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Author Topic: My Former Youth Group Leader gets into Organic Churches  (Read 11830 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nyssa The Hobbit
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« on: September 11, 2007, 07:58:29 PM »

When my youth group leader was fired 4 1/2 years ago for lack of funds at the local Evangelical Free church, he took a new position of outreach among twentysomethings, a group called Connect. I still get mailings from it. It turned into a coffee house, basically a place for twentysomethings to come together and hang out, sing, have Bible studies, etc. It was also meant to attract young people who didn't go to church, but were curious. The hope was, as they got involved in this group, they'd be attracted to Christianity, then start going to a church.

The last couple of Connect mailings have been quite alarming. Somehow, my old youth group leader has gotten into the Simple Church/Organic Church movement. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_church for more information. Connect is hosting an Organic Church planting event at a local church next month. The newsletter now defines Connect this way: "Connect is a small group of mostly young adults in [city], who desire to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and help others do the same. We desire to be the Church in this world in which we live. We desire to take the church to the people where they are at. We desire to see small organic churches birthed in homes, businesses and among families." In another part of the newsletter, this is referred to as "small informal churches."

We just got our latest phone book; the Evangelical Free church, which had been going through problems for a few years, is no longer listed. I can't help but wonder if my old youth group leader has gotten involved in this Organic Church movement because his own church went kaput. But look at the Criticism section of the Wikipedia article, and you'll see my own concerns as well. These Organic Churches are not meant to be little gatherings in addition to your own church services and activities; they are meant to be your actual church.

This is on the site http://www.house2house.net/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=2:

Quote
Buildings, programs, and professional clergy are not essential elements of a church.

Quote
Does a house church need a leader or pastor?

Although all house churches are different, and they decide individually how they want to do things, in general there are no "pastors." At least there doesn't need to be. We believe that the Holy Spirit can use any believer to teach or encourage the group. In a house church, everyone is expected to participate and be looking for ways to use the gifts the Holy Spirit provides (see 1 Cor. 14:26).

Certainly there is usually a facilitator of the group (although it doesn't need to be the same person that faciliatates from meeting to meeting). We believe that even a new believer could start a church in their home without feeling like they need a trained professional to come and lead it, or needing money to support such a person. We find that the lack of a specified pastor encourages every person in the group to look for answers by searching the Scriptures and looking to the Holy Spirit, rather than depending on the pastor to interpret.

Quote
·  What do you do with the kids?

Each group will be different, but our principle is to try to include the kids in everything that is possible. So, usually it is the kids who "drive" the worship. They are the ones who choose the songs, will often take part in testimony or sharing, and will help if we are praying with someone.

However, when it comes to studying the Word, the groups will vary. Some provide activities so that the kids can just play quietly alongside what is going on with the adults. Others will have a specific kids activity planned. Yet others will let them play elsewhere under the supervision of an older kid.

The variety of possibilities is endless. But the kids are not just a part of the church of the future -- they are the church of right now too. They are allowed to be kids. They have the same Holy Spirit in them as the adults -- not somehow a lesser "kiddie" version. I believe that one day we will see kids starting churches (as they are in many other parts of the world) and moving powerfully in many ways. .


·  What do you do when you get together?

Again, this will vary from church to church . . . but here are some of the basic elements that tend to be present in every house church:

FOOD - When you get together, eat! It provides a great atmosphere for people to have honest open communication with each other.

OPEN PARTICIPATION - 1 Corinthians 14:26 is the basis for what we do when we get together. The key is “Each one has…” Everybody should be able to take part.

BIBLE STUDY - Keep it simple and interactive. A great technique is to look over a few verses together and then share with each other what each person gets out of the verses.

PRAYER - Find out what is happening in each other’s lives and take the time to pray for each other. Expect God to move powerfully and to speak to the group as you pray.

SIMPLICITY - Make sure that whatever you do can be duplicated. If the church is going to multiply rapidly it must be kept simple.


·  How do you handle ceremonial events?

