I have to suppress the urge to laugh out loud when I hear Christians tell me how great it would be if we could only return to the glory days of the early church. Continue reading . . .
I have to suppress the urge to laugh out loud when I hear Christians tell me how great it would be if we could only return to the glory days of the early church. They appear to believe that in the first century the church was far better off than it is today, that it knew little of division or false teaching and knew a lot of power and purity. I have to be entirely honest and say that this sort of spiritual nostalgia is horribly misinformed.
The church of the first century was just as dysfunctional and riddled with problems as we are today. Need I remind you of the church at Corinth, a city where the apostle devoted more time and energy than anywhere else? In spite of his having spent 18 months there, the church turned on him, embraced false apostles, wallowed in childish immaturity, tolerated a man sleeping with his step-mother, divided up into factions, and badly abused spiritual gifts, just to mention a few of its problems.
The church at Galatia was in danger of denying the gospel of justification by faith alone and following after legalists who insisted on good works as essential to complete one’s acceptance with God. The church at Philippi, although perhaps the most mature of all in the first century, was still given to disunity and selfishness. The Colossian church had come to close to embracing a false philosophy and had tolerated in their midst a group who advocated the worship of angels.
And if these examples aren’t enough, go read Revelation 2-3 where six of the seven churches in Asia Minor to which Jesus sent letters through the Apostle John were on the verge of coming