Facebook post by Raymond Gray https://www.facebook.com/Papa.Ray77
“The church as most Christians understand it is an institution organized by men who desire to represent God according to their theological reasoning and organizational skills. The Bible does not teach that Christians should be part of any kind of institutional church with rituals developed by men apart from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is not to say that we should leave mega-churches to join smaller house churches; rather, we should abandon this kind of church model altogether. Instead of trying to build a house church, learn to love one another and share one another’s journey.
Who is Jesus asking you to walk alongside right now and how can you encourage them? I love it when brothers and sisters choose to be intentional in sharing God’s life together in a particular season. So, yes, join together with the community to share the love of our Lord. Just avoid the desire to develop it into a contrived, exclusive, or permanent institution. Relationships don’t work that way. Fellowship happens where people share the journey of knowing Jesus together. It consists of open, honest sharing, genuine concern about one another’s spiritual well being and encouragement for people to follow Jesus however He leads them, not being stubborn and critical of other institutions.
It is the better alternative to church as most Christians know and experience it. Most of what we call ‘church’ today is nothing more than well-planned performances with little actual connection between believers. Believers are encouraged toward a growing dependency on a system and the resumes of its leadership rather than on Jesus Himself. We spend more energy conforming behavior to what the institution needs rather than helping people be transformed at the foot of the cross! Jesus indicated that whenever two or three people get together focused on him, they would experience the vitality of church life.
My belief is that the church is made up of local groups of people in various places who choose to walk together and cultivate close friendships to do God’s will in unity by love as the apostle Paul taught to the churches through his personal ministry and written letters. By going beyond simply teaching the gospel of Jesus and caring for one another, institutions unwittingly becomes a distraction to real spiritual life. They offer an illusion of spirituality in highly orchestrated experiences, but it cannot show people how to live each day by the Spirit of Christ through the real struggles of life. The more worldly organization you bring to church, the less it will be lead by the Holy Spirit through those with gifts of the Spirit.
As long as we see ‘church’ as institutions that often split over financial and organizational disagreements, we’ll miss out on life by the Spirit. These are the very things that grieve the Holy Spirit! If the truth were told, the Scriptures tell us very little about how the early church met. It tells us volumes about how they shared life together. They didn’t see the church as an institution, but as a family living in the kingdom of our Father to bring His life and love to this dark institutional world.
To hear the heart of God that is often missed because men trying to find spiritual truth from human reasoning, I encourage you to consider these scriptures: John 3:1-21 (the whole story, not just verse 16) John 7:14-18, 1st Corinthians 1:18-31 and chapter 2, 2nd Corinthians 5:14-21, Galatians 6:1-10, Ephesians 3:14-21, James 1:27 and 1st John 3:11-24 and chapter 4.”