Paul's Passing Thoughts

Discussion: Did the Real “Church” Meet in Public Buildings? And Are the New Calvinists “Apostate”?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 21, 2018


I have nothing against the home church movement per se.

Well, that’s gracious of you, but we do. A church in a house is still church. We are a home fellowship movement driven by Justification by New Birth, not Justification by Faith. Pretty radical, but we welcome challenges to our position.

I read the article, and chapter 11, and I didn’t find much that I thought I disagreed with, other than it seems the Corinthians were already meeting in an established “church” and it wasn’t the homes of Christians, and you seemed to infer that it wasn’t until after the passing of the Apostles that the “church” was organized outside of the home and that this was the “falling away” in part, mentioned by the Apostle. Also, Paul preached in building with at least two stories because a young man fell asleep and fell down, and was revived by Paul. Seems to me that the “church” was meeting in other places than the home and that there was an authority structure in place as well as described to Timothy.

All, or at least most residential homes of that era were multiple story dwellings.

Were the Corinthians not meeting in a “church”, that is, a building outside of their homes that the Apostle Paul refers to as a church? It seems to me that the Apostle Paul is indicating that the Corinthians had a place of meeting where they came together for worship, other than their homes.

Right, it’s a good point. But “church” is not a biblical word and does emphasize a place where authority resides. Ekklesia is a gathering that might take place anywhere for a specific purpose. “Church” denotes institutionalism and was used in the Bible to replace ekklesia when the assembly of Christ was institutionalized. Without lodging a scriptural argument that explains why these passages shouldn’t be understood in the traditional way, let me jump directly to the historical argument. It was against the law for any religion to have purpose build locations that were not state sanctioned religions.

A slightly different rendering, but still, the Apostle asks the question, “Do you not have houses to eat in?” Intimating that where they were meeting was not the homes, but in a single, separate location, as the church…the ecclesia. NASB

The letters to the Corinthian “church” were incited by other “household[s] of faith” tattling on what was going on in some of the other home fellowships. Paul’s second letter to them included the “church’s” expansion into Archaia. This would suggest an expansion of multiple purpose build locations which is historically impossible.

Some were gathering outside the home…that “do you not have houses to eat in” infers that they were not in their “homes” or the home of anyone else. They were wealthy, in Corinth. They had the means, where many Christians did not. I’ll have to do some more research of my own, either way, it’s not a hill for me to die on. I see no prohibition in Scripture that says we cannot gather in a single building, other than homes, or that home gatherings are necessarily superior.

Actually, that verse kinda makes the contrary point. Paul isn’t saying, “Hey, don’t you guys live in homes where you can eat?” He is saying, “Don’t you have your OWN homes to eat in?” The word “have” denotes possession which is why several translations have it,  your “own home” rather than A HOME as opposed to some institutional structure. When you observe how this word is used in other verses such as one regarding a woman with child, the baby is her own possession, not just some [other] baby somewhere…So, this particular verse actually makes the contrary argument. However, to your point, in many English translations it comes out as a house as opposed to something else other than another house.

Can’t find the comment you made regarding the issue not being a hill to die on…that’s true, so if both have merit, why not go with the one that has no massive infrastructural overhead and will work in every political and socioeconomic condition?

That and the synagogue was very much part of the Jewish tradition, so it would be a natural for Christians to imitate the structure for the church. I don’t see it as necessarily wrong.

There were institutionalized synagogues that were run by the Jewish religionists and sanctioned by the local government. Indeed, “The Way” ended up doing some business in these places (evangelism), but there are no archeological findings regarding purpose builds for the movement. However, several residential homes with baptismals built inside of them have been discovered dating back to the 2nd century [furthermore, the book of Acts states that Christ’s first century assembly had dramatic global impact which means that archeological evidence should be ample if they used public buildings. Also, traditionally, synagogues were, in fact, for the most part in private homes].

There can, and have been abuses in gatherings of any type, whether in the home or in a “church” building.

True, but our primary dichotomy is family, leadership, gifts, fellowship; not institution, authority, progressive salvation, and membership.

