Meeting Place of Christ's Body

1 Corinthians 3:1
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Meeting Place of Christ's Body

Postby Chette » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:03 pm

I was very moved to almost outrage over a mans teaching that the church needs to get back to its roots and meet in small home church groups rather than large fellowship halls calling the latter a perversion of the word of God.  Of course he could give no Biblical verse to back his claim to that last statement.

While simple observation we see Christ met in homes, Synagogues, fields in the wilderness, mountain sides, lake and river sides this truth is evident, however the mobility of his ministry and the shear numbers of people often required such.  

But was it meant to be like that always?  I think not as all religions may have started out the same way but all, almost always ended up in a building.  Which explains why when speaking on pagan religious buildings in the Book of Acts they are called "churches".  

Acts19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.  
From the context there were not Christian church meeting places established yet therefore the logical conclusion is they wee speaking of Pagan religious buildings.

While Paul like Christ also met in many different places to teach the word of God which also included a school building so we know that home churches were not the only places of fellowshipping believers to meet to the error of the Home church movement.  Very interesting is by the middle of Paul's Ministry there were church buildings or regular meeting places established.  While some of the following verses could have a double meaning for individuals I believe they represent the truth that church buildings, places of Christian worship and teaching were established during the Ministry of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
1Cor 4:17 ¶ For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
1Cor 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Cor 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
1Cor 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
1Cor 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Php 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Col 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the [epistle] from Laodicea.
1Thes 1:1 ¶ Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians [which is] in God the Father and [in] the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.


The error of the Home church movement is their preconceived idea that there were no established church buildings in the NT and if they quote a scripture to prove their view it is limited to the verses that show it in a home.  

But the truth of the matter is organized church buildings or meeting places were well established long before the completion of the NT scriptures.
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.

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Re: Meeting Place of Christ's Body

Postby George » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:14 pm

Aloha Brother Chette,

I just posted a new Thread (“DOES THE WORD “CHURCH” IN THE BIBLE = A BUILDING?”) on the King James Bible Believers Forum, where I expanded on the usage of the words “church” and “churches” as found within the pages of the Holy Bible. Please check out the essay for a more thorough study on the subject.

Although I firmly believe that you have a legitimate concern about the so-called home-church movement, I sincerely believe that you are in error concerning the way you are trying to refute it. Sincere Bible believers do not have to prove that the early Christians met in buildings other than houses in order to refute home-church advocates; we simply have to prove that God never gave a commandment for the early Christians to only meet in a house, nor did He prohibit them from meeting in buildings other than houses. A thorough search of the New Testament (in the King James Bible) will demonstrate the fact that:
  • God gave no Commandment to Christians saying: “Thou shalt only meet in a house.”
  • Nor did God Command Christians: “Thou shalt not meet in buildings other than a house.”
In the absence of any such commandments, so-called home-church advocates are found to be ADDING to the Holy words of God, and they are “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” [Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7], and as such, they should be avoided at all costs [Romans 16:17-18]. It’s as simple as that!

In an attempt to prove that the early Christians met in buildings other than houses, you supplied 10 verses of Scripture from the Holy Bible which, you contend, demonstrate that the words “church” or “churches” can be defined as a building or buildings rather than:

“a particular group of people gathered (or assembled) together in one place for a specific purpose.”

I shall endeavor to demonstrate (from the Holy Bible) that none of the ten verses that you supplied can mean a “building” or “buildings” (especially with the testimony of Scripture in the Thread: “DOES THE WORD “CHURCH” IN THE BIBLE = A BUILDING?”). As you examine the verses, please keep in mind that the definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with   fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
QUESTION: Did Paul and Barnabas ordain elders in every building or did they ordain elders in multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints) in every city? What have elders to do with a building? Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that every church is equal to every building, nor does the verse decidedly identify every church with buildings.


