Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What about the "house church" movement?

Bryan Denlinger has recently released some videos saying that having a "church building" is completely foreign to the New Testament and that it is a sin to have one. Denlinger says that since the Bible does not tell you to have a church building, then it is wrong to have one. His logic is very much like the Campbellites. The Campbellites say that since Matthew through Revelation do not command you to play musical instruments, then it is wrong for you to play them.

Bryan Denlinger's entire argument is based on silence. By his logic, being on Youtube is a sin because the Bible does not say that you can be on Youtube.

Here is just one of his church building rants....

A lot of house churchers are very arrogant people, proclaiming their own righteousness for doing house church while all of the other brethren are living in sin by meeting in a building. As I listen to Denlinger I could not help but think of these two verses:

Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Paul said that bodily exercise, the mere performance of physical tasks or rituals, does not make you godly. But Bryan Denlinger says that if you go to a church building you are sinning against God and if go into a house church then you are being godly. 

Denlinger's argument is completely illogical. Here are some points on house church vs building church. 

1.) The Bible does not command us to assembly locally, much less WHERE to assemble. (the oft cited statement in Heb. 10:25 is not in the context of the Body of Christ assembling locally)

2.) If the local church is about preaching the word of God and serving the Lord with the help of fellow believers, why does it matter if you meet in a house or a building that you build for that purpose? Denlinger is focused on physical structures rather than the purpose of the local church. He has made it about buildings instead of Christ.

3.) The building I assemble at has equipment to put scriptures together with and then send them to missionaries. The equipment couldn't possibly fit in our houses. Having a building allows you to have more resources to carry out the work of the Lord.

4.) Denlinger says meeting in a church building is a sin. What verse of scripture is it violating? Is there a verse that says WHERE believers can meet?

5.) Denlinger says that church buildings are "completely foreign to the New Testament. That is simply not true. The Corinthian church was not meeting in a house. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:22, "What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?" So apparently the Corinthians were NOT meeting in each others houses. Also, why would unbelievers come into someones house (1 Cor. 14:23)? The text implies that the church was in a public place where "unlearned and unbelievers" could just walk in.

6.) Houses cannot hold as many people as a building can.

7.) Most people wouldn't want to have an assembly at their house every week.

8.) Most houses don't have enough bathrooms for an assembly of people.

9.) Why would you care if other people were meeting in a house or a building, it isn't any of your business.

10.) If you have church at your house, then your house becomes a church building. (a house is a building, and the believers are a church....CHURCH BUILDING)

11.) Is having church out in a field a sin? The Bible doesn't say anything about it, so by your logic, that would have to be a sin too.

12.) You say 501c3 church buildings are owned by the government. Does that mean people couldn't have church on a military base or government own housing, since those places are owned by the government?

Obviously church buildings are not the "house of God" and they are not holy places (as the house churchers accuse us of believing), but often times they are helpful and convenient tools. There is nothing wrong with house churches either. When I was a kid my dad had a church service on our back porch. It is a matter of person preference. The Bible does not say where to meet, because the issue is never the building. The purpose of the local church is to hear the teaching of the word of God, it does not matter where you assemble. (well, meeting at a bar wouldn't be a good idea)

Lastly, Denlinger said that the antichrist will get all of our church buildings during Daniel's 70th Week. That is a silly argument. Once we're raptured to Heaven, we cannot help what we leave behind. And is there anything that the antichrist won't get? He's going to take over the world you know.

The house church debate is just a silly, illogical debate that is not even worth getting into. Denlinger has taken his position to the extreme. He even named a Christian (Dr. Peter Ruckman) that he said was going to lose a lot of rewards at the Judgement Seat of Christ because they did not have a house church. The whole debate is ridiculous. Bryan Denlinger doesn't have the authority to tell anyone where they can or can't assemble. And it is very foolish of Denlinger to say who is going to lose rewards and who isn't....

"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." 1 Corinthians 4:5

--Eli "Hoss" Caldwell

1 comment:

  1. Would Brian agree with Jesus,Who preached the Sermon on the Mount NOT in either a 'church' or a house group/home, but outside?
    How many times have we read about Jesus or Paul and others preaching outside in the open?


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