Body Ministry – BT12
Early church gatherings would put most of today’s churches to shame!
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Still with this limited list from Ephesians 5:11-21, Colossians 3:16-17, and 1 Corinthians 14:26 of what they were sharing, they would put most churches today to shame! I’ve been at a lot of worldly “parties” and most of them are a whole lot more full of celebration than most churches experience! Yet Paul was speaking of an incredible “party” that few of today’s churches experience. Can you imagine going to a football or basketball game and being told to remain in your seats “decently and in order” while the team is winning and the cheerleaders are shouting? “Keep you voice down while the coaches are talking!” And can you imagine the coaches going out onto the field to play the game instead of the actual players – that’s Ephesians 4:12 backwards!
However, after the 15 churches I’ve played worship music in to 1000s of blank faces, I am sure longing for this simplicity! It’s sure clear to me that most of today’s churches are blocking the “rich dwelling of the logos gospel message” because they are quenching the Spirit’s wisdom of Body-of-Christ ministry through reciprocally teaching and admonishing one another, even through sharing music with one another. In many churches the Worship-Team does most of the playing and singing. The way you can tell is when they suddenly stop! The congregation is barely singing and they certainly aren’t playing! It’s certainly not a “reciprocal one another exchange!”
Heaven forbid someone in the congregation would suddenly stand up or raise their hand up and interact with the one speaking (b), whether the pastor or a prophet! Heaven forbid that someone would start or join in on their own guitar, bongos, tambourine, or flute! I’ve never seen this except in a home-group or on a mission trip I went on where we did this around the campfire. Everybody in both situations agreed that this was more “church” than their weekly “church” routine! Hmm, maybe many churches are following some model other than what was given in the NT (a)? <Notes> a) Acts 5:42, 8:3, 20:20; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2, cf. 1 Timothy 5:13, 2 John 1:10, b) 1 Corinthians 14:29.
You think? After all, it was the pagan emperor Constantine that created the Catholic Church basilica “church building” from pagan temple designs, which is essentially the structure of many churches today with all the chairs facing forward toward a stage where all the so-called “special people” minister! Did you know there is no archeological or writings about church buildings until 235 AD, and then it was just a large home with a wall knocked out? And the scarcity of buildings wasn’t because they were being persecuted, because there were many 17-25 year periods of peace for Christians, plenty of time to build if they wanted to! Dedicated buildings simply weren’t the model left for them. Also the church was exploding through simple homes anyway, so why would they divert their limited resources toward something that wasn’t than necessary.
If you really do your early Church history homework, you will see that “building programs” are always started by 1 or 2 people that are NOT listening to the Spirit, flowing with the Spirit in outreach to the community already meeting in many places around them, and focused on their own flesh’s self-interests. History records it over and over. I have witnessed it time and time again – the Holy Spirit’s revival leaving as certain “leaders” try to make a name for themselves through their “building programs,” completely blind to the “plentiful harvest” (a) already ALL around them in parks, nursing homes, hospitals, rescue shelters, etc. – the “highways and hedges” Jesus spoke of (b). Clergy blindness that want to lead the blind! <Notes> a) Matthew 9:37, b) Luke 14:23.