1Corinthians 4:17 ¶ For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
QUESTION: Is the Apostle Paul speaking about teaching in every building or is he speaking about teaching in multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)? What has teaching to do with buildings? The purpose of teaching is to edify people (i.e. the brethren); buildings can not be edified by teaching. Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that every church is equal to every building, nor does the verse decidedly identify every church with buildings.


1Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
NOTICE: Paul did not say “when ye come together into the church” (which would have meant that the church was a building) he said “when ye come together in the church”. (See my comments on the word “into” in Scripture.) Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that a church is a building, nor does the verse decidedly identify a church with a building.


1Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
QUESTION: Is the Apostle Paul speaking about the whole building coming together, or is he speaking about a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) coming together? The answer is obvious. Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that the whole church is a building, nor does the verse decidedly identify the whole church with a building.

            
1Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
QUESTION: Is the Apostle Is Paul speaking about a building, or is he speaking about people, i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints)? Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that a church is a building, nor does the verse decidedly identify a church with a building.


1Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
QUESTION: Is it a shame for women to speak in a building, or is it a shame for women to speak “in the church” - i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints)? Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that a church is a building, nor does the verse decidedly identify a church with a building.


Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
NOTE: At the beginning of his Epistle to the Philippians the Apostle Paul addresses the Letter to “all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons”, and then further on he refers to them as a “church” [Philippians 4:15]. QUESTION: If the “church” at the city of Philippi communicated with Paul, was the “church” a building which communicated with Paul, or was the “church” a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) which communicated with Paul? HOW does a building communicate with anyone? Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that a church is a building, nor does the verse decidedly identify a church with a building.


Colossians 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. {I have included Colossians 4:15 for context. - G. A.}
Colossians 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the [epistle] from Laodicea.
QUESTION: Was there a separate building in Nymphas’ house, or was there a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) in his house?

QUESTION: In the light of Colossians 4:15, is the Apostle Paul speaking about a building or is he speaking about people, i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints)? Remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage. Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that a church is a building, nor does the verse decidedly identify a church with a building.


1Thessalonians 1:1 ¶ Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians [which is] in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
QUESTION: Is “the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ” a building, or is it a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people? Can a building be IN “God the Father” or IN “the Lord Jesus Christ” [Romans 8:1; 12:5; 16:7; 1Corinthian 1:30; 2Corinthians 5:17; 12:2; Galatians 1:22; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; 4:21; 1Thessalonians 2:14; 4:16]? Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, the verse does not clearly say that a church is a building, nor does the verse decidedly identify a church with a building.


Acts19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.  
In the case of Acts 19:37, if someone wants to privately interpret the word “churches” to mean “temples” (i.e. buildings instead of people), they should be extremely careful since the use of the word “churches” throughout the rest of the Holy Bible clearly is confined to multiple churches within a Roman Province or Region. And in addition, many of the corrupt new translations change the word “churches” to “temples” in this verse (a.k.a. the New American Standard, etc.), which changes the scriptural meaning of the word as found within the Holy Bible. The fact is robbers do not “rob” buildings; they “rob” from people. Buildings do not own things, people do.

The word “churches” (plural) in Acts 19:37 is used by the town clerk of Ephesus in reference to groups of people (i.e. idol worshipers) - NOT buildings. And so we have:
The word “churchesequals groups of people (in this particular case - assemblies of pagan people) who gathered together in various places for the specific purpose of worshiping a “Female Deity”, sacrificing to a “Female Deity”, and serving a “Female Deity”. Sound familiar?

Regardless of what anyone may think or believe, Acts 19:37 does not clearly say that churches are buildings, nor does the verse decidedly identify churches with buildings. Remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.

The scriptural facts are crystal clear and irrefutable. When speaking about the word “church”, the Holy Bible (i.e. the King James Bible) consistently uses the word as “a particular group of people gathered (or assembled) together in one place for a specific purpose”. And again, when speaking about “the church of God” (i.e. a New Testament “church”), the Holy Bible (i.e. the King James Bible) consistently uses the word as “a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) meeting in a particular place for a specific purpose (i.e. to worship and to glorify Almighty God; to edify the brethren; and to fellowship with each other).


