Thursday, July 12, 2012

Going to Church in the First Century, Part IV: A Proposed Model Further Restoring the Church of Christ

Illustration by Judith Clingan
Going to Church in the First Century: Part One

Part Two

Part Three

“Greet also the church that meets in their house” (Romans 16:5).

“It is the clergy system and the institutional structure that inhibits the rediscovery of face-to-face community, supplants the functional Headship of Christ, and stifles the full ministry of every believer. Consequently, all attempts at renewal will always be shortsighted until the clergy system and institutional structure is dismantled in a local fellowship.”— Frank Viola, ReImagining Church, p. 268.

"We are all shaped by our experience. When we think about “church,” we conceive it in ways that approximate our experience. When we think about “preaching,” we conceive it in accordance with our experience of preaching. When we think about the Lord’s supper, our minds are filled with images from our experience. We think about pews in a church building, multiple-cup trays, (perhaps even “one cup” for some), unleavened bread in the form of crackers, a man officiating from the pulpit, men standing behind a symbolic table with their arms formally crossed at the waist aligned in a meticulous order, silent meditation, and focused attention on the death of Christ. But what was the practice of the Lord’s supper like in the first century?"