Much of the analysis focuses on the manner that churches meet together. For example, Jon writes:
You assert, â€œSince the Bible does not give us enough information to construct a worship service, we must fill in the blanksâ€ (p.137).Â Â Why do we feel compelled to find a â€œworship serviceâ€?Â Â There is no evidence that the early church had â€œworship services,â€ as we conceive of them.Â Â The largest insight we have about a Christian gathering appears in 1 Cor.14.Â Â We have these glimpses because Paul was correcting a problem.Â Â In this passage we see (1) the whole ekklesia gathered; (2) an open meeting where everyone was potentially involved in prophecy; (3) that what was spoken had to be understood by all; (4) multiple expressions from many, â€œeach of you hasâ€¦â€;Â (5) no mention of a sermon by one person; (6) no pulpit; (7) no leaders.Â Â You mention â€œthe people up frontâ€ (p.139), but in the 1 Cor.14 meeting there is no â€œfront,â€ as they met in homes with simplicity as a family.Â Â Indeed, while the NT does not give a lot of information about believersâ€™ gatherings, my question is: Why have our traditions essentially jettisoned what light we do have from 1 Cor.14 and other passages?
Later he writes:
Again I must ask,Â is it hermeneutically responsible to disregard the weight of 1 Cor.11-14 and fill in the blanks with practices that fly in the face of what is revealed?
There is much about meeting together that Scripture does NOT tell us. However, Scripture does tell us some things about how the early churches met together, and how Paul specifically instructed some early churches to meet together. Thus, we have a kind of path to follow.
Why would we want to stray from that path? Why would we want to disregard 1 Corinthians 11-14 and other passages that describe some aspects of church gatherings?
I’ve read many books and articles in which the authors defend modern church practices. But, I’ve never seen this question answered.