*Contributions and Edited By: Bobby Kmiec
In the Scriptures there is no principle or record of….
If the 26 things above reveal a different model and understanding from that which you understand and practice to be church today, then sobering questions worthy of prayerful study are in order. It would be wise to begin this study with some thoughts such as, “Lord, my understanding of church is and looks so different from that which is described here that I don’t know who built the church system I am a part of today. Please show me what church is to be and how it should be practiced and function. Give me your heart concerning church Jesus. A heart that desires to be as closely aligned with the truth as possible.”
Only one who values truth above loyalty and longevity in their current inherited idea of church will find the answers. The New Testament lays out a detailed blueprint for us to follow. Perhaps your journey will reveal that what we have inherited as church today has been hijacked, re-imagined and redefined. If the American model of church does not look like the church in the Bible then we can only draw one conclusion. The accepted mainstream church of today has man as its architect and master builder. There are only two choices. We are either in a church constructed by Jesus or constructed by man. So let’s ask Jesus, “Lord, is the church I am associated with today your church? Why does the church that I’ve inherited look and function so remarkably foreign than those recorded in the pages of Scripture?”
I believe people who love the Lord and with good intentions have made changes to Jesus’ church without realizing the ramifications or consequences. Tweak by tweak, inch by inch, a shift here, a move there, the church has been tailored and altered to fit with the times and man’s ever changing ideas. The average person considering this might tend to think, “So what? God’s blessing it and it works.” Allow me to use an analogy we can all relate to. America was forged and given to us as a free country. If our founding fathers could look into America’s future and see us today they would not recognize what they left behind as an inheritance for us to enjoy and keep. Nor would they call what we have today as progress. They would be heartbroken. The same is true for Jesus’ church. Well-intending people have reshaped and redefined what He shed His blood for – the church.  Because Jesus gave His life’s blood for His church; I believe He would take our changes to His church personally.
Some would say, “We have to change with the times and customs of the day.” As we journey to discover Biblical New Covenant church, let us remember that truth transcends time, culture, and customs. Therefore, truth will always look and function the same no matter the time, culture, and customs. To say, we live in a different country and a different time than the early church is to say truth is not universally consistent. A lie is morally wrong and inexcusable no matter our cultural background, customs, or era. Please do not confuse this with the idea that early Christians didn’t drive a vehicle to assemble for church so this must mean we cannot either. We are speaking of truths and how they look and function, not advances in technology and the social habits of our current social structure. We can see today that our social structure ebbs and flows constantly.
Jesus left us a blueprint for church that works for all nations, cultures, customs, and times. Therefore, it should look and function consistently the same. Let’s not hide behind our own understanding  and make excuses because we are in the 21st century in a modern American society. Our hearts should be so in tune to Jesus that the world mistakes us for being 1st century Christians in a 21st century world. I invite you to walk back in time through the epistles, a time machine of sorts. We have at our disposal prayer, the Word of God, and a guide of truth, and God the Holy Spirit. These heavenly helps can show us what church was meant to be like. God bless you and thank you for allowing me to share these words of discovery with you. I trust this two-part blog will be used of God to do a work in your heart. May God direct your steps.