19—what pagan means
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
In other blips, I have mentioned things in the church that have pagan origins. I wish to clarify that the word “pagan” doesn’t mean bad or evil; it refers to an ancient religion that was the state religion during the days of the early church. Greek mythology is connected to it. It isn’t true, no significant amount of people believe it anymore, but that’s not the point. Having a connection to it isn’t in and of itself bad—the names of the seven days of the week come from it, we can’t do anything about it, any seven words would do. Roman paganism used chairs and carpets in their temples before the church did. That doesn’t make chairs and carpets bad. If you have a picture of the Roman sun god on your carpet, that’s another story. Colossians chapter 1 verse 18 tells us Jesus is the head of the church.
A Sunday or whatever day worship meeting is different. An order of worship comes from paganism. The Bible tells us about the Holy Spirit, not any person, determining order. First Corinthians chapter 14 verse 26 tells us about mutual participation and edifying each other in worship. That is impossible when one person does all the talking and believes its his job to set the agenda. Preaching, as we see it today in most churches, isn’t what the Bible means by the word, and suppresses mutual edification. Many services, when God isn’t allowed to be spontaneous, are boring. Large numbers of people make mutual participation impossible. How many people did Jesus mentor? 12, the disciples, and possibly at a lesser level, 70. Personally, I’d advise against trying to do more than Jesus without specific guidance by the Holy Spirit.
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.” While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better. I comment on that in blip 94.