I am writing out of concern over an article found in the May 1990 issue of The Forerunner (“The Early Church” by Gene Edwards). In this article there were several comparisons between “The Early Church” and “Christendom.” The character-vehicle of the this thesis, “Nat,” met with some of modern Christianity’s “paraphernalia” and “had set his course, not toward knowing Jesus Christ, but toward tradition. Nat had set his course 180 degrees in the opposite direction from the life and experience which was known by the first century believer.”
It is my contention that Nat’s course would be totally different from the life and experience of first century believers primarily because he was born in the twentieth century and not because of his getting dressed up to go to a church.
Further, I believe that Christianity is a life lived in the context of the historical settings and cultures of the people who embrace it. It is not bound in the strict sense to the identical forms, mediums and customs of any particular century.
Go back to living-room floors, reject the modern idea of “pastor,” forget nice clothes, steeples, stained glass windows, pews, and pulpits if you want. But leading others down some rebellious chase for the past calling it “reclaiming the Early Church” still is not going to make a group of people in 1990 squatting on a living-room floor in Anytown, USA without hymnals “The Early Church.”