Think about it. Home churches are harder for terrorists to find and enter. They’re easier to protect. In a home church, everyone knows everyone, so terrorist can’t infiltrate as easily. They’re usually more spiritually vibrant, so less likely for the devil and his minions to take out. There are less people congregated in more places making it a more difficult target for the enemy to hit and to take out.
Also, it’s easier to invite family and friends to a home church or Bible study than to a building. That works well for evangelism!
Home churches are also tough on the unbiblical model of institutionalized religious structures, centralized denominations and hireling pastors, since it’s generally harder on the business model of the church system (i.e. controlling people for the purpose of collecting money), but it’s better for the people and their spiritual growth. This is a good thing. Plus home churches follows the NT model. Go read the book of Acts.
Home churches were the apostles answer to church persecution in their day. Again, go read the book of Acts!
From The Christian Post at https://www.christianpost.com/news/36-isis-suspects-sentenced-death-killing-christians-egypt-church-bombings-222803/
36 ISIS Suspects Sentenced to Death for Egypt Church Bombings
A military court has referred the cases of 36 defendants to the nation’s Grand Mufti with the recommendation that they be put to death. The defendants were convicted of being involved in four different acts of terror that occurred in 2016 and 2017, including the bombings of two churches on Palm Sunday last year, and an attack on a police checkpoint. They’re also accused of being part of the Islamic State cells in Cairo and Qena.
The cases were originally referred to the military court by Egypt’s Attorney General Nabil Sadek.
Two of the attacks occurred on April 9, 2017, when churches in Tanta and Alexandria were bombed during Palm Sunday attacks that were later claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group. The bombings took the lives of 47 people and injured over 120 others.
Additionally, some were convicted for their involvement in the bombing of the Botroseya Church in Cairo on Dec. 11, 2016, which took the lives of 29 people and injured 47. That attack was also claimed by the Islamic State.
The other attack occurred last January when eight policemen were killed and three were wounded during an attack on a police checkpoint in the New Valley.
The Egyptian news site Al-Ahram reports that the military court has referred the case to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest official of religious law who weighs in with legal opinions and edicts. Earlier this year, the Grand Mufti approved the death sentence of a Muslim man who brutally murdered a Coptic priest in a Cairo street.
The convictions of the 36 suspects are subject to appeal. In addition, prosecutors charged three of the defendants with providing other militants with combat training at training camps and with training other militants to manufacture bombs.
According to Daily News Egypt, the case involves a total of 48 defendants who have all been accused of joining an illegal terror group and were not only involved in the four attacks but were also planning to launch other violent attacks inside Cairo that would have targeted Christians.
Reuters reports that 11 of the 36 are being tried in absentia. An official verdict is expected on May 15.
As Coptic Christians comprise about 10 percent of the Egyptian population, the community has faced numerous attacks from radicals in the past year-plus. In addition to the bombings, a number of Copts have been brutally killed in separate attacks and Christians’ homes have been burned.
Egypt ranks as the 17th-worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2018 World Watch List.
The persecution comes as President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has extended an olive branch to the Coptic community and has tried to foster peace and protection for the persecuted Christians.
In 2015, Sisi gave a speech before Muslim leaders at Egypt’s 1,000-year-old Al-Azhar University where he called for the Muslim leaders to lead a “religious revolution” that embraces peace rather than violence.
Sisi has also attended masses during Christian holidays to show his solidarity with the Coptic community. After he came to power in 2014, Sisi personally ordered the rebuilding of dozens of churches that were destroyed by Muslim Brotherhood extremists.
“When a law passed by parliament to protect churches was trapped in a maze of bureaucracy and indifference, [Sisi] intervened, ordering it all to be sped up,” American religious freedom advocate and informal advisor to the Trump administration Johnnie Moore wrote in an op-ed this week. “Under President el-Sisi, Egypt’s religious establishment has also signaled moderation.”
