been my experience that a free and totally open style is overwhelmingly safer where it comes to heresy and error than a controlled and micromanaged environment could ever be.  In an open setting anyone can interrupt and challenge the sharing of another.  In a closed setting no one would ever dare to interrupt a sermon and challenge the Clergyperson.  However, in open and free house churches based on dialogue rather than monologue helpful interruptions happen all the time.  For the betterment of all involved.   Quite frankly when error or heresy occurs in a free and open church it gets nipped in the bud.  Also in a traditional/institutional “Church” it is easy to hide one’s erroneous beliefs.  Someone might be the biggest heretic ever in a regular “church”, but no one ever finds out because someone there can go sit in a pew for 30 years and never share openly the errors they have in their heart and mind.  So their problematic beliefs are never challenged or changed.  This would never happen in a relationship based, Spirit led, free and open house church.  Because everyone there is expected to share and be open for encouragement and correction from the rest of the Body.  In a traditional “church” it is easy to hide, but try to hide in a living room and you will always be found out.

In short, I love the freedom that is found in a very simple Spirit led Church.  Freedom that cannot be found in a “Church” led by “men”.  It is my desire that everyone be free to share, to listen, to pray, to sing, to teach and to grow in Christ.  Freedom is a difficult thing to find in a traditional, institutional, law promoting “Church”.  But in totally free flowing Spirit led fellowship it can be found all over the place and thoroughly enjoyed.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 Comments
  1. Good post, that’s the way it should be and seldom is, but the Lord will have His ekklesia and there’s nothing the enemy can do about it but make a lot of noise.

    • Thank you for that confirmation Scarlett. The enemy attempts to distract us into focusing on our flesh instead of The Spirit. The enemy only wins when we allow it. He is so very, very weak compared to the grace and power of Christ.

  2. Rich Chamberlin permalink

    Chris, I love the theory of such a get together, maybe in a hundred years or so! For now all I have ever SEEN shared in such a meeting is whatever specific indoctrination they bring with them from the religion organization – (they DO like not having somebody tell them what to do and think.) I really do not need to go to a house to hear such doctrines. For easy example, places that are absolutely certain woman should not speak there. Just wonder, my friend, if you would to address this observation?

    • Rich, this is not a theory to me. It is my experience and reality of 50 years. When the Spirit of CHrist is central, lifted up and honored in our midst our gatherings are a tremendous joy to the Lord and one another. I was never indoctrinated by “man’s” religion. Jesus came to me when I was 4 years old and embraced and taught me about all things faith, love, grace, truth and fellowship. I have had very limited experience with “man’s” church. Other than a college internship I have spent less than a full year of exposure to traditional “church” practices. And from what the Lord taught me since age 4 I knew that “man’s” church was WAY off base and at times anti-christ.
      Many of the Hc’s I relate to are comprised of folks I helped lead to Jesus that had none to very limited experience of any type of church. Others had to go through a season of detox from the lies they learned about Jesus, themselves, the church and others while in the institutional “church”. In the hc circles I relate to we take seriously “that there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We meet together as equal sibling peers under only Christ’s Headship and rule. To us freedom in fellowship is a total reality and NOT a theory or fantasy and together we seek HIS face and guidance each moment. I hope that answers your question Rich? If not please rephrase and let me know?

      • Rich Chamberlin permalink

        That was my point about next century -expect will be then many more available to “lead ( direct) to Christ” as you experienced. Certainly, I agree that passage seems MORE Christ like than Paul’s other one. But could you share with us how the group decides which one to follow? Is it the strongest, most dominant personality? ( as I have seen) Is it simple democracy ?( as I have seen ) Extensive consensus building process? Take it or leave it? I know theory is ” all are Spirit led,” but what form does that actually take? Then, Are there issues and actions that go beyond just hanging out together? ( which as you may know my main focus)

  3. Mercy fulgencio permalink

    Structure is part of the system and the system is part of this world…

    • Mercy you are 100% right. The Church should not structure itself after the ways of the world. Instead we need to allow Christ to mold and shape us as only HE sees fit. We can either be worldly or Christlike. I choose to follow Jesus instead of the world.

    • Rich, we make decisions together when necessary by consensus. But there really aren’t a whole lot of things that require it. Since we meet in homes we don’t have to decide what color carpet or drapes we need. We don’t pass an offering plate, but anyone can suggest an offering if they see a need in our fellowship or the community we live in. Nobody gets paid so finances are never a problem or issue. Our gatherings are free and open and all can share. We simply surrender to the Spirit’s leading and go with the flow. We are also active in each others lives outside of meetings. With many meals and trips together to parks and zoos etc. We have never had a power struggle because we allow the Spirit of Christ to have ALL the power. It really is very simple and free flowing. Does that answer your questions Rich?