This is yet another area where many house churches differ, but here are some suggestions:

WEDDINGS - We usually encourage couples to have a civil wedding (in front of a Justice of the Peace) on a Friday to deal with the legal issues, and then have anything that they and their house church want for the real wedding that weekend. We have seen all sorts of fabulous weddings from simple, in gardens, to full regalia in borrowed church buildings. We encourage them that the marriage before God within the church in the home is the time to consider themselves married, but that the legal part needs to be done for a variety of reasons, not least out of respect for the State and because the piece of paper does help to bind a couple together.

BAPTISMS - Be creative! We have had (or heard of) baptisms in jacuzzis, bathtubs, swimming pools, and lakes.

LORD'S SUPPER - Again, the way that people in different house churches handle the Lord's Supper varies widely. If you are interested, Steve Atkerson wrote an interesting article on the Lord's Supper called "The Last Snack"(printed in issue 1 of House2House magazine).

Quote
How do house churches deal with the issue of being under authority?

This varies widely between house churches. Most that we find ourselves associated with recognize who the people were who helped them come into being. As Paul stated to the Corinthians, "For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I ask you to follow my example and do as I do" (1 Cor 4:15-16). Clearly Paul expected, like any parent, that his children would recognize him, not because of some office that he held, but because of the relationships that had been built.


·  Is authority that big of an issue (with denominations it certainly is)?

My answer (Tony Dale) would be a resounding, "No." It really is not a big issue. It is the natural outflow of relationship. If authority is not based on relationship, but on position, then we have moved into that which Jesus forbid (see Matthew 20:24-27)!


·  Some organizations require a Pastor's signature, how do we get around this?

Within most home churches there is someone who is genuinely doing the pastoral (in the Biblical sense) type work of tending the flock, without lording it over them. Just agree together that such a person will sign as “pastor” for your group when it is needed.

There are good groups, such as the American Evangelistic Association (see http://www.aeaintl.org/) who are willing to provide “ordination papers” to an appropriate person(s) within your group as agreed by your group. We know many who have used this to help with such official functions as getting visiting parking rights at hospitals or access to prisons.

The "Last Snack"HuhHuh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe my old youth group leader is getting into something so alarming. In a group like this, how do you prevent the spread of heresies? A group which doesn't even have a real pastor? No seminary degree, nothing, unless he happened to get this through his former denomination?

Here: http://www.house2house.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=48 is that "Last Snack" article.

Is there anything I can possibly do besides pray?  I can go to my old friend's website, Myspace page, or e-mail if I should try to warn him about this.  But I don't know if it would be a good idea.

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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 10:06:14 PM »

Wow, this is some rather heretical stuff.  And "Last Snack" ... what disrepect for the body and blood of Christ.  Lord have mercy.  I think prayer is definitely the best route here.  Best wishes!
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 08:31:56 AM »

Sounds like a rehash of the 1960 with the Jesus Freeks, Campus Crusade for Christ etc, which tried to make the Most Holy Trinity alive for people.  Some of these people went deeper and  eventually  came into the Orthodox Church while others continued to develop their own ideas of what a church should be and became the mega churches where  popular  tripe is packaged and repackaged to keep it "relevant" and what we use to call "hip".

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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2007, 08:54:57 AM »

Innovative although rather strange and unfortunately not The Church.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2007, 09:06:31 AM »

Sounds like a rehash of the 1960 with the jesus Freeks, Campus Crusade for Christ etc, which tried to make the Most Holy Trinity alive for people.  Some of these people went deeper and  eventually  came into the Orthodox Church while others continued to develope their own ideas of what a church should be and became the mega churches where  popular  tripe is packaged and repackaged to keep it "relevant" and what we use to call "hip".

