The Book of Acts and Modern Church Life

It might seem strange to even ask of the book of Acts ought to “apply” to the modern form of the Church. All Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. The real question is whether the Church in the book of Acts is a model for the modern church to follow. Is the book of Acts normative for Christian practice today? To draw an application from the narrative of Acts is no different than applying a story from the David. But few Christians would advocate David’s experience as the way we ought to do church today (presumably only harps for music in the church, and a strict no-giant rule). Acts is different because it does present the origins of many church practices still used today.

242Some Christians will argue that the book of Acts ought to be normative for Christian life and practice. For example, since the early church lived simply and held all things in common, we ought to live simply and care for the needs of others just like they did in Acts 2 and 3. Someone like Shane Claibourne would want to apply Jesus’ life of voluntary poverty followed by the earliest forms of Christianity. Often this is narrowed to just Acts 2:42 as a model for the ideal church (teaching, fellowship, prayer, breaking of bread).

On the other hand, most Christians dispense with Acts as a guide for how to “do church” today. This may take the form of a liberal Christianity which ignores Acts as authoritative for the church, but more often how we do church has little to do with Acts and we make no apology for this. The “Acts 2” community did not have elders and deacons, they did not have church buildings and they certainly did not baptize or take communion in ways even similar to modern practice. There are no youth groups, choirs, praise bands, hymnals or Sunday School.  They did not even take an offering before the sermon! In fact, if you think about the things modern churches spend most of their time doing, the earliest forms of the church did none of them.

It is almost impossible to know exactly how the earliest church services were designed, how they worshiped, when they took communion (or how they took communion), etc.  In most denominations, how we practice these things are based on developing traditions since the reformation or even later!  Few people make the effort to say “this is how they did it in Ephesus, and that is all we ought to do today.”

This confusion is perhaps a result of the transitional nature of the book. Luke-Acts is quite unique in that the story begins in one age (Jews under the Law) and ends in another age (the Body of Christ, Jews and Gentiles saved apart from the Law by the blood of Christ). We are naturally drawn to the cross as the center of the history – certainly the work of Jesus on the Cross is the single most important event in history! But it is not necessarily the theological shift from one age to the next because what Jesus did on the cross is the climax of the covenants of Abraham and Moses.

My goal in reading Acts, therefore, is to observe very carefully how the church as we know it developed over the thirty years covered by the book.  There is a distinct shift from Jewish messianic ministry to Gentile mission, and that shift will result in some difficult times for the early church.

Is there any way to decide what practices we read about in Acts ought to be “normative” and practiced in the church, other than “that is the way I was taught in my church”? Why do we cling to some practices (teaching and fellowship) but reject others (voluntary poverty)?

25 thoughts on “The Book of Acts and Modern Church Life

  1. Upon reading this, I immediately think of the church in which I attend and how it is so very structured and has various elements each week such as offering, announcements, Sunday school, the Sermon and worship time. The church in Acts was very different from the structure there now is in place (as stated by Dr. Long we do not know what elements were directly involved in their meeting). Church was a simple thing where people would come to be taught, worship and give. Acts 2:44-47 speaks of the believers coming together with everything in common looking to help those who were in need by selling their own personal possessions and meeting together in the temple courts and in their own homes. I think that churches are amazing but that they also have fallen so much on tradition and structure that we forget that we like the early believers in Acts we should focus more on coming together, giving whatever we can of ourselves to those who are in need and so filled with desire to learn.
    The aspect of selling our own possessions to give to others is a very hard thing for us today to be able to put into action. Christians many times have such a hard time sacrificing our things for others. The church should take the example seen in so many chapters of Acts where the believers are giving of their own land, possessions to help those in need. Finally, one last thing I would like to highlight is how important it is to see how God guides and protects the church so that it will continue growing. Everything that is happening in Acts is being led by God no matter who opposes it. “God’s sovereign plan for the church cannot be stopped…” (Jipp, 19) I enjoyed and was encouraged reading how constantly more and more people came to believe in Acts. This is still true for us today. God has a plan for each church and they will continue to grow.

    • Hi Elenrae, Good job on your post, however I agree with the majority of what you said, I have to ask. Do you think that every Christian in the church should go and sell all their possessions and land in order to help those in need? What would your suggestion be for the church in which a balance is kept between knowledge, relationship as well as displaying the church in Acts where prophecy, healing, tongues… etc. is kept? While I believe that there are some called to sell everything and go somewhere, this specific lifestyle is not meant for everybody. I think that God is active everywhere, not just in Acts, but also doing the same things today as he did in the Bible times. Though they may not be as obvious today and we should be careful because “God and his purposes are frequently misunderstood; human ignorance of God and his purposes” (Jipp, 23). I agree that many churches have fallen to structure and tradition and many times forget the simple things God is doing.

