Friday, October 24, 2008

The New Testament Church

There is an alarming trend among modern Baptists to relegate the practices of the New Testament Church as being merely a matter of expediency (whatever is the best means of achieving an end). This seems to entrench the idea that the church can and must be modified to fit the times or the "culture" (the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of racial, religious amd/or social groups).

But Christian culture is created in Christ, and prescribed in the New Testament. Times change and cultures differ, but Christian culture emanates from Christ and exists independently from social times and cultures. Because of change, the ways that Christians and churches relate to cultures in different places and at different times may change according to those times and places. But the culture of gathered believers -- the church -- exists outside of and independently from world governments, cultures & standards, is universal and permanent, and has neither command to change nor necessity to conform.

Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 10:32 - Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

1 Corinthians 7:17 ...And so ordain I in all churches. 1 Corinthians 14:33 in all churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 9: 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

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