Eric from “A Pilgrim’s Progress” shares an “Interesting Commentary on I Corinthians 14:26-33.” Eric is referring to William Barclay’s commentary on 1 Corinthians which was published in 1975. Eric includes this quote from Barclay:
There was obviously a flexibility about the order of service in the early Church. Everything was informal enough to allow any man who felt that he had a message to give to give it. It may well be that we set far too much store on dignity and order nowadays, and have become the slaves of orders of service. The really notable thing about an early Church service must have been that almost everyone came feeling that he had both the privilege and the obligation of contributing something to it. A man did not come with the sole intention of being a passive listener; he came not only to receive but to give. Obviously this had its dangers, for it is clear that in Corinth there were those who were too fond of the sound of their own voices; but nonetheless the Church must have been in those days much more the real possession of the ordinary Christian. It may well be that the Church lost something when she delegated so much to the professional ministry and left so little to the ordinary Church member. (page 134)
Eric adds some great remarks to this quote in his post. But I wanted to mention something else.
A few years ago, I wrote an exegesis paper on 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 for a seminary class. While doing research for that paper, I came across several commentaries with similar conclusions. In other words, when studying Scriptures, Barclay’s comments above seem obvious (well, perhaps not to everyone, but to most commentaries that I’ve read).
But, there’s a disconnect when it comes to practice. Very few churches actually meet the way that Barclay (and many others) conclude that the early church met.
Why do you think that disconnect exists?