The House Church Movement 1 (Buildings, Property, Abuse of Power, Tithing) | Victor Tey

This sermon is the start of a 3 part series on the “house church” movement. This part covers three areas where I am in agreement.

What is the house church movement?

  1. Reaction to the complexity that has become the modern church movement
  2. Buildings, schools, ministries, Sunday performance as opposed to the simple get together of God’s people
  3. In an attempt to simplify I believe it has created more man made rules and condemned practices that are not sinful in and of themselves.

3 Things I agree with:

The goal of a church is not to buy and maintain a property or a building

  1. Matthew 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth
    1. A building should be a means not an end.
    2. Church planters are sometimes just overseas builders as opposed to gathering the saints.
    3. 2 Peter 3:10-11 – what manner of persons ought ye to be
  2. Not wrong to own or rent a separate property
    1. Pros and cons of owning a property
    2. Locked in investment
    3. Lots of money plus development approval.
    4. More assets = more problems if church needs to split
    5. Keeps churches together that really should split.
    6. No rent and you can make changes
    7. Move with what you can afford.
    8. Sometimes it can make financial sense
    9. What if it was donated?
  3. Renting a commercial building and using it for a place of worship comes with its legal issues.
    1. Not going to invest the time and money fighting the council when we can work around it.
  4. If you can have multiple churches, why create a huge mega church in one location? Lost the vision of reaching multiple areas?

Bishops in the past and present have done and are doing wrong

  1. Abused their authority and resources
    1. Spending money unwisely
    2. Not doing the work
    3. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 – not greedy, covetous, them without
    4. 1 Timothy 6:6-11 – certain carry nothing out
      1. Will be rich fall
  2. Example of Eli’s sons doing wrong and people hated giving to the Lord
    1. when offerings are abused it’s a grievous sin because people abhor giving to the Lord (1 Samuel 2:12-17)
    2. That doesn’t mean all bishops will do wrong or are doing wrong
    3. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong to pay a bishop a salary or to take care of his needs financially
    4. Compare it to people who sing specials and do seldom else
  3. Does this mean the congregation should rule?
    1. The pros and cons of top down vs bottom up
      1. No recourse for leaders gone bad
      2. Majority is usually wrong
    2. What does the bible teach?
      1. Titus 1:3-4 – Thou ordain
      2. 1 Sam 13:8-14 – Saul offering in Samuel’s place

Tithing is an OT law, not a NT ordinance

  1. Hebrews 7:1-12
    1. Numbers 18:29-24 – Tithes for the Levites
    2. Priesthood and law has changed
    3. Hebrews 9:6-10 – imposed on them
    4. Tithing only found in gospels not in any other epistles
  2. Abraham tithed
    1. Not in the way we think of tithing
    2. To one person, not an organization
    3. Abraham also sacrificed animals, should we continue?
    4. If tithes go to priests, why aren’t all Believers receiving tithes? Are bishops and deacons the new priesthood?
    5. Do we fulfil the OT tithing law by faith because the father of faith tithed to Melchizedek?
  3. if people want to give 10% of their income to a local church it’s not wrong, just don’t mis-apply the OT to get people to do it.
    1. There’s enough in the NT to support members giving to those that preach the gospel for a living to not need to misapply tithing.
    2. It’s not wrong for a bishop to be paid using the collections.
  4. just because a person believes in tithing, it doesn’t mean they’re in it just for the money
    1. eg. you’re not just winning souls for the rewards, you also love the people.

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