I think you’re reacting to the same “mega church” apostasy that I am. What I see you describing is the apostate “seeker sensitive” “purpose driven” heresy that pervades so many churches, together with the New Calvinists that are bringing in the rock and roll “Christian” music. I think if you watch that video I posted, you could find some things about it that you identify with.

We would also say that home fellowships speak to the confession of our gospel, that is, a new birth into God’s literal family as opposed to an institution where justification is a mere “legal declaration” obtained by submission to an authoritative religious institution. Not passing any judgments here, just stating our position.

No problem. But no church I’ve ever been associated with has ever asserted such things, either from the pulpit or in their church covenants.

Hmmmmm, sorry for my skepticism on that. Nevertheless, let me also say this: there are many people in church who have a proper intellectual idea of Justification by New Birth and also function that way. However, unbeknownst to them, that’s NOT Protestant orthodoxy which denied the new birth in no uncertain terms. Church has totally rewritten its history and uses language that plays on the proper assumptions of parishioners while [slowly] indoctrinating them with Progressive Justification.

I have the Spirit of God, and I know Christ as my Savior, I can tell you I in no way have ever been taught these things “unawares” and if I had, I certainly would have objected. You have a “one size fits all” view of the institutionalized church, and I think it may apply in some areas, especially Catholicism and some Lutheran circles, but not in every case, in every gathering that meets in a “church”. Not by a long shot. The Lord knows those that are His…and they don’t all worship at home…My problem is that you seem to throw the baby out with the bath water. I understand your rejection of organized religion today. It is repugnant in a lot of facets, but there are a great many local gatherings of believers where the Spirit of God is present that you simply are not, and cannot, be aware of that truly do worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and i hope you can at least acknowledge that I am speaking the truth.

That’s what I just said, but here is the problem: Justification by Faith, is, what it is. As far as a “one size fits all,” name one church that would deny Justification by Faith. The problem comes in when somebody like myself is a Berean about bibliology, but then extends that to actually reading the Protestant soteriological documents. Ooops. Houston, we have a huge problem.

I think you are getting into semantical hair-splitting which many hyper Calvinists do. I will post for you what I post for them many times. You are fully persuaded that you are correct, and nothing I can say will ever move you, so I don’t wish to continue. You’ve made your position clear, as have I. Here is what I answer to hyper Calvinists, about their arrogance.

When John Piper states that “Christians still need to be saved,” When Matt Chandler states that “Christians are wicked sinners who still need the cross of Christ,” they are in fact stating Protestant orthodoxy. In regard to Protestant soteriology, they are SPOT ON. How is everyday progressive justification “semantical hair-splitting” [?]. Salvation is either a finished work in the believer or it isn’t. The New Calvinists are right and have done the church a great service in making the church wakeup to what it really believes.

He’s an apostate, as is Chandler, and sadly John McArthur has fallen in with these as well. You’re preaching to the choir, please understand. “The Spirit speaks expressly that in the last days some shall DEPART from the faith…” They’ve departed from the faith they once held, if Chandler ever really held to it at all.

Let’s not get the cart before the horse. Show me an institutional church that rejects Calvin and Luther’s gospel and you are showing me a church that I just might fellowship with. And unfortunately, the New Calvinists are the best thing that has happened to the church because what the Reformers really believed is being brought into the light [in regard to what Justification by Faith really means].

Wrong. John Piper is a New Calvinist, you do realize that, right? As is Mark Driscoll and Al Mohler, et al. Apostates all…These men are seducing the church with “another gospel”.

They are right about what Protestantism is which was confused with people reading the Bible for themselves after the Puritan Theocracy was sent packing. The New Calvinists claim that they are recovering the true Protestant gospel and indeed they are.

And it’s a lie…the New Calvinists are ushering in liberalism into the church and seducing many young people into error. Read the book I posted. Its short and to the point.

The New Calvinists are recovering authentic Protestant orthodoxy, and though they are right, I don’t like them and that’s putting it mildly while I like you, but you are wrong about them.

4 Responses

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  1. Wayne said, on November 21, 2018 at 7:16 PM

    Can you please tell me what book is being referred to as being posted to you? Thanks


  2. Republicanmother said, on November 23, 2018 at 2:32 PM

    “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

    Does the wind live in a building?

    That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on November 23, 2018 at 3:38 PM

      Good point.


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