January 15, 2015
I often hear Christians say that we should be more like the early church. And I must admit, I’ve been one of those Christians. But if we linger on what this would look, I wonder how many of us would rather stay put in our 21st century churches. After all, first century Christians clung to a set of values that differs quite radically from most Christians today
How We View Other ChristiansOne uncomfortable value trumpeted by the early Christians was their view of the church as a family. The first Christians saw themselves as brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers to everyone who was part of the Christian 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 values, 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 and Paul blew open the doors of the home and welcomed in all believers as brothers and sisters. They 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.
We shouldn’t read the church-as-family metaphor through the lens of our modern-day Western family values. In the first century, the family unit was held together by an unconditional bond of commitment and service.
Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/4-ways-modern-church-looks-nothing-early-church#Fshs8MvbzerT8dCr.99