Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Global House Church Movement: Declaration #7

It would be tempting to post all of Rad Zdero's bold declarations published in The Global House Church Movement, but I will stop at 3. This one has become increasingly important to me. As we begin our 3rd house church in the Charlotte area, I find one of the biggest battles is helping people transition from sitting passively in their seats (and living passivity during the week) to full engagement in gatherings and body life outside of meetings. I believe what happens on Sunday clearly sets the tone for every other aspect of church life.

A famous radio talk show host jokes that he was made to do his talk show and you and I were made to listen. At least he's working in a secular realm. What excuse do we have for promoting such foolishness in the Church?

Declaration #7
We Declare Common Meetings vs. Holy Rituals

For too long, we Christians have been performing choreographed and polished ceremonies and holy rituals and calling it church. But, the tide is turning!  We now declare a return to the clear New Testament practice of having Spirit-led, open participatory, and interactive "common" meetings where everyone has the right and responsbility to use their spiritual gift for the benefit of others.

Whether it is the Catholic mass, the Orthodox liturgy, or the Protestant sermon from the pulpit, it is unfortunately still spectator Christianity. Instead, we affirm the apostolic practice of open and particpatory meetings.  "What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church." (I Cor 14:26 NIV, emphasis added, see also I Cor 12:7-12, 27-30, I Cor 14:36-38, Col 3:16, Eph 5:19-20, Heb 10:25).

The Spirit of God must be allowed to lead and speak to the church through the church. Jesus should no longer be the guest of honor in church meetings. he should be the Master of Ceremonies. No more one man shows.  No more active few participating for the passive many. No more spectator Christianity.

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