Today a bright idea struck me. If people home school because public education is lacking, do they home church if public Christian churches are lacking? Quick, to the Googlecave!
Norville Tucker, who moved his family to the woods outside Shelby, AL in 1998 to “escape the damaging cultural influences of urban Mobile,” is widely credited with pioneering the home-churching movement. Tucker said he was inspired to home-church when his 10-year-old son Macon returned from Sunday school singing a lighthearted song about Zacchaeus, a tax collector befriended by Christ, and then later recited the parable of the Good Samaritan.
“I couldn’t believe that the liberal elite had infiltrated even the study of our Holy Scriptures,” Tucker said. “It was bad enough that my youngsters were being taught evolution in public schools, but when I discovered they were learning to embrace foreigners and Big Government in Sunday school, I drew the line.”
It’s pretty silly, but yeah, we as Christians all know that it’s not the same, and church is different. We are commanded not to neglect gathering together as Christians, and there are many reasons why we should do so.
Except, well, some people think different.
Robert Fitts suggests that we begin with the simplest possible expression of church: two or three gathered in Christ’s name (Matthew 18:20):
What Is A Church? If we take away all the non-essentials, we would have Jesus and at least two people who have come together in His name. Two people, who have been born again, meeting together anywhere, at anytime, with Jesus in the midst, is church at its most basic, most informal level. (The Church in the House).
This is a good starting point for looking at how church is expressed. It’s simple. It can be two or three. When a husband and wife gather at home (two or more), it is church.
There’s surprisingly a fair amount of writing on this. There’s even a collective movement which tries to take the ethos of homeschooling and apply it to normal church, the Family Integrated Church movement. In other words, not only is secular education done by the parents without the kids going off to a separate school to be taught, religious worship and education is done without children going off to a separate youth minister or kids service to be taught. This post sums up the benefits and problems of it:
We have had several negative experiences with other churches and families who would call themselves “family integrated.” As a result, and after much reflection on the issues, we have coined the terms “ecclesiastical family integration” vs. “patriarchal family integration” to discuss our position on the matter. The one is oriented toward the church, while the latter finds its frame of reference in the family.
So even in church worship, the kids can’t get away from under the parent’s thumb. Some parents refuse to even let YOUTH MINISTERS deal with their kids for fear of ill spiritual effects. They even have a documentary about it!
So to my chagrin a rather silly idea suddenly has introduced me to the fact that my fellow believers are into some strange things. Truth is far stranger than fiction, sadly.