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Section 7. Living The Faith... The Biblical Christian/
Index To The Church... Then and Now

 

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The Church... Then and Now
Index

Carol Brooks
Edited by Vicki Narlee

 The church has drifted so far from the original blueprint, that there is little resemblance between modern and first century practices. What happened to the pattern that the apostles designed for churches to follow ?

PART I

How We 'Do Church'

"Church"... An Unacceptable Translation of Ekklesia
When Was The Ekklesia Established
Origin of The English Word "Church"?

Where Did The Early Church Meet?
From House Churches to Formal Buildings
Constantine and The Construction of Churches
The Roman Pietas
The Basilica
The Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak

The Edict of Thessalonica
 

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PART II

The Four Main Reasons Modern Christians 'Do Church'
Worship and the "Worship Service"
The Meaning of "Worship" As Defined by The Hebrew and Greek Words

Is "Worship" The Primary Reason Why Christians Are Supposed To Meet?
Evangelism
The Sermon
Fellowship

The Primary Objective Of The Gathering Of Believers According to The Scriptures

Is The Church Supposed To Be a Largely Spectator Event?
 

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PART III

Church Leaders... Then and Now
Local New Testament Congregations and Their Spiritual Leaders
Origin of the word "Clergy"

The "Elders" and Their Function ... Rule or Tend?
 Pastors
Priests?
Bishops?
The Chair and The Titles
Were There "Bishops" In The New Testament?
The Ministers/Deacons

The Elders.. How They Were Appointed, What Their Job Was, and How Many were in Each Church
Summary


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PART IV

Reinventing The Church System
Man Apparently Got Carried Away by A Sense of His Own Importance.... With a Little Help From A Roman Emperor

Protecting The Man Made Institution Called "The Church"
Introduction
The Latin Vulgate and The Tyndale Translation
Birth of The Church of England
The See-Saw Battle of Power
James VI, The Archbishop of Canterbury, and The KJV
The Reformation
Modern Versions


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PART V

Two Ways of "Doing Church"
Introduction
The New Testament Blue Print
The Extended Family
Can A Layman Wear Three Hats?
The Lord's Supper... A Full Meal and A Celebration

Why The Pattern of Church in The New Testament Was A House Church
They Do Not Squander God Given Resources
They Do A Better Job of Training Disciples...
Especially Our Children
Members Do Not Have To Sit Through Often Boring Sermons
Members of House Churches Can Obey The "One Another" Instructions In The Bible
Members of House Churches Find It Is Easier To Help One's Church Family

The Church has Become a Theatrical Extravaganza

A Summary of Benefits for The Pastors and Members of A House Church

Heresy and Apostasy Have Been Given Free Reign In The Traditional Church
Importing Old Testament Levitical Patterns
The High Cost of The "Priesthood"


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PART VI

The Bible... The Ultimate And Final Authority?
Our Rule Of Faith And Practice?
Was The Pattern of The Early Church A God Given Blueprint For all Time?
Uniformity of Practice In The Early Church
Ask Yourself This

Summary and Conclusion
 

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PART VII
How Quickly The Rot Set In.... Catholicism and The Councils

Regardless of how esteemed we believe early church doctrines to be, the fact remains that, as the apostles began to die out, the church began to stray farther and further away from the Gospel established by Christ, which the disciples and apostles fought so hard for. Perhaps, a good starting point to show just how far and how early the church had deviated from its roots are the first four of the seven Ecumenical councils held by the early church, the first two of which are held in great esteem, even by modern day evangelicals. (I specify the first four because they are the only ones I have looked into. If they are any indication of what the others were like, then all seven were rotten to the core).

Regardless of the torrent of words and the many Scriptural verses quoted, the decisions the various councils came to were based on the aye's and the nay's. Not only did numerical superiority win the day, but the decisions made by every one of the seven Ecumenical Councils was based, not what they supposed Holy Scripture might mean, but on tradition. In describing various practices in the church, Tertullian (c. 155/160 - 220 A.D.) said "If no passage of Scripture has prescribed it, assuredly custom, which without doubt flowed from tradition, has confirmed it. For how can anything come into use, if it has not first been handed down?....  If, for these and other such rules, you insist upon having positive Scripture injunction, you will find none. Tradition will be held forth to you as the originator of them, custom as their strengthener, and faith as their observer".

But none of this should be surprising. Although evangelicals are fond of telling us that the churches of the day did not have a papacy, or even tabernacles on the altars in their churches which signified their belief in transubstantiation. Also that they did not believe in the Immaculate Conception/Bodily Assumption of Mary, purgatory, indulgences etc.etc. etc. .... very little of this is true. Much to the contrary, most of these practices were well established in the church of the day, and taught by many of the so called "fathers". In fact, as early as 155 A.D., Justin Martyr described what is, quite clearly, an early version of the Catholic Mass.

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