  2. When talking about modern churches today I review my home church, Rush Creek Bible Church and the practices we follow. We do not have a harp or an organ (except for the electronic piano feature), we have drums and electric guitars. We do sing some hymns, but a lot of contemporary songs. We have 2nd hour, kids programs, youth groups, and lots of other ministries. I think part of this is the growing of the church in new places and cultures, we see this as God had intentions of growing the church, he gives specific missions to people like Paul and Barnabus (Jipp, 22). When reading in Acts 2: 45-46, it shows us just how simple their way of the church was, giving to those in need, attending the temple, breaking bread, praising God, and having favor with people. I think about the changes from this time, although we still have cookies, which could be considered like a bread. Overall, these things are important. We still do these practices, but it looks a lot different, it is more complicated, and tends to be more about ourselves. These practices continue on in different forms because it is the foundation for serving God and growth in our relationship with him. We need a form of these practices in our life, worshipping God connects us to him, even though my church may do it with drums and another an organ. It is the fundamental of worship that is important. We cling to some practices like teaching and fellowship because it has proven to be beneficial in the lives of believers, it grows them in understanding. We reject some because its honestly just not convenient. If you walked into any church today and said, let’s go sell all of our possessions, you might have one that stands up and says yes. Believers today want to have two lives, the I love God and want to serve him whole-heartedly, but at the same time, do not give their whole life to him to control. I cannot say I am any better, I give God parts of my life and hold back others. Being a college student I do not have much, but I would have a very hard time selling everything if Jesus himself told me too. The point is the church has changed the way of practices a lot over time and most of the time we do not consider why we are doing the practices we are. We should though, we need to keep the church in check, not to get away from the true and simple point of loving God and worshipping him.

    • “Being a college student I do not have much” – I understand this (and lived that life when I was in college), but remember that Americans on average have huge wealth compared to the majority of the world.

  3. The debate we are looking into is whether or not Acts should be used in solitary as the foundation of an example of how we do “church” today. In order to figure out if this is just, we need to be asking the simple questions of “What is the point of Church?” and “How can we effectively accomplish this today?”. Removing Acts from the picture, we need to find the foundation of the church. Church is not a building, it’s not a person, and it’s not the way you live. Church is the body of Christ. For example, Matthew 18:20 says “when two or three come together in my name” that is Church.

    However, there are other factors that are necessary in the church today. If you want to reach more people, your need for communication and fellowship will need to increase. As a church, we should be reaching out to those in need and helping provide in any ways that we can. One way that we can do so is by tithing in order to give monetary donations where it is needed in church and the community. We see the significance of tithing in Malachi 3:8-10. There are many various factors we can pull from the Bible in order to shape how we can run a church today. We cannot just use one book or use a church that Paul wrote as our only example. Our society as a whole is always changing. As christians, we need to know that culture is always changing, and something that worked over 2000 years ago might not be effective today.

  4. There are many modern churches today that do not resemble, the earliest form of churches that evolves in the 1st and 2nd century. Although there were many differences in terms of the service style, I do think we still share the same common ground, purpose, and vision as a church. Things have to changes due to culture shift and many places in the Bible we see God intervening in cultures after cultures, and work within the contexts of culture in order to shape His people. God can work through historically and cultutrally, but its culture shift does not change his purpose for humanity and covenant, it remains the same. As for me, it does not have to be completely identical as the earliest churches do, but our main purpose and its root should be identical, such as prayer, fellowship, song, worship, and serving Jesus as our Lord and savior. If our foundation is rooted in the teaching of the Bible and in Christ, then we are a part of the body of Christ.