      • Rich Chamberlin permalink

        Very good, yes, you help give me new insight, even if indirectly. Very helpful, but if you would like to see how my analytical mind processed connections – that would take awhile! “Short “summery: I see The example I used -people’s focus Paul’s “mixed” message, is simply continuing the common, divisive, organization practice I call endless “dueling bible verses.” ( very academic) You( indirectly) point to a solution – I will paraphrase – let our experience be the tie breaker, so to speak. Thus, In our example, in our meeting, it is most natural, to see EVERYBODY SPEAK, quite naturally. Yes, the operational efficiency you ( and everybody) mention are a very valuable, more faithful improvement. But my interest is seeing improvement to the abstract, academic doctrine focus of the old system, ( theory- ology) which I have NEVER seen anyone address as a benefit of in the house meetings, but which IS made Possible, by removal of the professional priest class/ ceremonial practices! ( more on that last line later.) THANKS CHRIS

  4. Great post brother, and great comments too. Meeting with and doing community body life with other saints this way, has also been my experience for the past 3.5 years. After 22 years in institutional church I had a lot of detoxing to do and it still goes on in areas I wasn’t even conscious of. But I think what you said in one of your comments is the key thing- it is learning to live and meet together under Christ’s Headship. So there’s a lot of unlearning to do for many, in order to let Christ be Head in a gathering and in life together. But you know, He is so good at it! He is such a wonderful leader of His church! Praise God that He is drawing so many out of the man made dead structured into His own expression of Himself. How glorious!

    • Great comment Donnalee! You are right it takes a lot of unlearning when you have been taught falsehoods for years and unlearning according to experts takes more time and effort than learning in the first place. Christ is the most excellent leader and doesn’t need “man” usurping that role from HIM ever. It is all so very, very simple, but “men” love to complicate things so that you need to rely upon them for the answers. Jesus is The Good Shepherd and all other shepherds are bad ones.

  5. "BK" permalink

    Hi, Rich. I enjoy your thoughtful questions and read through them a few times trying to see how I could best relate. As Christopher has said, such free and open meetings are indeed beyond theory; not just for him but for me and for others. Granted, we haven’t met a ton of them but that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t more….we just have not yet come across them. In my own experience I have to say when decisions need to be met all of what you mention can and have happened….concensus, dominant personality, take it or leave it or a mix of those things. There are times something can be ‘swayed’ due to persuasive and dominant pushing but the beauty of those times is that the Lord does still prevail….it just sometimes takes longer. As far as the baggage and agenda that each one can bring to the table from where they just came from, or feel they have special insight, I have come to see that sometimes what I call ‘baggage’ is simply something that may be credible in the Lord’s eyes and while I’m waiting for them to ‘get it’ and come to a better understanding of spiritual things, it the Lord Who is actually waiting for ME. I am convinced the Lord is more interested in each one bringing the portion the Spirit gave them and letting Him sort out which part is agenda and which part is pet doctrine and what part is life; adding, weeding cultivating all the way. I meet so many people who are in that ‘waiting’ stage who could be enjoying the freedom of fellowship outside of Babylon’s walls if they could but put aside their own agenda and preference. Once when I was reading Romans 14 where it speaks of ‘the weaker brother who prefers herbs’ the Lord spoke to me ‘Have you ever noticed that no one sees themself as that weaker vessel? Everyone feels that verse speaks to ‘the other guy’. As we grow up into the love described by the scriptures and birthed in our hearts through the Spirit we find there are less and less Bible verse dueling and more and more true consideration and valuing of what each person feels God has shown them. I used to weary of ‘just hanging out’ until I experienced the life that flows as we ‘hang out’ and let God speak however He wishes….whether through Bible verses, or spiritual manifestations such as tongues or prophesy, or together prayer or discussing the beauty of the sunset we saw yesterday. I’m probably rambling a bit here, trying to kind of tie my response together with all the posts. Just my meanderings through here and I would like to say once again, “Oh yes, it’s definitely a reality here and now.” And if we wait till the next century, or next millennium to see it spread so be it; it will have been worth the wait and the effort. Love, “BK”

    • Great response BK! Where it comes to decision making we wait upon the Lord together until HE makes clear to us via the Body what to do. So there is a lot of waiting, “but those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength….”

    • Rich CHamberlin permalink

      BK my field, calling, is the alternative, antidote for traditional divisive abstract academic theory- ology. It is here I see the efficiency of choice to meet in house, holds some real promise. For it is free from the professional priest class, which is the source of such scripture speculation – I believe no normal person has ever come up with a doctrine! But both the local staff positions and system of seminary professors, which produce them, share 2 unfortunate features – too much time on their hands and job obligation to come up with “new” interesting, attention grabber, every week. While it is natural to continue to cherish these academic gems we have each collected, in time they may grow dusty with disuse

      • I hear you Rich. Better to be a Spirit led child or Spirit led simpleton than a book learned bible led Clergy”man”. Academics can really get in the way of being led by the Spirit of Christ.

      • "BK" permalink

        Amen, Rich. Amen. Thank you, ‘BK”

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