Aus Bildungsstreik 2009
[Bearbeiten] House Churches - All that you need to know about them
House Churches refer to private, independent gatherings of Christians in their or a friend's home for the purpose of reviving their knowledge of beliefs and spirituality. Most today are assemblies of light mood, where there is food and discussion of the religion in a merry, informal environment. In the past, however, when the freedom of expression was not so marked, most of the secret Christian movements began and survived through house churches. This term, therefore, has a great historic importance in the development of Christianity as we know it today.
The earliest documentation regarding a house churches appeared in the Holy Bible itself. Acts 1:13 describes a meeting place of the followers of Jesus Christ as a house, the same one where the Cenacle currently stands. When Christianity unfolded its secrets to those who remained loyal to it, Christ and God, the time was marked by persecution. The early kings did not appreciate the fact that their divinity had been challenged by a prophet, and a ban was laid on the construction of churches. Three centuries passed in this state, and Christianity survived through the determined meetings held in house churches. In AD 232, Dura-Europos were made a house church; its ruins are still present today.
The idea of the house churches has been portrayed in the New Testament. The holy words outline a picture of the early churches as simple gatherings of loyal fellows, steered not by the grandeur of the place but by their love for the Bible, Christianity, Christ and God. Today also house churches are present, and the Christians believe that because their importance has been emphasized in the Bible itself, they will continue to exist in the future as well.
The present house churches have followed the format of the earlier ones in one way or the other. For example, none can be recorded where a hierarchy of leadership can be traced. House churches do not believe in handing over the leadership to a single family; instead they believe in brotherhood and equality. However, some might appoint an elderly member as some sort of a leader, though the position is purely that of a formality. The power lies in the counsel which, of course, is based on the entire group of Christians meeting at that place.
While in the past house churches were secret affairs, today they are not. As the world moves to a more secular approach, a large part of the world believes that religion is a private matter. So we see that house church today have become a tribute to the simplicity of the Christian forefathers, a tribute that is no longer kept under the covers. Today the internet is used to promote their cause and teachings, and to bring more people to the Path of Illumination and Righteousness. Their movements are mostly located in China, India, Brazil, Vietnam, Cuba and Africa, and have grown to the strength of millions.