  5. The idea and principles behind house church has always interested me. I have always gone to what would be called a traditional American church. The Sunday morning worship band, Sunday school classes early in the morning, and cookies and coffee after the sermon, and AWANA clubs on Wednesday nights make up the majority of my church experience. I had never really considered house church or a non-traditional congregational method until high school when I met a woman volunteering who was very passionate about home churches and small groups. She and her husband ran one with a few other families in the area, and was a part of a ministry that helped spread and plant these house churches. When I asked more in-depth questions she immediately pointed to the early church and the book of Acts as her example, claiming it was the only biblical way to practice church. Acts 2:42-47 does give a great biblical example of what a congregation of believers can look like, and an aspect of that is meeting in homes.
    Over time the church has progressed, just as the culture has. Traditions have been gained and lost over time, some of which do have little biblical examples but often still bring value to the modern-day believer. Just as it is important to look at the cultural context in a passage of scripture, it may be beneficial to look at the evaluation of the church in light of cultural changes as well. There are some factors, such a fellowship, teaching, learning, and sharing communion together that both the early church and the modern church have in common. There are some aspects that the early church did much better with, such as selling all possessions and giving the funds to the poor, although I do know many churches who give a very large percent of their funds to help provide resources to those who are struggling. Are the house churches in the book of Acts the only biblical way? I really don’t think so. Should modern churches use the Acts church as an example to follow? I do think that there is certainly nothing wrong with that. It is just important to note how culture has changed and what effective ministry looks like in the modern age.

  6. The contradicting views of how we should “do” church is something that breaks unity within the body of Christ. Believers can easily get entangled with their own beliefs and theology that they choose their opinions over unity. I agree when Long says that an application from one book of the Bible is not different than applying another book of the Bible. One of the differences to be seen is the cultural settings.
    What if we recognized the heart of Acts 2:42-47, instead of the exact model? It says believers of the early church truly filled one another’s needs, praised God together, and broke bread together. It also says that they saw signs and wonders, and they saw salvations daily. Instead of perfectly imitating the model the early church had to make sure we have the same results, maybe we should check the motivation of our hearts first.
    The early church had unity in mind when they went after fellowship. If believers only think their way of church is the right way, unity will never be reached. Their heart was to glorify and praise God in everything. Their heart was to have compassion on one another, just as Jesus did on earth. Their heart was to see the lost saved and see God’s glory poured out.
    We cling to some practices and not others because of comfort. We do not want to change our traditions or mindsets towards what we have always known. That is too uncomfortable. But as seen in Acts 2, the believers saw the fruit right away. They saw God’s wonders, and they saw salvations daily! If believers today are pursuing what God wants modern-day church to look like, shouldn’t we be seeing the similar fruit?

  7. Those that look to Acts for instruction on how the modern church seem to be making the mistake of confusing mentioning for prescribing. If this logic were applied to other areas of life that can be found in scripture our way of living would be very archaic. For example, in Ruth 3 Naomi mentions to Ruth that barley will be winnowed on a threshing floor. If we took this mentioning as prescriptive, we would still processing our grain by beating it, stone milling it, and stomping on it rather than using the sophisticated machinery that we have today. The ESV study Bible on pages 2076, and 2077 mentions how the author of Acts prepared this book to provide an “orderly account”. In other words, he is describing to the best of his ability the events and conversations that have happened, and while the Bible does provide lessons in its history, not all history is necessarily recorded to teach a deeper lesson other than an account of what happened. As such, I don’t think the descriptions of what the early church looked like in Acts 2 is meant to be a mandate of what the church is meant to look like now, but rather is instead simply meant to tell us what was. In this way I believe the function of Acts is to provide a continued history of what was given in the gospels. To provide an origin story for the church, much how part of Genesis and Exodus provided an origin story for Israel.

  8. Where does the basis for how a Church should look come from? Well, our beliefs, traditions, and practices should be rooted in the Bible which is the inspired word of God. So we should look at what the Bible says about the Church and look in other chapters besides just in Acts. Matthew 18:20 simply states that a Church is wherever two or more people have gathered in Jesus’ name. 1 Corinthians 11 talks about taking communion to celebrate the Lord’s supper together. I Titus 1 Paul tells us the church is to be led by qualified elders (this is also mentioned in Acts). As a Church, we should worship together in song (Ephesians 5:18-21). The whole Bible is filled with how the Lord instructs us to run the church but one last example is in 1 Corinthians 14 which says, “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up”, meaning the Church should be a place Christians can use their spiritual gifts to bless and pour into one another. Acts along with other books in the Bible give the basis of how the church should run and our church now has adopted those principles and molded them to fit our needs of today. Church back in Bible days used to be much simpler and now we have complicated them with many requirements. Even though our intentions are pure sometimes we put too much pressure on having the perfection worship put together, or having the most kids in our kid’s ministry or collecting more donations than anyone else in the area. Even though these things have good intentions sometimes we lose track of the simple and important parts of the church, which is if two or more people are gathered the Lord is there. The Church does not require fancy lights, fog machines, yummy communion bread, exotic child care rooms, or a congregation dressed in the finest clothes. We cling to what we have been taught but sometimes we need to step back and reflect on the real roots and importance of the church.