CONCERNING THE WORD “INTO” IN CONJUNCTION WITH BUILDINGS

A thorough search in the New Testament of the word “into” in conjunction with various buildings reveals that the word “into” is never used in conjunction with the words “church” or “churches”. To save space, I will not list all of the verses where the word “into” precedes the word “house”, or where it precedes the word “synagogue”, but I will list the verse references for those who may be interested in further study:

There are a total of 44 verses with the word “into” preceding the word “house” in the Holy Bible.
[Matthew 2:11; 8:14; 9:23,28; 10:12; 12:4, 29, 44; 13:36; 17:25; Mark 1:29; 2:11, 26; 3:19, 27; 6:10; 7:17, 24; 9:28; 13:15; Luke 1:40; 4:38; 5:24; 6:4; 7:36, 44; 8:41, 51; 9:4; 10:5, 38; 14:1;  22:10, 54; Acts 8:3; 9:17; 10:22;11:12; 16:15, 34, 40; 18:7; 21:8; 2 John 1:10]

There are 10 verses with the word “into” preceding the word “synagogue” in the Holy Bible.
[Matthew 12:9; Mark 1:21; 3:1; Luke 4:16; 6:6; Acts 13:14; 14:1; 17:10; 18:19; 19:8]

NOTE: It is interesting to note that while the word “into” is used approximately 54 times to describe the action of someone (or more than one person) physically entering into a building (i.e. a house or a synagogue). However, a thorough search of the entire Bible reveals that the word “intonever precedes the words “church” or “churches”; nor is it used in conjunction with either word. IF either the word “church” or the word “churches” is in reference to a building, or buildings, there should be a few places in the Bible where a person (or persons) entered into achurch” or where they entered intochurches”; but there is no scriptural record of anyone doing so.

With the introduction of the word “into” before both the words house and synagogue in the Holy Bible, it becomes crystal clear that a house in Scripture equals a building; and that a synagogue in Scripture equals a building (which precludes the theory of the church being patterned after the synagogue, since a church is a group of people and a synagogue is a building). The fact that the word “intonever precedes the words “church” or “churches” in the Holy Bible, and that the word is never used in conjunction with either word, reinforces the teaching that the words “church” and “churchesnever refer to a building or buildings in the Holy Bible!


THE HOME-CHURCH GROUPS’ ERROR IS INSISTING ON A DOCTRINE THAT CAN NOT BE SUPPORTED BY SCRIPTURE:

IF the following scriptural principle is true of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints):

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

WHY are Christians (professed Bible believers) so concerned about WHERE we meet? Whether we meet in a house or in a barn; or in a hotel or in a condo; or in a school or in a building specifically designed for believers to worship in; or if we choose to even meet in a park or in a field; the Holy Bible states: “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”!

WHY all the fuss and concern over WHERE we meet to worship the Lord? Instead of debating and disputing over WHERE we meet, we should be concerned about HOW we meet. We should be far more concerned about WHAT we do when we meet. WHERE we meet is inconsequential compared to HOW we conduct ourselves when we do meet - WHEREVER that may be!