I agree, it really does sound like that.  The funny thing about that, though, is that every time someone tries to make the church "relevant" or "modern" it ends up cutting out the meaningful parts that connect us with the actual church.  I was rereading the quoted sections above and saw that bible studies are just a few verses that everyone comments on with their thoughts, their interpretations.  That's nice, but what good does that do? What if no one really understands what it means, is it still possible to "get something out of it?"  A few years ago I was having lunch in the work breakroom when a commercial came on TV about a Christian dating service called Equally Yoked.  Each of the five or six other people there were trying to figure out what that meant... was it Equally Yolked, like two eggs being similar?  What's a yoke?  I explained the idea came from harnessing two oxen together; if they're of unequal strength or speed, you're going to have a really hard time plowing a straight row and the yoke may break under the stress of the two animals pulling against each other.  Pretty good visual aid for marriage, but if you don't have the farming background or bother to research the passage, how will you ever know what it means?  I fear a lot of these organic churches are missing out on some vivid scriptures and church traditions/practices by not having a pastor with formal training.  It's not much more than a motivational speech.  Besides that, who keeps the "facilitator" in check?  Can there be any way to ensure what is taught isn't heretical and spiritually damaging?  

Hopefully these groups will go the way of Peter Gillquist, et. al., eventually.  I think it's inevitable that they'll continue searching for something with deeper meaning, if they're serious at all about the faith.
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2007, 09:29:08 AM »

Each of the five or six other people there were trying to figure out what that meant... was it Equally Yolked, like two eggs being similar?  What's a yoke?
You see how effective the name was? It naturally screened out those who had no knowledge of the Epistles. Wink
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2007, 06:17:25 PM »

My old youth group leader is helping to host a Greenhouse Retreat by the CMA. Here's what they say about organic churches:

Quote
Times are changing. People are crying out for an authentic encounter with the true God and a community of friends. There are many who are longing to experience church in a fresh and simple way. To put a word to it, they long for something more—organic. The organic church is an old concept. It is so old, it is now new. It’s ancient yet future. Church should happen wherever life happens. Organic church planting is church planting “from the dirt”. It begins where the lost are, bringing church to people rather than bringing people to church. Organic churches are simply about relationships: with God, the family of God, and those who do not yet know God.

The Greenhouse is a relational context for leaders from a city or region to gather together in a supportive environment and learn more about church and church planting from oneanother and the Scriptures. The Organic Church Planters' Greenhouse includes two regional weekend retreats and regular monthly gatherings. Greenhouse sites are springing up around the U.S. and world.

There's a movement afoot in postmodern America. It's a movement toward spirituality...into relationships...for purpose. People are looking for these things -and they are finding them -in the occult, self-made religions, and grass-roots social action groups. And sadly, it's a movement away from church. People just aren't waking up on Sunday morning saying, "HEY, I think the church is what I need to provide meaning and hope!" What's more, there's a lot of Christian people and leaders who are longing to do church in a fresh, more "organic" way.

It's time for the church in America to learn how God is moving with power in the growing church around the world. It's time for us to sit at the feet of missionaries and martyrs who have quietly planted the gospel in places of hardship...and still seen incredible fruitfulness. It's time for us to make choices that might mean we trade in our personal dreams and visions for the glory of God and the gladness of all peoples.

From http://www.cmaresources.org/greenhouse/details.asp.

More articles from that website that particularly make my toes curl:

http://www.cmaresources.org/articles/embracing_thedeath.asp
(I'd hate to see what they'd say about Orthodox churches which struggle to survive despite low numbers.)

http://www.cmaresources.org/articles/abride_revived.asp
(Considering the conclusions he came to, I have to wonder who gave him that "vision.")

http://www.cmaresources.org/articles/keeping_heresy_out.asp
(I bet he wouldn't like us using the Church Fathers as guides.)
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2007, 07:04:09 PM »

You see how effective the name was? It naturally screened out those who had no knowledge of the Epistles. Wink

Well, whaddya know!  They're on to something after all!  LOL  Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2007, 07:04:57 PM »

Nyssa, thanks for the links!  I'm interested to see where this leads. 
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2007, 07:35:52 PM »

I thought about getting off the mailing list, but I'd rather see where this leads, myself.  Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2007, 12:33:55 AM »

This stuff sounds kind of like the Plymouth Brethren groups or "Darby-ites."
Very anti-institutional church - both groups.
This group has a little of the "emergent" church, post-modern twist to it; hence such "hip" catch-phrases as "last snack" In one sense one cannot even be offended by this - their understanding of communion is likely so shallow (some sort of post-modern, community bonding experience most likely - "hey man, as a symbol it can be anything you want it to be; in fact, let's have peanut butter crackers and milk") as to make the Baptist memorial-remembrance view seem way closer to our Orthodox understanding than to this group's understanding.

