Encouraged by the past
I recently wrote the pastor’s exam and one of the four topics of study was church history. While reviewing the material I couldn’t help but be both encouraged and inspired. From the early church until now, there have been faithful followers of Jesus who passed on their faith.
Although we don’t have a 4K video documentary evidence on how early Christians lived their lives, we do know that even among Ancient pagan people, Christianity was seen as unsophisticated and strange. Pliny the younger, a Roman governor, referred Christianity a “superstition.”
However, Pliny, who was supposed to be persecuting Christians, wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan in his confusion. He just couldn’t understand what Christianity’s crime was. He explains that Christians simply meet, sing a hymn, eat a meal, and then depart to meet again. He says he couldn’t find any evidence of Christians committing any theft, breaking promises, or committing adultery. He also wrote that every age, every social class, and every race, and both sexes were present.
Pliny is more or less describing Christians doing house church. We know it’s a reliable description to because Pliny, like most of the Roman government were enemies of Christianity. So we know Christians met, ate together, and shared their lives together. And somehow people meeting at each other’s home and doing faith together grew to become the dominant world faith today. Yes, testimonies of great faith and dramatic events are encouraging, but what’s also encouraging is that most Christians lived simple and ordinary lives—but they changed the history of the Roman Empire with ordinary house church.
Lately I’ve been find myself wondering, ‘is what I’m doing at house church significant?’ But when I see it in light of world history, I realize I’m part of the bigger picture. I’m part of the movement that reshaped the entire Western (and North Eastern) world. Of course Christians definitely were not perfect throughout history, but had model examples every generation. I thought I would be bored and sick of studying church history, but I found myself being encouraged instead. And maybe someday, our history, The Seed house church will be an encouragement to future generations of Christians.