Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Name Game

Felicity Dale has a series of posts up looking at some terms used synonymously to describe a similar thing: organic/simple/house church. I confess I often use them interchangeably as well. Felicity looks at all three in order:

What’s in a name? House church

What’s in a name? Simple church

What’s in a name? Different uses of the term, “organic”

I appreciate that Felicity is not as fond of the name "house church". As she writes:

Of the three interchangeable words used to describe churches–house, simple and organic, for various reasons, house church is the one I like least. Here’s why. Firstly it implies that these groups only meet in houses whereas they can meet anywhere–restaurants, parking lots, college dorms–anywhere life happens. The second reason is that  for historical reasons, people associate the term “house church” with an insular,  inward looking group of people,, reacting against the establishment, and convinced that house church is the only Scriptural way to meet.

That is quite right. While we plan to meet on our property, we are not going to meet in our house but our meeting can still be simple and organic. What is important is what happens and how the gathering occurs more than the specific location. Certainly location matters. Traditional church architecture is designed, and succeeds, in creating passivity by means of pews lined up facing a pulpit. Really though organic, family meetings of the church can happen anywhere. Check out all three of her posts, they are worth the read!

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