It’s exactly a month since my last post. I have been doing a lot of reading and a similar amount of thinking about many things including my faith and how that is expressed in my life.
I heard a story today about a boy who struggles to read and write but really enjoys reading Bible stories. For various reasons, the boy only gets to do this when he visits his grandfather during the school holidays and for this reason he describes himself as only ‘half Christian’.
Some days, I’d say that’d be a pretty accurate label for me. I struggle with mainstream denominational church and what the Christianity ‘brand’ seems to represent. Likewise, I feel uncomfortable with the literalism and selective interpretation of much that is presented to those who attend church.
Rather than being put off by these aspects as I would in the past, I have been trying to look for ways in which I can connect with God in a way that has more meaning, less baggage and make a positive impact on others.
In reading what others have written on their own search for a more authentic church experience, I found a good many references to house churches, simple churches and their like. After a enjoyable workday lunch hour spent browsing pre-loved books in Evermore Books, I came away with a book called Simply Church. Written by Tony & Felicity Dale, the book provides a good introduction to house church movement.
Slim enough to read in one day, the book basically covers the scriptural foundations for house churches and covers the increasing number of simple church and house church networks around the world. The premise of a simple home-based church modeled on the meals and meetings of the New Testament Apostles seems more authentic than the denominational services I have been to and a more direct way to engage with God. Certainly something I shall be reading and praying on more in the weeks to come. You can read more on these types of churches at House2House and Simply Church.
While in Evermore, I also picked up an old copy of the Good News Bible. I remembered the logo from my childhood and as I flicked through the pages I was delighted to rediscover the wonderfully evocative illustrations of Swiss artist Annie Vallotton. Since than and via the Amazon Marketplace, I have also scooped up a copy of Priority, the English translation of Valloton’s 1969 French language book, Priorité. This book is a simple retelling of Jesus’ life in sixty drawings with selected scriptures.