After battling with Brother Wren on the previous thread "Madison, at it again" I have put much thought and decided to study the New Testament to see what really is New Testament Christianity and how it compares to 21st Century Churches of Christ.
Pentacost is recognized as the beginning of this new offshoot of Judaism when one of Christ's followers, the Apostle Peter, gave a powerful sermon to travelers coming to Jerusalem as commanded in Torah to make way for this Holy day even from far off lands. People from at least 16 different regions heard the message and in their conversion "connected the dots" to see where this common man, the son of a carpenter, who performed miracles in their midst and even rasied people from the dead is truely the Messiah spoken in prophecy. "This Jesus whom you crucified is the Son of God." Mind you there were no gentiles and the church was made up of Jewish converts until Cornelius and his household was saved.
During this period of time there were no church buildings, no establishment of Christianity other than the fact that these Jews who have now become Christians pose a problem to the Temple estabishment. These new believers had a Bible of only 39 books as the writtings of the New Testament had not yet be formulated. Worship services had a definate Judaic flavor and concerned the priests because there was little difference between a Jewish and a Christian worship service. They came up with a 13th recitation as part of Judaic service renouncing this Jesus as Messiah. For those services where this was not recited then the priests knew what kind of service they were in.
The Movement grew exponentially as the followers spread the Message accross the regions even into parts of Asia and Rome. With the conversion of Cornelius and his household to this new movement a controversy arose on how this church was to function given the number of people converting and people of different races became part of
Christianity. We see that believers had services in their homes on a frequent basis (Romans 16:23) and people adorned themselves modestly and had no special appearal rather "everyday" clothes. The services was charismatic from a grassroots level as specified in I Corinthians 14 where some will sing, some will teach, some will speak in tongues, and some will reveal special messages from the Lord (I Corinthians 14: 26-28). The leadership of this new church enlists Apostles (still in effect to this day),prophets,evangelists,pastors, and teachers. These are gifts to the church from God and is for the duration of the church age (Romans 11:29). For each congregation of believers there were offices to help manage the affairs of the church: elders, deacons, and widows (I Timothy 3 and 5). For the duration of First Century Christianity there were no buildings, pulpit ministers, song books,or special clothing for services. For the most part believers lived out their faith in thier own communities and became a light shining in the darkness. They encouraged each other to share the gospel message whenever they form relationships with unbelievers. They lived modestly and cared for one another to where they communicated with each other on a daily basis.
Lets take a look at a typical Church of Christ service on a Sunday morning. People come from their homes and drive to church for services in a building. They wear special clothing to signify how good they are and anyone not wearing this clothing is looked down upon. Their only participation is singing from song books with their faces straight ahead. A majority of the sevice is spent with one person preaching to everyone else without interaction. As soon as service is over everybody engages in 5-10 minutes of social chit-chat and then, makes a B-line to the resturant for a big Sunday meal. After an afternoon nap they do the same for the evening service. They rarely engage with each other except for these times in the "church Building". And this my friends is the New Testament christianity according to the churches of Christ. If you are selling this, then, I am not buying it. There is a great deal of difference between 21st century churches of Christ and New Testamant Christianity.
<font color=red>During this period of time there were no church buildings, no establishment of Christianity other than the fact that these Jews who have now become Christians pose a problem to the Temple estabishment. These new believers had a Bible of only 39 books as the writtings of the New Testament had not yet be formulated. Worship services had a definate Judaic flavor and concerned the priests because there was little difference between a Jewish and a Christian worship service. They came up with a 13th recitation as part of Judaic service renouncing this Jesus as Messiah. For those services where this was not recited then the priests knew what kind of service they were in.</font>
The role of the Scribe was to attend anything of interest, record the event, make copies and sell them before the ink got dry. I believe that the early church never lacked the early teachings of Jesus and the letters were circulated.
The synagogue or church in the wilderness began AFTER Israel's fall from grace using music. Each REST (not saturday) they held a Holy Convocation. The command was to REST where labor defines "sending out ministers", Reading and rehearsing the Word of God. Any competent elder would have the message in his head from listening to Moses.
They dialoged what was read: that never changed up to the time of Christ even though the institutional synagogue at the time of Christ had taken on a broader role.
They had a poor box in the back for the POOR. Preaching as allegorizing was outlawed. They read the Word. They sat down and discussed any question. The President of the synagogue could translate and interpret troubling passages. They prayed usually a "hymn" or Biblical passages. They DISmissed and went home. Scholars were always around the synagogue for private teaching where the student paid the teacher but did not ADOPT him.
Jesus used the word ekklesia meaning synagogue. In the civil sense, the ekklesia was reserved for vocal instruction only. People were forced into the Civil ekklesi about 40 times a year to hear, debate and reach a conclusion about matters important for the state.
The Agora or marketplace, where Jesus consigned the pipers, singers and dancers, was often the location of pagan temples. In Rome, people's SECT would be identified by what they bought and ate. They preached, sang, played music and danced. They acted and sold "bodies" and radishes.
The first way PSALLO is used speaks of warefare and always pointed to Apollo or the Apollyon in Revelation.
The second major use defined a rope polluted with blood, red paint and other filth. The PSALLO ROPE was used to drive people OUT of the marketplace (modern church) and to the Ekklesia. If they dallied they would be MARKED as polluted.
Many of the "new style churches from old style Babylon" have REVERSED the roles so that church is he MARKETPLACE where we sell sermons, songs, instruments, CDs and other things. The little snipped of Bread SHOULD NOT cost that much and the lecture has little teaching content.
The fact that church has become defunct in some places is NOT the authority to make it more polluted to attract people from the marketplace to "save more souls." I doubt that anyone attracted by sermons or songs or music is going to be OF TRUTH to become a disciple and a suffering servant.
So, the solution is to BEGIN A Restoration Movement back to the School of the Bible to which Jesus instituted, Paul explained and the historic church maintained the Lord's Supper to remember his death and not a Hicks "feast to feed God while we burn the fat and jubilate." Elect a "contact man" for the year and go home.