Frequently Asked Questions
The following are frequently asked questions concerning our site, our stand on various "church" related issues, our goals, home fellowships, and things we have written here. Please feel free to submit your questions so we can clarify and resolve anything that is bothering or confusing our readers. We know our beliefs will not be popular with many, and we can't help that. But we don't want to offend or upset anyone as the result of a misunderstanding.
Q: Why do you keep putting the word church and churches in quotation marks and other times you don't, but you capitalize the word, Church?
A: When we use the quotation marks and lowercase for church, we are referring to the many organized groups of people who build structures. When we capitalize Church, we are talking about the true Body of Christ. There are members of the Church within the churches, but the New Testament uses the word ekklesia to refer to an assembly of people, not a building. The Church is what we are, not a place we go to.
Q: Are you saying that all the churches that exist, are not supported or approved by God?
A: No. We are saying that the building of structures is not historically supported in the New Testament and was not practiced by the early Church. The practice of building structures was begun by the emperor, Constantine, who pulled from his pagan beliefs when he fashioned the edifices we call "churches." God works within the limits of our understanding, therefore, He has visited hearts within these structures, for the sake of His Son, Jesus. But we believe God is issuing a call to His Bride to repent of carrying on the traditions of men that are pagan in origin.
Q: What about all the pastors who have studied and/or become ordained and minister in churches? Are they out of God's will? Are you saying they are wrong to get paid?
A: We don't attempt to know or declare whether someone has heard God and is acting in God's will. That is between that person and God. As we said above, God will work within the limitations of our understanding. No one who is preaching today caused the centuries of error and ungrounded traditions that got us where we are now. We know and love many sincere pastors who are on a salary. We pray for them on a regular basis, knowing they suffer many things. We don't doubt their calling, but we are concerned that the system is wrong and has pagan origins, therefore, it is possible they are in error. By getting a secure wage and insurance benefits, etc., these pastors are deprived of the intimate experience of praying for every need, and the strong faith that arises from that. Neither Jesus, nor the apostles, nor many servants in missions where poverty exists, enjoy such luxury.
Q: How can small fellowships compete with the giving power of a large organization?
A: A quick consideration of the state of many large organizations, whether it be ministries, government agencies or large corporations will tell you that the larger it gets, the harder it is to operate efficiently. Large ministries require paid professionals to run them. Corruption and waste becomes harder to control in a big organization. Small fellowships can unite for a particular cause and exercise the same giving power. Small fellowships are able to give directly to the individual needs of their local body and can act more quickly. Furthermore, they don't have the huge administration costs or the high maintenance and overhead of a large building. Less money is consumed in operation and more is available to the needs of individuals.
Q: Are you saying there should only be home fellowships? Are you against all the organized "churches" that exist?
A: We are not necessarily against all the "churches" that exist. We are against denominationalism and the hierarchy and division it causes. We are against the impure practices and worldliness going on in modern churches. However, we feel that God will separate the wheat from the chaff among the current ministries and "churches." He will eliminate that which is not pleasing to Him, by His own means. A stricken economy will weed out many worldly ministers and ministries. That will be by God's hand, not ours. We are simply calling God's true servants to repent and prepare themselves for a massive purification of the Church which we feel God is about to do. Home fellowships are the quickest way to come out of worldly or pagan-based organizations. Those organizations that operate in purity will remain.
Q: What about tithing? If we take the support away from our "churches", won't we be disobeying God's word?
A: We are personally strong believers of tithing and do this faithfully, and more, as part of our reasonable service to God. However, many ministers browbeat their congregation, insisting they are to bring their tithes to the local storehouses. They have all sorts of talks designed to manipulate money from the people. They are desperate because the expenses of running a church structure or ministry are so great. Never mind that many members may be driving miles to attend a particular church they happen to prefer and so they are not tithing to their LOCAL storehouse at all. Interpretation of scripture is always tailored to the needs of the one in the pulpit and the demands of the "church" or organization. Currently, there are many ministries and mega-churches, which have such an excess of money, they invest donations in the stock market the supporters who donate those funds are struggling with debt. Some are even knowingly investing in companies that support immorality1. As to whether there will be enough money to do God's work, a non-incorporated fellowship will be using all its money on the needs of others, not letting it sit in certificates of deposit or being gambled in the stock market. Furthermore, may we be so bold as to ask if anyone cares how God will view our giving, on the Day of Judgment, if it is done as investors in a corporation, who expect a return and profit on our money? (This applies to those who do it because they expect God to bless them, as well.) By the way, to those who feel pride in their tithing, we'd like to remind you that Jesus set a whole new standard when he pointed out the widow and her mite. She wasn't tithing. She was giving God ALL of her money. The early Church sold everything they had and shared everything in common. Anyone else care to try that?
Q: Aren't you concerned that home fellowships are more prone to cult development?
A: Not really. Size does not affect a group's vulnerability to cultic practices. There are two things which make an environment more susceptible to the development of a cult. Those are, the people being easily deceived because they don't know the scriptures and the demand that the people submit to the authority of one man or woman. This makes many popular ministries and churches the perfect set up for a cult to rise, and from the behavior of these followers and leaders, some of them appear to be dangerously close to cultic behavior. Home fellowships should be in submission to the scriptures and to one another to be held accountable with only Jesus and God's Word as the ultimate authority.
1. For example, Zondervan Publishing is a subsidiary of News Corp. who also owns Fox network. It may interest Christians to know that when their ministry invests in Zondervan, they are supporting the parent company, News Corp., who is currently fighting a legal battle with the FCC to lower decency standards so Fox can air even more immoral programming. It gets real messy as Joyce Meyers recently discovered when her ministry came under scrutiny for such practices. [See "Overturning the Money Tables" page38 of "Christianity Today" July 2008 issue, Vol. 52, No.7] Back.
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