Home-church and small-group advocates have rightly underscored many ways in which little gatherings can function as authentic expressions of the Body of Christ in the world. These ways include loving intimacy, meeting of urgent needs, participation by all, manifestation of each one’s spiritual gifts, easy mobility, low cost, ethnic sensitivity, rapid reproduction, leader training, neighborhood involvement and much more.
Evolutionist-scientists and Creationist-scientists alike have been warning since before the present century that the burning of fossil-based fuels was contributing to climate change, especially to rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. These changes threaten the biosphere in several ways, especially by regionally-rising surface temperatures and increased acidity that may lead to the extinction of life forms, threatening human health, as well.
In populations where faith communities hold to a tradition of assembling in big, central venues, believers expend enormous financial resources on transport, heating and cooling, maintenance and staff salaries, in support of their impersonal, passive0-spectator religion. In vain efforts to enthuse their youth, conservative and liberal US churches spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year, flying their youth groups to distant locations for one to three weeks of holiday, called missions, in exotic locations. All this waste contributes both to a decline in Christian faith and an increase in the impact of fossil-fuel consumption.
Thus, an accelerated return to biblical patterns of home and friendship-based churches would have two immediate, long-lasting effects. First, Christianity, in particular, would become the lively, transformational faith that Jesus taught. Second, fossil-fuel consumption would decline significantly.
Over time, Christianized populations would discover the joy and strength of enhanced family life, with a decreased dependence on an abundance manufactured goods in a vain search for happiness. And since Christianity remains the fastest growing faith on earth, a renewed US example could lead to similar practices internationally. Maybe even some greedy bankers and military industrialists would adopt a simpler, more livable life style?