Home-church Christians who insist that Christians must meet only in houses (and who condemn other Christians for meeting in a building other than a house) are like the hypocritical Pharisees of old, thinking they can please God in the flesh by observing places of worship rather than following the practice and conduct of Christians in the Apostle Paul’s day in their governance and operation of the church of God, and in their personal conduct towards each other. Observing days, diet, and places of worship are not near as important as following the Holy words of God in spirit and in truth [John 4:23-24].  PLEASE REMEMBER:
  • God has no Commandment to Christians saying: “Thou shalt only meet in a house.”
  • Nor does God Command Christians: “Thou shalt not meet in buildings other than a house.”
NOTE: The following statements of fact are in regards to the historical “church of God”, or the historical “churches of God”. The “spiritual” and “doctrinal” application is not under consideration, only the Scriptural historical record, historical setting, and historical context (as presented and testified to in the Holy Bible) is under consideration. Believing that “all scripture” - “is profitable for doctrine” and “for instruction in righteousness”; I shall attempt to conclude this matter. According to the numerous Scriptures I have presented in the numerous Posts I have made on this Forum in the past in regards to the subject of “the church of God”, I firmly believe that I established the following historical facts:

1. Historically: In the Holy Bible, the words church (singular) or churches (plural) were never used to describe a building or buildings. (Check out my new Thread on the issue.)

2. Historically: In the Holy Bible, the word church is always used to describe a particular group of people gathered (or assembled) together in one place for a specific purpose.

3. Historically: In the Holy Bible, “the church of God” is always a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) meeting in a particular place for a specific purpose (i.e. to worship and to glorify Almighty God; to edify the brethren; and to fellowship with each other).

4. Historically: In the Holy Bible, the word churches (with the exception of Acts 19:37) is always used to describe multiple churches - i.e. multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ - within a region or province (or regions and provinces) within the Roman Empire.

5. Historically: In the Holy Bible, the word churches is never used to describe multiple churches within an individual city within the Roman Empire.

6. Historically: In the Holy Bible, there was only one church in each individual city within the Roman Empire. And with the exception of Matthew 16:18 & 18:17; Acts 7:38; and Hebrews 12:23, the word church (singular) is always used (within the historical context) to describe an individual church within an individual city within the Roman Empire.

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
George Anderson    http://www.thywordistruthkjv.com/

. . . . . yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written . . . . . Romans 3:4
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Re: Meeting Place of Christ's Body

Postby armadillo » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:11 am

Amen! Brother George.

Thank you for your most thorough examination of this issue, which really should be no issue at all, and I have never understood why it would be an issue, other than the enemy using one more tactic in his arsenal to get believers side-tracked on issues that do not matter, and away from the principle functions of making disciples and preaching the gospel.

I have "assembled with" believers in different types of buildings (traditional buildings which churches meet in, to hotel conference rooms, to a warehouse, to a Juvenile detention center, to a prison), in homes, on top of a mountain, on a fútbol field, and by a river.  Some assemblies have been regular, and others have been sporadic.  Sometimes we do not have musical instruments, but most of the time we have.  Sometimes we "break bread", sometimes we are not able to.  Sometimes, I've walked into a traditional building, where a supposed church regularly met, and even though the people had all the appearance of a church, I knew in my spirit, it was a den of devils.

As you so covered, I have never seen in scripture where the location of assembling was mandated.  I've never had a problem with a church that met in a home, unless their meeting place became their hobby-horse and they began to preach against meeting in a building.  Additionally, many involved in the so-called "home-church movement" are strong proponents of modern versions, and so naturally they are unsound in other doctrinal areas.  As to the location, I would say a church should meet wherever it is most convenient.  There may come a time when churches in the US and other historically Christian friendly countries, will once again have to meet "underground" in secret, just like they currently do in heavily persecuted countries, such as China, Iran, Tunisia, Nigeria, and other such hostile nations.  I've even read in history books, that during the persecutions of the Roman empire, at times when public assembly was forbidden, some groups of believers were "organized" as "cemetery associations" and met in the graveyards.  Of course, I cannot speak to the validity of the source, but I did think it interesting and germane to the thread.

I especially appreciate what you wrote in the following quote:

Instead of debating and disputing over WHERE we meet, we should be concerned about HOW we meet. We should be far more concerned about WHAT we do when we meet. WHERE we meet is inconsequential compared to HOW we conduct ourselves when we do meet - WHEREVER that may be!


Thank you.
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