Wednesday, April 11, 2007

House Churches

So, I got this email yesterday...

Friends,

Your pastor and pastors across California could be facinganti-homosexual "conspiracy" charges if some in Congress have their way.

New hate crimes legislation now on a fast track in Congress would mark the first time in our history that sexual orientation and gender identity were elevated to a protected status under federal law.

If that happens, pastors could be going to jail! Here's how...

+ + How your pastor could get charged for a hate crime

Our friends at Liberty Counsel -- one of the nation's foremost public interest law firms -- have produced a legal memorandum outlining how pastors could be charged. Go here to read it: http://www.grassfire.net/184/petition.asp?RID=9814962

In short, if a court finds that your pastor's preaching led to someone committing a hate crime, look out! That's because many state "conspiracy" laws only require that the crime committed was a natural and foreseeable consequence of your pastor’s preaching.

In other words, if someone hears your pastor preach that homosexuality is a sin, and that person then gets charged for a hate crime, your pastor could be charged as a "conspirator" to the crime.

And this is just the beginning of the threat that the new Hate Crimes legislation poses. The Liberty Counsel memo then shows how this step would inexorably lead to the full acceptance of homosexual marriage, along with draconian restrictions on the free speech and religion rights of Christians.

Grassfire has teamed with Liberty Counsel to rally 40,000 citizens for a petition delivery to Pelosi and Reid. We are still several thousand short and need your signature to help reach the goal.

Please go here to sign: http://www.grassfire.net/184/petition.asp?RID=9814962

Thanks for the stand you are taking!

Your friends at Grassfire

I haven't looked into the validity of it, but I know that persecution is coming. My pastor has been writing a book and in the first chapter is explains what the future may hold. For example, the government decided that pastors could not refuse to marry homosexuals, that churches were no longer tax exempt, etc. All this would force the true church, the ones who refuse to compromise, into houses.

This debate sparked my senior seminar paper on house churches. People have had "church" in their houses for centuries, esp. in countries where you can lose your life for simply claiming Jesus. Why is it that people see this wave as such a new phenomenon?

Our church has begun preparing for the end times by moving our main fellowship and "church" to house churches. I love it! There is no overhead for buildings, maintenance, pastor's pay, etc., so all of our offering has been available for those in need, bringing Christ to those in need. Here are a few examples of where the money goes:

  • A family's home in the community caught fire in the children's bedrooms. The house church was able to give the family beds and toys.
  • A member of our house church has medical problems and was going through a long period of recovery during summer. We were able to purchase an air conditioning unit for them.
  • One of the fathers of our house church had been out of a job for quite a while. We were able to give their family money to pay bills.
  • We have been able to give scholarships for those desiring to go to conferences at Kansas City's House of Prayer.

One of my father's big arguments against the church is the politics played, esp. in finances. This model of church has been able to dodge any grievances he may come up with. I love being able to share with him the difference it makes to start church as small groups and come together in celebration on Sundays. Each person involved has had community support and accountability. Many have moved into the position on discipler and disciple.

When we come together as a community, we practice that, "each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation" (1 Corinthians 14:26). This is encouraged with our open mic. It's amazing what the Spirit does when He's invited!

I love my church and I love what we're doing. I hope other pastors have the courage to listen to Christ - even if it means losing your salary, your building, your programs, your food, and everything church has become. It's best to ask God what His plans are instead of inviting Him to participate in your plans. I know God's waiting for us (me included) to simply ask and listen.

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