How to Abandon New Testament Christianity in Ten Easy Steps
1. Separate children from their parents at church.
2. Have an exciting youth ministry.
3. Be committed to a one-man leadership model.
4. Refuse to allow believers to speak or exercise their spiritual gifts during the service.
5. Make discipleship an option.
6. Have long, drawn out altar calls.
7. Focus on evangelism instead of edification in your meetings.
8. Make a huge fuss over Christmas and Easter.
9. Spend lots of money on buildings and maintenance.
10. Apply Jesus’ words “Do this in remembrance of Me” to everything but the Lord’s Supper.
My friends, I am of the firm belief that not only do the “old paths” conform to biblical patterns, they work better. This may seem radical to some, but let’s face it – “getting back to the root” is the original meaning of radical. Without realizing it, our practices have been conformed to the spirit of the world in ways that would have shocked the earliest Christians. Few and far between are those who are seeking to hold the church to the realties of the simple Gospel, who boldly invite others to “ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein” (Jer. 6:16).
Personally, I am convinced that ignorance of God’s ways – particularly his ways of “doing church” – lie at the root of much of the church’s weakness today. The time has come to bring our local church practices under the scrutiny of God’s Word. If there are practices in our tradition that are in conflict with the New Testament revelation, we have only one option: we must correct our practices.
All of the above topics, from an age-integrated philosophy of ministry to the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper as a full meal, are discussed at our Unleashing the Church page. I invite you to peruse these essays prayerfully and carefully. And may God richly bless you as you study what His Word says about His church.
March 27, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.