  9. During reading I found myself pondering the modern church’s traditions and modern approaches to setting up a church. I immediately thought of modern church worship and all it entails. As a whole, the church tends to put a big emphasis on the presentation of worship. In America churches commonly use big stages, fancy lights, big projectors with admirable slides and large sound systems. All of this is nice but extremely different from the church in Acts. In Acts 2 we see a beautiful representation of believers coming together and praising the Lord. They did not have the technology we have today to express their praises to God. Although they experienced true Joy in the Lord. Acts 2:47a describes their praising spirit. It reads, “praising God and having favor with all people”. The people in the book of acts worshiped God with simple but pure praise. Looking into the lives of the people in Acts I wonder if we as a church are possibly getting lost in presenting our praises to God.
    Next looking into the simplistic lifestyle of the people in Acts I am naturally drawn to how they sold and gave away their possessions. I personally grew up in a church that took care of each other in this manner. Although I am not confident this is a common practice in the church of today. There is giving within the church but it seems that we commonly lack the act of caring for our brothers and sisters in Christ. More than not people just give offerings and call it good. I just wonder what would happen to the body of Christ if we gave and took care of each other in this way. Comparing the Acts church to today’s church I find myself wondering what the church should truly look like.

  10. What ought to be “normative” and practiced in the church? The answer to this question seems to be evolving over time due to changes occurring within our culture and the church. In order to answer this, the church should rely on the Bible, which is breathed out by God, to guide us in our practices in the church. Acts 2:45-47 tells us that people in the church sold their possessions and distributed proceeds to help others, they attended the temple together and broke bread in their homes, and they praised God and had favor with all people. I believe that this can be a model for modern church life because we should be in fellowship together and praising God for all that He has done for us. In Acts 2, it represents what the church is intended to be, simply praising God and being in fellowship, and it did not involve a huge presentation of worship as is done in many modern churches. God takes us as we are and simply wants us to praise Him and be in fellowship with other believers. It is interesting to think about the changes that have occurred over time within the church, and how modern churches have services such as youth groups, Sunday school, and worship bands, whereas earlier forms of the church did not have these services. I believe that these services are beneficial to the church today because it provides an opportunity for greater involvement and community within the church. While these services and big presentations of worship are more modern and bring more people into the church, it is important to take a step back and remember the original intentions for the church as mentioned in the Bible, such as being in fellowship and praising God for who He is and all that He has done for us.

  11. I think we need to find a foundation and a REAL reason for church and what it purpose is for! I believe a lot of people think that the Church is just a building that people go to and praise God for two hours and go right back to normal life or doing what they were doing before they got to church which is very false. You still have to keep God work going on even when you leave the church. A scripture comes to my mind when talking about this passage and I look it up and it is Matthew 18:20. Church can be used as a positive light for people to network and to come together to talk about God and not just by yourself but with others as well. Some people come to church for a fresh start, some people get “saved” in the church by being baptized and being blessed and covered by the blood of Jesus. I believe that God house (the church) can be used in a very positive light instead of being looked at as a “Church”

  12. I appreciate everything you said and agree with it. I find that today’s Church is about programs and making sure that the youth and kids are being taught the WORD in a way that is entertaining—Heaven forbid that they would have just to read or sing without all the bells and whistles. I have seen videos of children in third world countries praising the LORD with tears in their eyes and praying for one another while standing on dirt floors. As far as the adults, it is so discouraging that the extent of fellowship is based on roughly a one of Bible study once a week and a short greeting after Sunday service. I am alone after a 20-year marriage and I feel like I am invisible to my brothers and sisters in CHRIST. It is not a problem getting someone to pray for/with me, but as far as being GOD’S hands and feet to me, that is non-existent. Church members gravitate towards their families, friends and if you are neither, it is hard to fit in. I go into the service feeling alone, and leave the same way. I volunteer and always try to be helpful and have even asked my Christian Counselor if there was something wrong with me because it’s the same scenario Sunday after Sunday. I ask JESUS where is my Christian family and I pray to find a Church home where I am accepted and feel that I matter and that I’m part of the Church body. I live in Utah and the Church here is by no means unified. I was reading Acts 4 today and feel that today’s Church is so far off course. What if JESUS wants us to give more to help others. Christians who are well to do that maybe can put a single mother through school so that she can care for her children and then some day do the same for someone else. If we all do our part, I believe we can make a huge difference—instead of relying on the government to do what JESUS called all of us to do. It is so easy to say, “I’ll pray for you,” because it doesn’t cost us anything. I think, me included, we are too comfortable in our own cocoons that we are not willing, or too afraid to live with less for the sake of others. I am not saying that we have to take an oath of poverty, but that we need to be willing to count it all as lost when called upon for the sake of being the Church and doing what JESUS told Peter —if you love ME, take care of my sheep. Thank you for letting me vent.

