I have gone through a lot of transition in the last year. My way of doing church became away of being the church. I no longer can hold onto some of the traditions brought on through the I.C. .
In saying that I in no way am saying they are not Christian or that they are wrong in all ways of thinking.
No, I just feel there has been a lot of mis-representation of the scriptures throughout the years since the last Apostles were around. It seems we have added more to the body than was originally presented in the New Testament. So I would hope to clarify some of what I see in scripture compared to what has and is being taught. I am in no way a theologian so some of these thoughts and references will come from various sources as they relate to what I believe.
1. I believe that churches mostly met in homes in the New Testament. (Acts 2:46-47; 5:42; 8:3; 12:12; 16:40; 20:7-8; 20:20; Rom. 16:3-5; 1Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philemon 2; 2Jn. 9-11.
2. there were no denominations in the New Testament. They were simply the church.
3. Elders and pastors were raised up in the body and not brought in or hired by a board.
Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5
4. "Worship service" should not be a one person monologue with a worship leader. All should be allowed to participate according to scriptures. 1 Cor. 12:4-27; 14:26: Eph. 4:15-16; Rom. 12:3-8;
1 Peter 4:10-11: Heb. 10:23-25: Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 12:26
5. Sunday morning worship is not to be rigid. In the New Testament they were to be orderly according to 1 Corinthians, but also have open participation. Acts 20:7-12; 1Cor.14:26-31.
6. The reason for meeting is to exhort, and build up the body. Not give a 3 pointer and leave.
1Cor. 14:3,4,5,12,17,26; Ephesians 4:11-12,16; Heb. 10:24-25.
7. The church is not just to be lead by the pastor. The New Testament had a plurality of co-equal elders. Acts 14:23; 20:28; Phil. 1:1, 1 Tim.4:17; Heb. 10:17; James 5:14; 1Peter 5:1-2.
7. There were no senior pastors, associate pastors, youth pastors...Elders again were equal.
8.The modern church pays pastors. In the New Testament the elders worked at other jobs. Not saying that none were paid. Those who were paid were traveling evangelist, Apostles. Acts 20:33-35, which by the way doesn't mention "pastors" in that scripture. 1Tim. 5:17-18.
9.There was no clergy/laity distinction in the New Testament. If there is please show me. Oh yes, in Revelation it mentions something. Nicolaitons. Which God hates. It means "conquering the laity."
10. In the modern church the Lord's supper consist of a piece of cracker and a shot glass of juice.
New Testament it was a feast. Representing Christ death, but also celebrating His coming back.
Plus contrary to popular teaching they did use wine. Just don't get drunk! Drinking wine is NOT a sin. Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 11:20-21; Jude 12; Luke 22:15-18,30; 1 Cor.11:26; Acts 2:42; 1Cor. 10:16; Acts 2;46.
11. Baptism of new believers. New Testament they were baptised immediately upon confession. They did not go through a "new believers class".
12. Any Believer can baptise another believer. It is not a right held just for the elite.
13. Monologue sermons weren't the norm. In the New Testament if anyone had a teaching, song, revelation. It was given. Not just one person. Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 14:29-35.
14.Tithing! That is an Old Covenant teaching. Not a New Covenant one. It was for old Israel not new Israel. If you are a believer you are new Israel.
In the New Testament the church or body gave primarily to help the poor and assist Christian workers. They gave as anyone had need. Not just ten percent. It was voluntary! Not mandatory!
It was not for building funds, salaries for church administration. Because there were no secretaries, janitors or paid staff in the New Testament.
Deacons were servants. They were needed because there was a great influx of contributions coming into the body. So they were to help administer as needed. Deacon is not an office, just as elder is not an office. It was a servants heart that made people set out for the these functions. We all should be servants in the body. The hand has to help put food in the mouth etc.
Acts 2:44-45; Galations 6:9-10; 1John 3:17; 1Timothy 5:17_18; 1 Cor.9: 6-14; 2 Cor. 8:3; Phil. 4:15-18; Lk. 12:33-34; Eph. 4:28; James 1:27; 2Cor. 8:3-4; 9:7.
So there you go as this is what I have been struggling with. I hope with all the references many questions can be answered as to why I believe this way. I am not on a quest to convert people to the way I believe. Only God can change mens hearts. As He did mine.
The lesson is we need to know our history. Test the word!
I would like to credit www.greatcommissionhousechurches.org for some of the scripture references used. I would also direct anyone wanting some more info. on the subject of House Churches to log onto www.NTRF.org and look up some of the references on that site.