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Is it biblical to select members for a housgroup/church?

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Sarruddin Mustapha

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Feb 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/9/98
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I guide together with a fellow-christian a housegroup of 10 people. We
meet once a week for worship, prayer and bible-study. There's a new
person attending our housgroup. This person seems to be characterly
very difficult. The question now that was brought to me is as follows:

Since my partner has personal difficulties with this new member, she's
thinking to forbid the person to participate in our housegroup
meetings. It has to be mentioned that this person hasn't committed any
sins that has to be treated like in Corinthians. She's just a little
bit difficult in her personality (easily gets angry, frustrated; feels
swiftly condemned etc.).

My question now: Are we as Christians aloud to select believers? Are
we aloud to decide who may enter our housegroup meetings?

I would like to get some opinions.

Sarruddin

Bart Goddard

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Feb 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/10/98
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In article <6bn58k$dp8$1...@Jupiter.Mcs.Net>, must...@swissonline.ch
says...

> My question now: Are we as Christians aloud to select believers? Are
> we aloud to decide who may enter our housegroup meetings?

Interesting question. My first gut reaction is, since she hasn't
sinned, you don't have the right to discipline her. The Church is
a family, and if she was a relative, you'd just put up with her.
It seems like the same applies here.

However, this raises a few other thoughts. I've been an
opponent to the mega/meta-church and cell-group ideas from
the outset. The "new" way to think of a minister of a
congregation is now "administrator of cell groups", and
the thinking is that the true church is the cell groups,
whereas Sunday worship is merely the weekly convention. I
think this greatly reduces the definition of "pastor" and
erroneously changes the mission of the Church.

Your situation is an exemplary case. IF the housegroup _is_
the Church, you most certainly don't have the right to put
the offending member out. But, is the housegroup really
"the Church" in the same sense as the whole congregation is
"the Church"?

In my doctrine, the answer is "no." If I want to run a
Bible study in my home, then I'll invite whomever I please.
(And if I'm mature enough, my choices won't be limited to
Victoria's Secret models, but rather I'll make my choices
based on what is conducive to good study.) If someone is
ruining the study for everyone else, and reducing attendance
by 50%, then I most likely would dis-invite her.

If dis-inviting her is a sin, then it is a sin against
hurting her feelings and NOT a sin against free-admission
to the Church. (This is one important distinction to make.)

OTOH, in your doctrine (I'm guessing, based on the new buzz
word you used "housegroup") your housegroup IS the church.
Now if you dis-invite her, you're kicking her out of the
Church and if she is not sinning, then you ought not to
do that.

The issue you're making us face here is "What is the Church?"
Our knee-jerk (and fairly correct) answer is "where two or
more are gathered in Jesus' name." But somehow this doesn't
tell the whole story. For instance, my family gathering
around the supper table and saying grace is certainly
"two or more gathered". Yet this gathering is not "Church"
in the sense that we're concerned with missions and preaching
and we don't feel obligated to let just anyone wonder in
off the street and start eating off our plates.

So I guess the question you guys need to answer for yourselves
is whether your housegroup sessions are more like Sunday
worship or more like saying grace over supper.

Bart


Frank

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Feb 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/10/98
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Sarruddin Mustapha <must...@swissonline.ch> wrote in article
<6bn58k$dp8$1...@Jupiter.Mcs.Net>...

> I guide together with a fellow-christian a housegroup of 10 people. We
> meet once a week for worship, prayer and bible-study. There's a new
> person attending our housgroup. This person seems to be characterly
> very difficult. The question now that was brought to me is as follows:
>
> Since my partner has personal difficulties with this new member, she's
> thinking to forbid the person to participate in our housegroup
> meetings. It has to be mentioned that this person hasn't committed any
> sins that has to be treated like in Corinthians. She's just a little
> bit difficult in her personality (easily gets angry, frustrated; feels
> swiftly condemned etc.).
>
> My question now: Are we as Christians aloud to select believers? Are
> we aloud to decide who may enter our housegroup meetings?
>
> I would like to get some opinions.
>
> Sarruddin

Are we allowed to select believers? It is not possible for us to make such
a selection.

This person that gets angry and frustrated, what is the best thing for her?

You will probably get many answers with various interpretations of the
bible, what does your heart tell you the right thing to do would be?

Frank


Rodney Dunning

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Feb 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/10/98
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Sarruddin Mustapha wrote:

> Since my partner has personal difficulties with this new member, she's
> thinking to forbid the person to participate in our housegroup
> meetings. It has to be mentioned that this person hasn't committed any
> sins that has to be treated like in Corinthians. She's just a little
> bit difficult in her personality (easily gets angry, frustrated; feels
> swiftly condemned etc.).
>
> My question now: Are we as Christians aloud to select believers?

No.

> Are
> we aloud to decide who may enter our housegroup meetings?

Your "housegroup" is a church, i.e., a congregation. Short of the
Corinthian exceptions you alluded to, the fact it meets in your house
doesn't give you or your partner the right to prohibit someone from
attending worship b/c of their personality. If your partner wants to lead
a church, whether in someone's home or not, I'm afraid that she's going to
have to learn to get along with folks whose personalities may be entirely
pleasing.

--
Rodney Dunning
e-mail: dunn...@wfu.edu
URL: www.wfu.edu/~dunnirb4


Sarruddin Mustapha

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Feb 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/11/98
to

>> My question now: Are we as Christians aloud to select believers? Are

>> we aloud to decide who may enter our housegroup meetings?

Thanx for your thoughts!

To make it clear: We are a housegroup and not a church in a
mega-church (even though our pastor and elders a thinking to adapt
this concept in near future).

I think that all of your answers are correct! As a church we are not
allowed to select the participants. Let me witness to you what happend
in our last meeting yesterday: My partner Pia (she leads the meetings
together with me) served us with the word and cited (John 6:37 NKJV)
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes
to Me I will by no means cast out." All groupmembers responded with an
Amen.

I believe that we can grow with the seemingly difficult person in our
group and the new member can grow with us - but everything guided by
love (Rom 15:14 NKJV) "Now I myself am confident concerning you, my
brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all
knowledge, able also to admonish one another." If we have funny
feelings about a person, we maybe at first have to examine our own
heart/thinking through the view of Christ. And like God worked on the
heart of my partner, he will work on ours and equip us with divine
love to bear one another patiently like Jesus would have done. He came
for the sick and He sat on the same table with publicans, prostitutes
and thieves.

You all pointed in one or the other way in this direction and I
believe that it is the will of God to welcome everybody into our
housegroup.

Sarruddin

dc

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Feb 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/13/98
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>I think that all of your answers are correct! As a church we are not
>allowed to select the participants. Let me witness to you what happend
>in our last meeting yesterday: My partner Pia (she leads the meetings
>together with me) served us with the word and cited (John 6:37 NKJV)
>"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes
>to Me I will by no means cast out." All groupmembers responded with an
>Amen.


***When Pia speaks in the group, does she ever quote 1 Timothy 2:11-14 ?


>
>

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