" Apostle Winfree James R. Sr, Anointed Servant, Blogger, Publisher, Writer in God's Kingdom And Churches "


So many Christians say that we should be more like the early Church. And I must admit, I am one of those Christ Believers. But if we linger on how this would look, I wonder how many of us would rather stay put in our 21st-century flesh led and guided Churches. After all, first century Churches and Ministries clung to a set of religious men and women values that differ quite radically from the Church that Christ Jesus birth and built Himself in Acts and the New Testament.



One uncomfortable truth trumpeted by the early Church of The Way or, Jesus Christ Believers was their view of the Church as a real true biblical spiritual family. The first Christ Believers saw themselves as brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers to everyone who was part of the Christ Believers community.


This is, of course, well known to anyone who reads the New Testament. But we shouldn’t read the Church-as-family metaphor through the lens of our modern-day Western family of lies, where our high-maintenance grandparents are shuffled off to retirement homes and annoying siblings are treated as outcasts.


In the first century, the family unit extended far beyond the nuclear family and was held together by an unconditional bond of commitment and service. You didn’t have to like your relatives, but you were expected to love them.


It’s within this context that Jesus Chri opens the doors of the home and welcomed in all Jesus Christ Believers as brothers and sisters. He created a new focus on the family that extended far beyond one’s nuclear relatives and included people of every race and social strata who gave their allegiance to the risen Christ.


Many Pastors, Founders, Bishops and, Churches today spend most of their revenue on salaries, building mortgages, their world around them, sinners and the ungodly and other material things to ministry. Look at any church budget and you’ll probably find 1 or 2 percent of Church, Ministries funds allocated to benevolence, helping the God gave Church in Jesus Christ, First and poor people in need. Maybe another 5 percent, or 10 percent at best, is given to needs inside the Church that on some level help the Believers first. ( You do the numbers!!! )


But such distribution of funds runs counter opposite to how the early Church spent its money. The New Testament talks a lot about giving money, but rarely, if ever, talks about giving toward the World and sinners first, and it never mentions giving money toward buildings and Ministers lifestyles. ( For what it’s worth, it also never mentions giving 10 percent, which is still a staple value in modern Churches benefiting the world first and not the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.)


When the New Testament talks about giving, it refers to redistributing money to the Believers, usually, Believers inside the Church family ( Romans 15:22-29;) ( 1 Corinthians 16:1-4;) ( 2 Corinthians 8-9 ). When Apostle Paul declares “God loves a cheerful giver” ( 2 Corinthians 9:7 ) for instance, it was in the context of Gentile Churches giving money to poor Jewish Believers living in Jerusalem. In fact, Apostle Paul spilled more ink talking about giving to Christ family of believers than he did on the doctrine of justification by faith.


Jesus Himself said that giving to the children of the Lord first is one of the main criteria of genuine faith ( Luke 12:33, 14:33,) ( Matt 19:16-30 ) and the primary means by which He’ll sort out the wicked from righteous on Judgment day ( Matt 25:31-46 ). If we take Jesus’s words seriously, and your Churches budgets suggest that we don’t, our today's Churches will look different. Who did Jesus Himself call His mother, brothers, and sisters? Do I really mean that He was talking about sinners when He said I was in Matt 25: 31-46? Or was He talking about is body members of His very own body? ( U better get this correct!!! )



The early Church Leadership also valued the corporate study of the Bible. You may think the today's Churches has this one down. Most Christians own several Bibles, and Church programs often contain a wide array of Bible studies and spiritual classes.


Be that as it may, Christians today exhibit unprecedented biblical illiteracy despite owning dozens of Bibles. According to one statistic, 90 percent of confessing born-again Christians can’t name who and what is the Church of Jesus Christ and who is real from false, 91 percent don’t believe (or aren’t aware of) the basic teaching of the Kingdom of God faith in Christ. ( Again do your own numbers...)


The early Church took seriously Jesus’s statement that We can’t live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the Lord’s mouth ( Matthew 4:4 ). And when Jesus told His disciples to teach others “all that I command you,” they did it ( Matthew 28:20 ).


This is why Christian leaders in the first centuries of the faith mandated a rigorous, communal study of the Bible for everyone who became a believer. Every new convert to the faith spent their first three years of the faith studying through the entire Bible so that it seeped down into their bones.


This wasn’t an option. To become a Christ Believer meant becoming reconfigured through the Word of God. And here’s the thing: Prior to the printing press ( A.D. 1450 ), most Christians couldn’t read. The whole idea of doing private devotions was unthinkable until 500 years ago. And yet, despite being illiterate, Early Chris Believers became fluent in Scripture by listening to the communal reading and teaching of God’s word.


The first Christ Believers and Followers actually lived as if the same God by Christ who breathed stars into existence also breathed out His Word for us to cherish, obey, memorize, and read ten thousand times over. They would have been mystified by our today's ability to own, read and yet neglect the priceless written word and we have the Master Teacher Himself, The Holy Spirit.


I pray that our desire to get back to the early Church would require a rather extensive overhaul of the FLESHLY and RELIGIOUS gatherings.


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