Frequently Asked questions


The theme of this website often raises questions in the minds of our readers. Many of those questions are answered on this page. Keep in mind that our answers will always involve an appeal to the scriptures. We believe in reasoning together but keep in mind that our reasoning must have its source in God's word. We welcome comments.

Q 1: Isn't it impossible to return to the simplicity of the early church?

A: Why is it that we are steadfast about God's word on doctrines about our individual walk and not about the way the church should be organized and function? He tells us in many places how to conduct ourselves in our fellowship together. Here are some examples: 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4; Acts 2: 42-47; Ephesians 5:18-21; Ephesians 4. In Ephesians 4:15, 16. Paul summarizes this for us: 

" . . . speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,  from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love"  (Eph 4:15, 16).  

The whole body is fitted and held together by the supply of ever individual part. This results in growth of the body and the building up spiritually of the church in love. The apostle is telling us how to conduct ourselves in fellowship with others and his description does not resemble how we have church meetings today. This eliminates the clergy system where one person or a few teach God's word and the rest of us just passively listen.

It is much easier to simplify things than it is to become complicated. The problem is that it is difficult if not impossible for the traditional church to abandon many of its traditional practices that have no basis in scripture. We desperately need simplicity and purity in our devotion to Christ.

Q 2: Doesn't scripture support the clergy system of leadership?

A: No. The word supports the priesthood of all believers and never mentions a special class of believers who stand between God and the people. Yes, there are apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers, but their job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, not to take over that ministry (Eph. 4:11, 12). Again, notice in this passage that the church grows and is built up in love  when the saints are ministering to one another.  

Q 3: Why do you criticize traditional Christianity?

A: Your question assumes that your traditions are equal to Christianity. Traditions are man made practices that develop over time. God's word is given to us by God Himself and contains eternal truths that never change. Tradition has a way of creeping into our lives and replacing the word of God. The body of Christ should be in the continual process of being open to sharing from the members but always putting to test what is shared so we can hold fast to what is good (1 Thess. 5:20, 21). We should not  be drifting toward keeping traditions for so long that we think of them as God's will. Jesus warned us against allowing tradition to replace God's word (Matt. 15:1-3). The religious leaders of His day were big on the tradition of washing their hands but did not take care of their own parents. Are we allowing traditions to replace how we treat one another in love? Traditions are fine except when they replace God's word.

Q 4: Aren't you oversimplifying Christianity? 

Paul was seriously afraid for the church in Corinth saying "I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2 Cor 11:3). The same kind of deceptive craftiness used by the serpent in Eden is being used today to keep us from simplicity and purity in our devotion to Christ. The Greek word for "simplicity" here  means "singleness of mind." Our devotion to Christ must center on Him and His will, not on other things. We have developed numerous practices, traditions and programs that have complicated our worship and led us away from singleness toward Christ. We divert from purity when we allow the world to dictate how we conduct ourselves individually and together. Instead of conforming ourselves to the world's ways, we need to be continually transformed by the renewing of our minds through genuine fellowship in the body of Christ (Rom. 12:1, 2).  

Q 5: Meeting in small groups cannot have the impact that is provided by the traditional church with its effective programs.

The early church met in homes in Jerusalem and beyond (Acts 2:46; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15). They met in this informal way for centuries. In Jerusalem the result of this family life way of meeting is described like this: 

Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.  And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2:43-47). 

Keep in mind that the church grew into the thousands in a short period of time (Acts 2:41; 4:4). The church prospered and grew by leaps and bounds under this simple way of gathering. By doing so, they were meeting in close proximity to the people in the cities and had a direct impact because people could see the church in action. In countries like China where there has been serious persecution, the churches have gone underground by meeting in homes secretly for years. The result is that the Christian church in China has exploded over the years. It is believed that there are more Christians in China than we have in America.

Our problem is we have adopted a form of church life shaped by American culture rather than by the word of God. We have allowed the world system to dictate how we gather for economic and cultural reasons and this has produced an American church but not necessarily a scriptural church designed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  America has produced mega churches that put many people in proximity to one another but genuine fellowship is often lost in the drive to be bigger and better as judged by the world's standards. 

Genuine church growth demands the participation of all the members in the ministry of the church. Paul put it this way:

. . . speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Eph 4:15, 16). 

Through this informal, family life way of gathering, the church didn't need programs to meet their needs because they were being met through the supply of the Holy Spirit in response to the participation of the saints. This is church God's way. 

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