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"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
Was reading this on Reimagining Church blog: Throwing out the Baby with the Bathwater, and I think the question posted does reflect a typical response from someone who is attending a typical sunday service. In regards to the issue on ekklesiology and the organic/simple/house church movement, I think there are at least 8 basic kinds of negative responses that one can go around soliciting. They are:-

1. This is heretical! [Have you read Pagan Christianity?] Erm… no, but I have read some reviews.

2. Are you guys meeting in a house? [Yes.] Is this a cult…?

3. The concerns raised by house church proponents are truly appreciated. [Great!] But we should try to salvage/reform the existing system instead of starting something new.

4. Time has changed. Modern institutional churches are a natural progression/development in church history.

5. The form does not matter, as long as people are saved.

6. Since God added numbers to the modern institutional churches, how could they be all wrong!

7. I understand what you are trying to say, but I can’t forsake all the people I know of and the ministry I serve back there...

8. Huh? It does not matter to me.

It is my personal opinion that the majority falls under the last category. Most don't really care about the issue. The real challenge lies in awakening the priesthood within each individual believer, so that we would all start functioning like a royal priesthood. Probably then, will each individual believers start to live above the natural self, and start to be concern and care for His Church.

At any rate, whether we reached the same conclusion from all these discussions, is and should be rightfully considered secondary to helping people to grow in Christ. The end product has to be Christ being all in all, and we must not lose sight of it.

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