If they only knew what communion really is.... Well, they don't have a clue so we can't take offense or judge them by their ignorance.


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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2007, 12:40:34 AM »

Actually though, better what has become of your former youth pastor than mine.

He's a homo in jail for some sort of sex crime. Left wife and children, got involved in one of those gay churches (metropolitan city church I think it was called) way before mainline denominations began ordaining gays and now is in jail.
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2007, 08:40:15 AM »

If they only knew what communion really is.... Well, they don't have a clue so we can't take offense or judge them by their ignorance.

This is true.  When I was a protestant, I didn't really understand communion was either.  And indeed, in the churches I attended (mostly Baptist or Assembly of God) the communion was a symbol given in remembrance.  So I can see why it would be no big deal to them, but it's so sad to see what a rich blessing they miss.
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2007, 09:22:15 AM »

I fear a lot of these organic churches are missing out on some vivid scriptures and church traditions/practices by not having a pastor with formal training.  It's not much more than a motivational speech.  Besides that, who keeps the "facilitator" in check?  Can there be any way to ensure what is taught isn't heretical and spiritually damaging?

One word: Jonestown

In regards to your comment regarding the Holy Communion, I was actually convinced of the Real Presence before I even came into significant contact with the Orthodox Church and whilst still firmly a Seventh Day Baptist. The fellow who convinced me had come out of Armstrong's movement many years ago and was searching various religious groups which name the Name of Christ for what he could find. I am aware that he had had some contact with the Greeks yet somehow I think his personality caused a bit of a clash there. Haven't heard from him in some time although I was supposed to send him something (when I'm not so busy and have replied to various other letters and done more important things) so perhaps I'll hear sometime. Have thought about introducing him to the Deacon actually.

Thanks and pray for us please.
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2007, 07:09:34 PM »

One word: Jonestown

That's what I'm afraid of... all it takes is someone with good leadership skills and a bit of charisma and you've got Jonestown, the Manson family, Heaven's Gate, etc.  Yikes.
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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2007, 10:49:23 AM »

From what I can tell, the 'home church' movement is found in a lot of different denoms these days. I am on a list for large families, protestant in nature and it drives me nuts at times... I cant' tell you how often I see families having 'church of the living room'  It's like they are all the new reformers out to knock their churches on their behinds and do it themselves.  Most of these people can sense, or see that something is wrong, but they typically end up going Messianic Jew and therefore 'backwards' past Orthodoxy at a blinding rate-or they end up in the home church movement having never noticed Orthodoxy at all.
I see so many posts about celebrating communion with which grape juice and wonder bread, or which Jewish feasts they are on right now.  And they do it in their basements believing firmly that they are pilgrims blazing a new path. I think it makes folks feel grand when they dress it up like they are new martyrs of some sort. 
It will be both interesting, and saddening for you to watch this develop.
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2007, 12:22:16 PM »

I think some here are generalizing a bit too much. My roommate and several friends of mine are committed house churchers, and whatever that is lacking in their theology and ecclesiology, they should be respected for honestly and sincerely striving to lead Christ-like lives. They take it seriously. I went to their house church meetings several times, and it is definitely possible to worship and discuss with them at a Mere Christianity-type level. This house church group (it's about 100-odd members, so they split into three groups on Sundays) is basically Baptist in theology. Of course, when they passed out the "Lord's Table" (grape juice and pita-type bread), I abstained.

Theirs is a misguided attempt to somehow replicate the "New Testament Church." So actual church buildings are out because the first Christians worshipped in homes---of course, that was because it was illegal, but no matter to them. In their historical reconstruction, they interpret the New Testament the way they need it to be, but they leave out the earliest noncanonical Christian writings which attest to things they would not ascribe to---the Real Presence, for example. I am tempted to ask them about the grape juice---in their supposedly painstaking historical reconstruction of "how it was in the beginning," why leave out the wine?

