When you hear the word 'church,' what comes to mind? Due to the twistings and turnings of 1700 years of history, we usually picture a building in which people gather on a Sunday morning to hear a message from a clergyman or partake of a ritual. This is sometimes referred to as 'cathedral' church. It may come as a shock that Christian gatherings in the first century looked very different and that tens of millions today are rediscovering this ancient truth. So, let's very briefly touch on the three big myths about church today.
Myth # 1. Holy Buildings
Many Christians gather in special buildings for their activities. These buildings are sometimes so revered that they are called the 'house of God'. Even those who know buildings are meant to be functional and are not special in themselves, still expend much energy, time, and money maintaining these structures.
Contrast this with the New Testament way of primarily meeting from house to house (Acts 2:46, 5:42, 12:12, 16:14-15, 20:20; Rom 16:3-5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Philemon 1:2). Even today, it has been said that more Christians worldwide are part of house churches than any other kind of church.
There is nothing evil about buildings and nothing magic about homes. However, the existence of a clear Biblical format that better nurtures intimacy and affords everyone's participation, as well as the practical release of time, energy, and money away from building maintenance toward helping the needy, mutual support, evangelism, and discipleship should challenge us to rethink the current practice.
Myth # 2. Holy Men
Ever hear the one about the priest, the minister, and the rabbi? Well, quite frankly, it's no joke. Today, a typical church in North America has a priest, minister, or pastor ...