Totally agree. I have had the same thoughts about all this for going on a couple of decades now. What a horrible waste of money, financing multiple million dollar church buildings, salaries, and programs, when there are already multiple millions of dollars worth of buildings people are already paying for – THEIR HOUSES!!!
There could still be apostolic oversight of training and equipping and leading the formation and development of the house church leaders and the house churches themselves. Using technology, there could still even be corporate worship, teaching, and training being done, as well as larger quarterly corporate gatherings in rented facility spaces (hotel conference centers or whatever), if that is really needed or desired. Much more of people’s money could go to helping the poor, widows, and orphans, etc., not to speak of people staying out of debt themselves by not having to help finance huge fund raising campaigns for building programs.
There has even been some collaborative efforts to promote an organic multiplying house church planting “movement” for some time now. See “Finding the Right Church Planting Model Part 5: The Organic House Church Approach” by Christianity Today, as well as many other sites and books on the subject.
There is also available a good number of books by people who are experienced in the multiplying house church planting movement.
I believe it is a wiser, more authentic, and more effective way to live out community according to torah and “the great commission”. The Christian church has tried to combine methodologies with their large church building and home groups, but it is still a bad way to steward resources, financially and otherwise.
Your recent article about what to do when gathering, namely the teachings of the apostles, breaking of bread together, fellowship, and prayer is the right model. Doing it in small house gatherings is the right context.
It will happen, when persecution increases, but why wait?
As I have been driving around my region for decades, I have observed that the parking lots of most church buildings sit empty 99 percent of the time, and on Sunday they only have cars in them for several hours at most. By noon or so, they’re totally empty again. It should be obvious to any thinking person that something is fundamentally wrong with this model. This is hardly wise stewardship of YHVH’s tithes and offerings. Sadly, often maintaining a building becomes the main focus of church activities instead of all the things Yeshua told his disciples to do. Where is this in the Bible?
It is amazing as I read this post the wisdom contained there in by brother Natan & Jerry’s comments.
I couldn’t agree more..the biblical scriptural model says that Yahshua went into the synogogue on the sabbath to reason with the Jews..also it says in the book of Acts.Chapter 20 verse 20 .Apostle Paul spoke And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, & from house to house. these verses speak to me re home gatherings as u both mention.
Yahshua met them on the hillside as well.& spoke publicly.the feeding of the 5000…I don’t think they were in some swank building with a car park & ushers in the car park etc…nor a modern day coffee shop cafeteria in the church building…
Before coming into the understanding of the Sabbath & all that the Ruach has taught me by closely examining the scriptures…my husband & I attended 2 main Sunday churches that we stayed in for a no of years..from 1991-1995 then 1995- 1999..it was in 2003 that we started to question re the word Sabbath,. that word was never spoken about in any of the Sunday churches I attended..oh yes maybe 1 ..but it was more hinted for the Jews that kept the sabbath. & how they keep it in Israel..so we thought well if that is 1 big lie the Sunday churches are covering up how many more lies are there..we have since found out many. …
As regards to the mega church buildings & others ..it is so sad..that they have lost the true understanding..& just creating what man thought was correct..or desired with their flesh natures.I guess it was still a hangover from the stone brick church buildings with the steeples or the big cathedrals..they just went after an alternative to those; but no different really..oh how man ,society has admired those incredible pieces of architecture., cathedrals etc..& they take up quiet a bit of space…prime land in our cities…& outer suburbs.
Ray Van der Lan had a good teaching video ..we purchased yrs ago..I think called the early church…he went to several places & the video shows remains of little home synagogues with the menorah etched into the stone..& some with crosses.. interesting.
It does upset me when so many big dollars have been poured into these huge modern buildings.. architects to pay & hire…labourers builders…for what? soon they will be no more…as times get tougher it only takes 1 calamity eg earthquake or natural disaster to wipe them out. how those big dollars could have been better spent as u say on the poor. etc…tithes r collected weekly to meet budgets etc…but I’m sure scripture tells they were to take the tithe into the city once every 3 years to feed the poor..so not just money but possibly crops ,food also..how many big churches do that today..? except in time of crisis maybe.