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Comparing today’s church to the church in Acts

Posted by on Dec 19, 2010 in blog links | 15 comments

Comparing today’s church to the church in Acts

This morning, Dave Black (Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 7:38 a.m.) shared a comparison/contrast of today’s church with the church that we see in the Book of Acts.

He says:

Much of what we call “church” today originated, not in the New Testament, but in post-apostolic times.

  • The Lord’s Supper has changed from a celebration to a ceremony.
  • Worship has changed from participation to observation.
  • Witness has changed from relationship to salesmanship.
  • Leadership has changed from servanthood to professionalism.
  • Mission has changed from being missionaries to supporting missionaries.
  • Body life has changed from edification to entertainment.
  • Buildings have changed from functional to sacred.
  • Child care has changed from the hands of parents to the hands of strangers.

The book of Acts shows us that the need great of modern Christianity is to return to biblical faithfulness and the profound simplicity of the New Testament.

What do you think of his comparison?


15 Comments

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  1. 12-19-2010

    I think that is dead on.

  2. 12-19-2010

    Sadly true. Here is another:

    Gatherings changed from spirit lead to prescheduled.

  3. 12-19-2010

    and a few more:

    – Giving changed from giving to the poor to giving to the church
    – Discipleship training changed from apprenticeship model to academic model
    – Gospel of Jesus’ Kingdom changed to gospel of our distinct doctrines
    – Unity of all saints changed to unity within our local faction

  4. 12-19-2010

    Arthur,

    I wasn’t sure about the last one. I agree that parents (and others in the family – spiritual family, that is) should teach and disciple children. I’m not sure that comes out of the book of Acts though. :)

    Jon,

    Good additions.

    -Alan

  5. 12-20-2010

    Interesting. I’ve been thinking similar thoughts, and until recently have attributed the differences to the way we “do church”. I’m beginning to think it has more to do with the heart. Starting with mine…

  6. 12-20-2010

    Chris,

    The way we meet together as the church typically displays either our heart or what we’ve been taught.

    -Alan

  7. 4-6-2012

    Lets compare why.
    The early church was Jewish, and even when the gentiles came along, they unwittingly adopted the Jewish worldview and interpretation of scripture, experience with God and relational rather than hierarchical daily life.
    Their experience was rooted in the Old Testament, which comprised several millenniums of history, poetry, prophesy, art, language, prayer, judgments, family, politics et al.
    The Jews were a united people. They had a sense of collective destiny, corporate identity and united experience which they didnt have to discuss, tweak, write about, develop or explain to each other. They just were who they were, and when they came to Christ as Messiah, they didnt change. As a matter of fact, they continued life in Christ just as they had before under Moses law, caring for one another, building each other up in the faith and letting nothing divide them.
    We westerners dont have much of what they had, and our attempt to come up with unity, love and the daily culture of God awareness that they had is noble but doomed to fail. God knows this about us, and will find another way to unite us, and transform us into vessels meet for the masters use. Father knows we want to be like Jesus and the early church, walking in love, bringing kingdoms to their knees at Jesus feet, but we must let Him change us from within. Trying to be is an oxymoron.
    Rest in Him, care for one another, serve, love and forgive and wait for His salvation as we occupy. Become like little children, who dont question Father. Much more can be said about how we have exchanged our Abrahamic roots of the faith for a Socratic (Greek) mindset but suffice it to say we would benefit from getting to know why Jesus said “salvation is of the Jews”.

  8. 6-14-2013

    Sadly today’s church has “evolved” into something quite different from the first church we see in the book of Acts. Christ said If “I” be lifted up “I” will draw all men unto me. That’s a pretty big “If” for us, so; rather than relying on market strategies He says to have faith as a little child. Still, somehow, we feel we can do better if it’s done our way. His emphasis to build a strong foundation and with him being the chief cornerstone is for a reason; — it won’t wash away with floods and storms. The trials are coming, and as stated in Luke: “Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth”?

  9. 6-15-2013

    Ted,

    What do yo think are a few ways that Christians can ensure they are lifting up Christ when they gather together?

    -Alan

  10. 7-11-2013

    It must start with the individual. The Bible states that all should work out out their own salvation with fear and trembling. This automatically removes our way out of the picture and allows God to to it His way (which, somehow is always the right way). People as individuals need to rely upon God’s word as the first and foremost authority of what is right or wrong rather than just what they’ve been told. Communication is important. Unless you communicate with someone how will you ever get to know them? Or are we simply relying on what we’ve been told? This communication is prayer and God’s word.
    If you get a group of people together who know Him, their concern will not be a structured one for they know that where two or more are gathered together in His name that He will be there. This brings about a certain humility and here is where God is lifted up. Somehow we will see souls getting saved, people getting involved and the ministry moving forward.
    Ted

  11. 7-12-2013

    Ted,

    I like what you said about communication and listening. I think that’s important in our relationship with God (as you pointed out) and in our relationship with one another. In many ways, that last part – communicating and listening to one another – is what’s missing among the church today.

    -Alan

  12. 8-20-2013

    A very needful discussion indeed, opening Pandora’s Box of the delusion of current church-craft. Following the counterfeit example of King Saul, the Laodicean church class of today is obviously a state-complicit puppet formed into a political structuring, easily monitored and controlled by the powers that be. Religious Pharisee-like formalism and religified ceremonial liturgies to mesmerise the religiously inclined masses have replaced the simple “obedience” which King Saul did not possess. Saul wanted only to be religious, was self-motivated and did not obey the command to completely exterminate all the inhabitants of Canaan (the Nephilim Hybrids and their giant, king Agag). God’s Prophet Samuel had to complete the example. Today’s churchianity has been gradually transmogrified into a subtle form of Satanism (Apostate), and, as King Saul, is devoid of the ability to obey the Lord. Jesus’ last and forever blessed command was “Love one another,as I have loved you”. Loving our brethren in Christ is the obedience required. “Obedience is better than sacrifice” 1Sam.15:22. Also experience this in John 13:34,35; and 1John 3:14-24. Having this Devine love for the Word of God, and the true children of God will get you no fellowship in the churches of today. They insist that your priority and preference should be for the lost Worldlings. I encourage you to Experience the Revelations 3:20 thing and to find the exit-door and be brought out of the great Laodicean delusion. Be true Philadelphians. Return to the N.T. pattern of OBEDIENCE found in Acts 4:24-35 and experience the true blessings of unanimity and your destined home.

  13. 8-20-2013

    Mike,

    I’ve found that grace and gentleness and patience works very well in helping people see the differences between the church in general today and the church described in Scripture.

    -Alan

  14. 8-29-2013

    Alan,
    I cannot even tell you how happy I am to have found someone that shares the same beliefs as myself. Holy Spirit taught me Who He is, no one else. He took me through the scriptures, not some pastor or a church. This went on for two years when He first called me to Salvation. I tried and tried to find a church to match what He had taught me, what He had showed me and revealed and yet I couldn’t find it. Not where I live at least. Its sad, but its truth. The church is no longer the church we see in the book of Acts. I believe that the true church is out there, and we find each other in many ways, this being one of them. But it saddens my heart to see the multitude that are caught up in man made tradition, and have fallen short of what the Lord has instructed. Thank you SO much for sharing! Be blessed!!

    Carrie

  15. 8-31-2013

    Carrie,

    Yes, God’s church is out there and everywhere, although his people do not always present themselves as what is traditionally called “church.”

    -Alan