  13. Is there any way to decide what practices we read about in Acts ought to be “normative” and practiced in the church, other than “that is the way I was taught in my church” (Long)?
    In order to decide what practices are to be considered normative within the church it must first be recognized that in the book of Acts there was a division between Jews and Gentiles which therefore resulted in differing practices of worship and ordinances. As well as, during the time in the book of Acts the Church was just beginning to form and there were no set instructions for all aspects of practice in structure, worship, or ordinances for a church.

    Why do we cling to some practices (teaching and fellowship) but reject others (voluntary poverty) (Long)?
    As for why there are certain practices of worship and ordinances, it mainly is a result of these two reasons: the first reason being that a specific church congregation wants to continue in the adherence of certain denominational tradition. The second reason is that a church who has diligently studied the scriptures is able to distinguish between the practices that were given to the nation of Israel who were under the Law of Moses, and the practices that were given to the Gentiles.

  14. The Church in the book of Acts is one example of how a church can be run but is not the only way a church can be conducted. The Bible is where we should get all our answers for what to teach and do to qualify for being a church, yet we should not only look at one piece of the Scripture to consider how to order the church. Just like one would write a research paper, they look throughout the whole source to ensure their research is credible. Yes, the Church in Acts led some great traditions, however, they also did not have the technology and resources we have today. The ultimate goal of a church is to teach people the gospel. We can carry out that goal with these modern-day technologies and programs they never even thought of back then. These things and events help to involve more people and allow people to be engaged in serving or serving others.
    It is not nearly as important in how churches are run, the important part is having the common goal to share the gospel and making sure it is learned. “Since the early church lived simply and held all things in common, we ought to live simply and care for the needs of others just like they did in Acts 2 and 3” (Long, 2019, para. 2). I disagree with this because as it does say in Acts 2:42-47 that, “all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.” It does not mean we all, as believers, should give away our possessions. It seems as if this was more treated as a one-time thing, almost like a miracle to show what the power of the Holy Spirit can do. To add on, it says in 1 Corinthians 12, “concerning spiritual gifts…I do not want you to be uninformed.” With this, it makes Acts 2 seem even more irrelevant that everyone should want to give because that simply is not everyone’s spiritual gift. We were given by God different talents to share with others, especially the members of our church to help build them up, so the body is strong. Stating that, goes back to modern churches having more and more different programs to help serve the body of the church. In different ways of operating churches, more people can use the gifts they received from God to make the gospel known.

  15. Learning about how in the book of Acts, the way that church was done during that time period and how church is done today is completely different kind of confused me at first. After reading it over a second time, it made me think about the Spiritual Disciplines bible class and how we learned about worship and was that truly means. Everyone takes the concept of worship differently and the book of Acts proves this very point. I think that it is important to grasp an understanding of how much the modern church has adapted from the church during the biblical times of Acts. Knowing the implications of what was considered a church service during the time period of Acts and what is considered a church service in the modern world today is one way that we as Christians can learn from the book of Acts and notice the large changes that have occurred over the time period of history.

  16. The clinging to some practice and rejecting others can sometimes be tied to our level of comfortness, meaning that we gladly accept and promote that which makes us comfortable or does not necessarily intervene with our way of living. Teaching and fellowship don’t directly affect the materialistic aspect of our lives like voluntary poverty would. However in the subject of voluntary poverty it is something that people still struggle to understand as it is the subject that Jesus addressed back in Matthew 21 as he addressed the rich young man. Even then, some would say voluntary poverty is extreme and unnecessary while others believe it is the best way they can dedicate their lives to God. This brings up a point of personal convictions. I think we have all noticed that every church has a different way of doing things, even if it’s minimal. However, as a person who comes from different cultures, I have noticed that the way a church is “run” can have a lot to do with the background of the people of the congregation. The people have convictions that they share as individuals who then come together with others who share these similar convictions. For example, some churches may be made up of women who feel that one of the best ways they can honor God is through only wearing dresses, while in other churches they may not feel this same conviction. It is important to note however, that a person’s conviction comes from the Bible, the same place that we should be digging to find out answers as to how best to honor God, while being careful that we aren’t misinterpreting its message. In Acts 2:40-47 we read about the fellowship of the believers. In verse 44 it says “And all who believed were together and had all things in common”, to which the notes of ESVSB explain that some had misinterpreted it as “early communism” and it meant that they were to give up all their belongings which was not the case at all (Polhill, 2008, 2085). Although it is not right, the’re probably are some people who believe that interpretation and now have applied it to their way of life and share it with their church. All this to say that we should be reading the Bible and asking God for wisdom and discernment to know how best shine light to his kingdom through our churches.