A big part of their church is a misinterpretation of the "priesthood of all believers." They claim that episcopal, sacerdotal or even pastoral authority is "not Biblical." So this kind of ecclesiology is the typical non-comformist Protestant kind that leads to a dizzying number of different groups, some less heretical than than others.

However, despite all this, there are elements of grace and truth that should be respected in these communities. And I know some wonderful Christian people, who truly lead lives of righteousness and take Jesus's teachings seriously, in these groups. Many of them are serious and sincere about their faith. Many hold firmly to traditional Christian moral teachings, the real miracles of Christ's birth and resurrection, and to a supernatural and transcendent God. I honestly feel closer to them than many "progressive" or "cafeteria" Catholics or Orthodox, who jettison these absolutely foundational Christian truths.

Of course, there are also the nutters, but we Catholics and Orthodox have many of our own nutters as well.

We should bring to them the fullness of the Christian faith by not rejecting outright everything in their current communities, for there is much good that exists there.
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2007, 03:25:14 PM »

Granted, there some truly dedicated believers amongst them, but I can't help wonder if the Orthodox around them could have been more 'obvious' while these people were searching.  Having been a protestant for 30 some odd years, I still get a bit aggravated that so many people are searching and so many Orthodox use the caption that 'its the Holy Spirit's job to bring them to us"  So they hide in their little enclaves, or because they are now on the older end of life, or...and do nothing. we have had 1 Orthodox parish here for over 40 years, and I drove by it countless times.  There is no cultural festival, involvement at the local colleges, or anything at all. It took a start up Antiochian church to do those things, and here all these students and people have started pouring in.  Maybe it's the difference between a convert church and a cradle, I am not sure. I dont' believe hiding will bode well before our God though.
 
Being a relatively new convert means I don't always know the right answer. It still saddens me to see some former 'friends' headed down paths I know probably won't be what they are looking for.
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2007, 03:32:56 PM »

Reminds me of Methodism...It's like learning to waltz...you go 1,2, 3 and then turn....with your feet or arms? Kiss
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2007, 03:45:26 PM »

Granted, there some truly dedicated believers amongst them, but I can't help wonder if the Orthodox around them could have been more 'obvious' while these people were searching.  Having been a protestant for 30 some odd years, I still get a bit aggravated that so many people are searching and so many Orthodox use the caption that 'its the Holy Spirit's job to bring them to us"  So they hide in their little enclaves, or because they are now on the older end of life, or...and do nothing. we have had 1 Orthodox parish here for over 40 years, and I drove by it countless times.  There is no cultural festival, involvement at the local colleges, or anything at all. It took a start up Antiochian church to do those things, and here all these students and people have started pouring in.  Maybe it's the difference between a convert church and a cradle, I am not sure. I dont' believe hiding will bode well before our God though.
 


You're right. Many of the people in these groups have many misconceptions about Catholicism and Orthodoxy. They see them as dinosaurs full of "cultural" Catholics and Orthodox who are not on fire for the faith. As one well-meaning house church member has told me, "I'm so surprised to see a serious, believing Catholic. It seems to me that so many are just going through the motions." I've heard the same from other people about Orthodoxy. By occasionally attending these meetings, I try to show them that ordinary Catholics can be engaged seriously and devoutly with the faith too.

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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2007, 07:33:37 PM »

You're right. Many of the people in these groups have many misconceptions about Catholicism and Orthodoxy. They see them as dinosaurs full of "cultural" Catholics and Orthodox who are not on fire for the faith.

