and I am not sitting on a church bench.
I guess the correct thing to say is I am not sitting on a church pew. Does that make me less of a Christian? Do I love God less? Does he love me less?
No of course not. It doesn’t make me better than all the other Christian church goers sitting together singing and praying. It also does it make any of them a better Christian than me.
If you have read any of my other articles about Sunday Christians you know how I feel about part time Christians. Those who do all the right things on Sunday and are different people the rest of the week.
As I sit in my home this morning and I hear my children laughing and singing, I think of how it must have been for the early followers of Jesus. They met in homes and recounted what Jesus had done. They prayed and worshiped. They did not worry about what the lady sitting next to them was wearing. They didn’t care if their children were sitting quiet and paying attention. More likely the children were laughing and running around doing what kids do. Church was not a thing. Being a Christian was not a thing.
They were living for God as their beloved teacher, master, Jesus had instructed.
I imagine that it would shock the disciples to see what they loved has become and what Church is now. Can you imagine Paul walking in to a mega church today? All the money displayed in buildings and technology?
The early Christian church started out in Jerusalem and lived a communal lifestyle. They continued the apostles’ early experience with Jesus. They lived from common resources taking care of each other. No one was greater than the next person. They lived in small groups. They sent out missionaries to spread the Gospel and start new smaller groups. The first Christians saw themselves as brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers to everyone who was part of their community.
The first Christians valued the study of the scriptures, but they didn’t have a Bible. They continued to study the Torah. Later came writings of Paul and others. They shared truth mostly by word of mouth. You may think the modern church has this one mastered. Most of us Christians own several Bibles. Today’s church programs contain a wide array of Bible studies and spiritual classes.
Here’s the thing, Christians today exhibit a lack of biblical illiteracy despite owning dozens of Bibles and attending church. According to one set of statistics from 2016,
60 percent of confessing born-again Christians can’t name five of the 10 commandments, 81 percent don’t believe or simply do not know some of the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
I bet it is even less now.
For modern Christians to get back, even in part, to how the early church lived out their faith, would require a rather extensive overhaul of the methods and process of contemporary gatherings.
For now I choose to worship God everyday. Not just on Sundays. I might eventually find a church I can fit into, with the understanding that it will not be perfect, which is perfect for the imperfect person I am.
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