In order to get a grasp on where the Christian faith is currently and where we need to move to next, I think we must first examine our roots. I wanted to know if todays Christian movement matched that of the early followers.
Note that in the beginning, followers were not called Christians but "Followers of the Way." I will also use this term to describe the modern Christian believers who break the traditional mold and exhibit some of the traits of the early Christians. I believe the example being set by many of these "Followers" is the key to solving the Christianity problem discussed in the previous posts.
So what were early followers like?
Did they argue over doctrine? Did they have elaborate worship services? Did they bicker with other Christians over whose rituals were most biblical?
Not exactly. Look at a passage from Acts 2:42-47
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
"After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need."
So basically what I took from this was that the Early Followers:
Were devoted to following the teachings of Jesus
Had fellowship, worship and prayed together
Met together and had meals
Shared in their belongings, wealth and helped the needy.
They were one in heart and mind
Testified the resurrection of Jesus
And because of this, God added to their numbers daily.
I see nothing of telling people they are going to Hell, holding political rallies or judging and criticizing their peers?
I envision a movement of young Christians who are tired of the judgmental, hypocritical ways and want to move forward to bring Christianity back to its original roots. A Christianity that invites all people, helps all people and is the light of the earth.
A movement of people who are the first to lend a helping hand and who are slow to judge but quick to forgive and offer grace. A movement of people who live their faith by their daily actions and who are not afraid to proclaim they are Christians.
A movement of people who read the Bible daily with their families, who pray openly and honestly about all issues and make their faith in Jesus Christ the driving passion in their lives.
In the next post, Breaking The Mold, we will look at seven ways to move closer to this reality.
-Esse Quam Videri-