Of course, their definition for "on fire for the faith" basically boils down to singing campy pop songs with Jesus somewhere in the lyrics, moving around with your eyes closed and crying. You don't do that then you aren't filled with the Holy Spirit.  Unfortunately, this is what many of these young kids in this movement are being taught by the older people.  I've never heard of a worse example of pigeonholing what faith is and how it should be expressed.  Of course, ask these guys about what service projects and work of Christ they do and you get blank stares.  Sad.
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2007, 08:16:28 PM »

I went to a bible study with some pentecostal friends then after a fairly correct bible interpretation they went in to "worship" and started listening to a song about God and Jesus and then they got up started waving their hands and singing along they looked at me because I was sitting down and praying and they said to me "Is that how you worship God?" implying that the only way to worship God was to "lose control to the spirit", I tried to point out to them that self-control is a gift of the spirit along with the other "gifts" that they believed. But to the point lubeltri has hit the nail on the head they with all their hearts love God and Jesus and they want to authentically return to the  church from the beginning but with Sola Scripture at their side its like having the Constitution without a High Court to interpret so they just assume how the "laws" would look! 
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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2007, 08:25:49 PM »

I was pretty interested in the house church movement myself when I was still searching... I was beginning to think that anything, even starting my own house church, would be better than what I had attended so far.  The problem I see with house churches is not a lack of faith or a desire to find God, but that they tend to reject any kind of hierarchy (in name, anyway... almost all end up have a pastor of sorts) and what order they do have is so limited that it's a chaotic mess in practice.  I don't doubt that anyone involved in house churches is really seeking after truth, but it's the proverbial blind leading the blind.  And naturally, the ones who start a house church will be influenced by their church background until they study the scriptures (and hopefully the church fathers).  If I had started a house church, it would have been pretty Baptist too.  We tend to do what we see our parents (and spiritual fathers) doing.

All that to say what worries me about house churches is the lack of structure that so many (not all) have.  It would be too easy for someone who acts spiritual enough to come in and do some real damage.  Wolves among the flock, if you will... if the flock is herding itself, how do they recognize the wolf among them, especially when the wolf looks just like them?  Hence the need of an experience shepherd.
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« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2007, 08:31:13 PM »

I went to a bible study with some pentecostal friends then after a fairly correct bible interpretation they went in to "worship" and started listening to a song about God and Jesus and then they got up started waving their hands and singing along they looked at me because I was sitting down and praying and they said to me "Is that how you worship God?" implying that the only way to worship God was to "lose control to the spirit", I tried to point out to them that self-control is a gift of the spirit along with the other "gifts" that they believed.

It's strange how this is so common among pentecostal groups.  One of the things they champion is the freedom of worship and worshipping as you want to or feel led to.  Somehow, though, it tends to look down on the less flamboyant forms of worship, calling them "repressed" or "halfhearted."  I was never big on hand-waving and dancing in the aisles when I attended pentecostal church and to some extent, I did get a few reproachful looks, like I was the faithless one among them.  I just don't get as emotional about worship, at least not every time I go to church.  Some days I like to contemplate what I've heard.  Some days quiet prayer seems more appropriate.  When you feel pressured to worship a certain way, it certainly makes your worship feel false and tinny. 
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« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2007, 09:55:52 PM »

Of course, their definition for "on fire for the faith" basically boils down to singing campy pop songs with Jesus somewhere in the lyrics, moving around with your eyes closed and crying. You don't do that then you aren't filled with the Holy Spirit.  Unfortunately, this is what many of these young kids in this movement are being taught by the older people.  I've never heard of a worse example of pigeonholing what faith is and how it should be expressed.  Of course, ask these guys about what service projects and work of Christ they do and you get blank stares.  Sad.

To be fair, this does not characterize all Evangelicals.
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« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2007, 10:05:18 PM »

To be fair, this does not characterize all Evangelicals.
Agreed; the Baptist church I came from was Evangelical and was very low-key when it came to worship. �Maybe this is generalizing too, but it seems like the churches who have a majority of younger members tend to go more for the emotional worship styles.
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« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2007, 10:12:09 PM »

It's strange how this is so common among pentecostal groups.  One of the things they champion is the freedom of worship and worshipping as you want to or feel led to.  Somehow, though, it tends to look down on the less flamboyant forms of worship, calling them "repressed" or "halfhearted."  I was never big on hand-waving and dancing in the aisles when I attended pentecostal church and to some extent, I did get a few reproachful looks, like I was the faithless one among them.  I just don't get as emotional about worship, at least not every time I go to church.  Some days I like to contemplate what I've heard.  Some days quiet prayer seems more appropriate.  When you feel pressured to worship a certain way, it certainly makes your worship feel false and tinny. 
And I, back in my evangelical days, once told my Lutheran grandmother after visiting her church that I thought her church's more liturgical style of worship was dead.  To think that I'm now active in helping lead worship in a church that's as high church and liturgical as they come. Undecided
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2007, 12:18:49 AM »

Of course, ask these guys about what service projects and work of Christ they do and you get blank stares.  Sad.

