I think most of us have noticed the proliferation of practices and attitudes in Christian circles that don’t totally square with the Bible. Most of the things about us and our churches that turn people away are not found in the Bible. It is time we as Christians throw off the shackles of Churchianity and ask ourselves once again, “What does the Bible say?” Do our attitudes and practices reflect the spirit and mission of the New Testament churches? If they do not, they’re holding us back from fulfilling our calling in God’s work.
If the rules that we impose on one another are not derived from the Word, they are unnecessary legalism. If the practices we insist on are not rooted in the Word they are to be treated as nothing more than personal preferences and the traditions of men. If our attitudes are not reflective of the Word, then we cannot claim to represent Him.
This week, I started a sermon series on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings called “Turning back the Clock.” It is a verse-by-verse study of the book of Acts where we are looking at the early years of Christianity. What makes this book so great is that while the letters in the New Testament give instruction for believers and churches, it is in Acts that we see these instructions in action!It is my hope that God would reveal to us places where our focus has drifted over the years and that we would wholeheartedly embrace His design for ourselves and our churches. Before anyone gets too concerned, I’ve not gone off the deep end. I am still the same conservative, Landmark Missionary Baptist I have always been. I believe the doctrine we have held to for 2,000 is as true today as it was then. But our focus has drifted, in general, in areas of attitude and practice, and it is time to turn back the clock 2,000 years on our churches.
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation 2:4-5, KJV)
I’ll be posting parts of the sermons in the coming weeks, but let me leave you with this one thought:
Knowing what you know about the early believers and churches, where do you and your church differ from what God originally intended?