Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Church Outside the Walls

I received an ebook copy of Church Outside the Walls by Raj Samuel. Raj is a house church planter who is committed to education and church unity.

Raj has written this short book, just over 100 pages, for the purpose of educating Christians back to their original purpose. But he begins his whole book with a quote by a Hindu. "Christianity has failed in the West. Christians should not try to promote their religion in other parts of the world when it has not worked here in the West."

There are so very many things wrong with thsi remark, none the least of which is the fact that Christianity did not originate in the West, so it is philosophically unsound to argue for it not to be spread farther from here. Since Christianity was begun in Jerusalem and the spread everywhere from there, we should not be so elitist in the West to assume that our successes or failures have any bearing on Christianity worldwide.

Leaving that thought for the moment, Raj spends the rest of his words taking us back to the origins of many Christian practices, including meeting in a building and using leaders to, well, lead. These, and many other practices of the American Church, are pagan in nature, according to Raj, something we've picked up from the Greeks and the Romans and John Maxwell, I would guess.

All of these take us away from a Church body that should be more effective than it is. While I agree that too many people are sitting passively on the sidelines while watching the 'pastor professionals' perform the show, I think Raj has swung the pendulum too far in the other direction.

All that being said, I think Raj provides us with some good food for thought. We should know our purposes. We should know our origins. To take some time and chew on these ideas with other believers is a great idea. Just be careful not to throw out the baby with any dirty bathwater you come across.Because Raj will have you believing that all churches that have any structure are working against the work of Christ, not for it.

I received this ebook for free from my friends at SpeakEasy. They give me books and I review them. Win-win!

You can check out the book for yourself here.

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