The religious world looks at religion through 21st century glasses. Seldom does it really reach back to the first century. Yet, a first century perspective is exactly what is needed. If not, it is easy to make the Bible say things it never intended to say. Too, it causes individuals to use the Scriptures in an inappropriate manner. They will go to the Bible to prove their beliefs rather than going to the Bible to find their beliefs.
In the first century, there was only one church, not hundreds. A person was either a Christian, a Jew, a Roman, or a Gentile. The Christians of the first century were called Christians. They were not called by a multitude of man-made names. In the first century, there were no creeds that demanded loyalty. The only book that guided the church was the Bible. The church was not guided and governed by denominational conferences or conventions. Each congregation was autonomous. Too, there was a clear distinction between elders and evangelists. The one-man pastor system was unknown to the first century church. The worship was much different as well. Concerts were not part of the first century worship. The worship was very simple having only acapella singing. The word acapella literally means “in the manner of the church.
We could go on with how the first century church was so much different from the religious world today. Some do not see anything wrong with all of these differences. Others are deeply concerned. The concern comes from the fact that doctrines of men have replaced the doctrine of Christ. That is a legitimate concern.
One reason some do not want to take a first century perspective is because they would have to give up so many things that do not fall in line with the church of the first century. That perspective is both selfish and dishonest. Sadly, it removes the pattern of early church and man is free to do his own thing.
Oceanside church of Christ
Atlantic Beach, FL