I can't agree with you here. Most of the soup kitchens, homeless shelters, organizations like World Vision and Habitat for Humanity were all started by evangelicals.

Although Catholics have a great history with hospitals and other social ministries too.
 
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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2007, 06:12:04 PM »

I can't agree with you here. Most of the soup kitchens, homeless shelters, organizations like World Vision and Habitat for Humanity were all started by evangelicals.
I don't think anyone here is discounting the work evangelicals as a whole do. Organic churches, however (and yes, they are a subset of evangelical Protestant Christianity), tend to lack the charitable work seen in other manifestations of Christianity. Were any of these charities you mentioned started by organic churches? Then you'd have a point. If not, I think you're getting worked up over nothing.
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2007, 07:32:46 PM »

And I, back in my evangelical days, once told my Lutheran grandmother after visiting her church that I thought her church's more liturgical style of worship was dead.  To think that I'm now active in helping lead worship in a church that's as high church and liturgical as they come. Undecided

Ah well... your eyes have been opened to see!   Cheesy
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2007, 11:01:59 PM »

Ah well... your eyes have been opened to see!   Cheesy
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2007, 11:31:59 PM »

I don't think anyone here is discounting the work evangelicals as a whole do. Organic churches, however (and yes, they are a subset of evangelical Protestant Christianity), tend to lack the charitable work seen in other manifestations of Christianity. Were any of these charities you mentioned started by organic churches? Then you'd have a point. If not, I think you're getting worked up over nothing.

I have a friend who pastors an emergent church; not house or organic, they meet in a school; they partner with an inner city church and help out there a couple times a month, have sent a crew to the Gulf Coast to help clean up after Katrina, collect food for the food bank and alot of other social ministries.

I don't know if they would be organic or just non-denominational emergent
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« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2007, 07:48:54 AM »

I have a friend who pastors an emergent church; not house or organic, they meet in a school; they partner with an inner city church and help out there a couple times a month, have sent a crew to the Gulf Coast to help clean up after Katrina, collect food for the food bank and alot of other social ministries.

I don't know if they would be organic or just non-denominational emergent
Good for them. I wish more churches would do things like this. Can't say I like the idea of a church meeting in a school, though; we had a new NDE church move into an elementary school near my house. I kept seeing signs for it at every intersection, but it took me weeks (driving past it twice a day) to figure out the church met at the school. Part of the problem, I think, was that they were not allowed to advertise on school property M-F (and I only drove that way M-F), so I never got to see where those signs were pointing to. Good case for an actual church building.
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« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2007, 07:03:23 PM »

I finally came up with how to deal with my old friend. Instead of going into reasons why organic churches are "bad," I decided to write an e-mail about Orthodoxy. I said I'd been reading his newsletters, and felt that what he's looking for is in Orthodoxy. No response yet; I don't know if I'll get one. But I felt I should say something, if I have what he is looking for.
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2007, 07:15:21 PM »

I think this is a great approach......not that their church is wrong.....Orthodoxy may be more right.
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2007, 09:27:51 PM »

This is a great approach.  It's easy to fly right past Orthodoxy on the path to finding the answers we seek.  Your email might just plant a nagging little seed that could develop later on.  Wink

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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2007, 11:45:16 PM »

This is a great approach.  It's easy to fly right past Orthodoxy on the path to finding the answers we seek.  Your email might just plant a nagging little seed that could develop later on.  Wink


That "come and see" approach always seems to work best with Orthodoxy and is part of the Orthodox ethos (see John 1 - Andrew to Peter and Phillip to Nathaniel)
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