Interaction: The House Church Book

Click to Order
Click to Order

I wanted to give a little more interaction with this book, as I think it deserves it. One of the principles what Simson has is bringing the Gospel to the people, instead of the people to the church house. He is absolutely correct when he writes that many religions have problems entering into houses devoted to another god, and in our case, the Christian God. If you erase this barrier, you have the ability now to bring people into homes, where there is generally a warm, cozy, feeling, which is more welcoming and conducive to starting a relationship than giant cathedrals and large megachurches.

He gets this and in a big way. Simson gets the fact that for many, Church is a place to go, not something to do daily. In building a house church system, Simson aims to build a community of Christ in the daily lives of others.

However, what bothers me most about this is that it lacks overall structure. Granted, this is is goal, it seems, to keep bureaucracy to a minimum, if at all. Yet, the reason that the Councils first took place, and that the hierarchy developed was because of bad theology, false doctrine, and a general break with Christian Tradition. Admittedly, this is not important to all, but it is important to note that at one time, house and cell churches co-existed with institutional churches, until such people as Arius sprung up.

Further, he likes to play the favorite pastime of Fundamentalists – blame Constantine and Rome. His sketch of history leaves a lot of things to be desired, namely context.

But, what he gets is the reality that Christians must change their habits in order to reach the lost. Further, he gets the barriers present in traditional Christianity – hierarchy, the four walled-mentality, and the desire to have paid clergy and lay people with no one in between. While this book maybe difficult to digest, I think it is important for ministers and lay people to take up and read, to see if their is a cross in there to bear.

You Might Also Like

4 Replies to “Interaction: The House Church Book”

  1. Great observations, Joel. There’s no question HC folks are overcorrecting. I did so with full knowledge that we were doing so. The challenge is how to develop oversight that does not also dominate or constantly overbear. I hope HCers find some balance rather than simply blowing up and running ‘home’.

    Good parents watch over children, but also stimulate their development. Bad parents suffocate their children and train them to helplessness. Same with teachers. Presumably, this should be the same with clergy, but there seem to be certain areas where the clergy never lets the congregation ‘grow up’.

    The tithing/salary situation is another factor that naturally encourages laymen to shirk and ministers to overperform. Good-hearted ministers lament that result more than the laymen, but few have been willing or able to do God’s work for nothing.

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.