  17. The practices used in a church should be intentional and reflect what it is intended for, and to understand that is to know what the church is and is meant to be. The church is more than the building, it is the Body of Christ that occupies it, and its ultimate purpose is to spread the Gospel. When it comes to the Modern Church, it can be easy to accept the traditions already implemented because that is all we know, and to not challenge what is comfortable. The practices we do have or do not have could have been formed partly due to what we believed over time to be the easiest and the most comfortable. In light of this, the bottom line is that while tradition can give insight into how a church can be run, it is more important to start with the Bible and how it can give insight into what the church is for, taking into consideration contextual differences. “All Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness” (Long, 2019, para. 1) which references 2 Timothy 3:16. That being said, the Bible equips believers, and it should be the foundation of the church, but that does not mean that practices like praise bands, Sunday School, youth groups, and so on cannot further the Gospel. Rather, they can be seen as tools to show the love of Christ to the younger generation and express praise to God, and through that the Gospel is reflected and spread to more people. The Book of Acts shows how the early church seeked to proclaim who Christ was and how they persevered through that even when they experienced persecution, such as the first martyr by the name of Stephen in Acts 7. Much of Acts in itself is about sharing the Gospel and converting people, even in the face of persecution. Acts show how the early church operated in their context and time, where they faced much persecution, but the encompassing idea is that they were sharing the Gospel and people were being converted. Therefore it is important that the modern church aligns with what the church was intended for, and practices further the Gospel, rather than relying on practices because that is what we are used to and are comfortable with.

  18. The question Long poses of whether the early church in Acts should be the example the modern church should follow is a critical question because I often see churches drawing on practices the early church put in place such as having community, sharing finances, and having prayer meets (Acts 2:44) but they ignore practices such as publicly confessing sins (Acts 19:18) or lying on hands (Acts 13:3). Instead, modern churches today have a set of rules for the believers or a rigid order of service, but if we are to model the early church in Acts, we don’t see what we view as “traditional church” practices put in place. In fact, there seem to be some major differences between the early church to our modern-day church. These differences aren’t right or wrong because as we see in Acts, there isn’t one way of doing things. To answer the question whether our modern churches should be like the early church is both a yes and a no. We have much to learn and apply in our churches from what we see in Acts, but we don’t have to get rid of completely our church buildings, services, or worship music.

  19. After reading this post, my immediate first thought was of my own church, Harvest, and how we are ran differently than the church would have been back in bible times. We use different instruments, we sing different types of songs rather than hymns, we have small groups, we use different denominations, and there are so many more. I do not think that God would have intended us to go about structuring churches the same way today as they were structured back then, just as we do not live our lives today as Christians would of back then. Times change, and we as Christians must learn to adapt to them, else we will be lost. One massive difference between the early church and our church today is simply technology. While we might not think much of technology, as most of have had it in and around our lives since we were born, it allows us to a whole new number of things that could not have been done in the past. Technology helps us communicate better and easier, helps us reach more people easier than it would have been to just use word of mouth, and many other things. While some might say that there are specific things that must be practiced today that were back then, or that shouldn’t, I believe that each individual and each individual church must decide that for themselves, based on their own reading and knowledge of scripture.

  20. If we believe our lives and the way in which we love should be patterned after Jesus on that cross, then in giving we need to be giving and giving and giving – until it hurts and to the point where we are bleeding. Let us lay down our lives for each other so that we can find Life in Christ

  21. America has huge wealth because they took raw resources from poor country’s – that amounts to theft pure and simple – trump said about Syria ( remember the country where Christian went to hide from persecution and Paul was going to arrest and persecute them) “we’re taking their oil” – without compensation that amounts to pure theft – or look up the History of the united Fruit Growers in Guatemala- regime change Stealing land from itinerant farmers and then forcing them to work the land they used to own – so please don’t tell me about the wealth or how God blessed America – that is only for brainwashed people to feel good about the military conquests of other nations.

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