Doesn't the house church model promote heresy?
In general, the house church model is the least likely to promote heresy. There are two main ways that heresy is promoted:
1. A Denominational Office Is Infected
Churches that are part of a denomination have to agree to certain things in order to be a part of the denomination. When the leaders of a denomination choose to make certain changes, the churches either agree and stay or they disagree and leave the denomination. If the change in the denominational office is one of heresy, it affects every church connected to it.
2. A Pastor/Bishop/Overseer Infects a Congregation
When a pastor decides to make a change to beliefs, doctrine, or practices, it will affect the whole congregation. Many times when a pastor wants to make a change, the congregation assumes the pastor knows more than they do about making the best decision because they were trained in biblical matters. However, many times the pastor takes the congregation in the wrong direction.
How does the house church keep heresy from happening?
1. No Single Leader
The leaders in the church are biblically qualified elders. Whenever the bible talks about elders, it is plural. There is nowhere in the New Testament where there is a single pastor over a congregation. The closest you have to that is Paul, a missionary, as he is establishing the church before appointing elders. Since there is a plurality of leadership, the elders check each other on new ideas and doctrinal questions.
2. Everyone is Biblically Literate
Every house church member is encouraged to share at the gatherings. In this way, each person is encouraged to be studying God's word and preparing to share with each other. When concepts come up in conversation, each person should be equipped with biblical answers to fend off heretical teachings.
3. Elders are Present
When sharing occurs in the gatherings, the elders are present and listening for accurate interpretations of scripture. People don't need to be called out on inaccuracies unless it is deliberate and insistent. Instead, the elders should carefully correct any improper interpretations subtly, and conversations can occur after the meeting to clear up any confusion.