A TRIP TO JERUSALEM
By Cougan Collins
Christianity began in Jerusalem.
Its birthday was the Pentecost Sunday following the resurrection of Christ
(Acts 2). Luke gives us a thrilling picture of those early days in the Book of Acts
of the Apostles. If we could take one of those imaginary time tunnels and visit
the church in Jerusalem
in the first century, we would see pure unadulterated Christianity as it came
from the hand of Christ. It bears little resemblance to much of what is seen today. Note the following things you would observe
if you could go back to the first century:
would only find one kind of church, Christ's church (Mt. 16:18; I Cor.
12:12-13). No denominations existed. No one wore the names of great
preachers, particular doctrines, notable cities, or nations. The disciples
were called Christians (Acts 11:26).
would not find a pope, patriarch, president, or some other individual presiding
over the church because Christ is the head over all things to His church
would not find any infant members because only those who believed received
baptism (Mk. 16:16).
would not see any baptismal founts for sprinkling because in those days
baptism was administered by immersion. Converts
went down into the water, were buried with
Christ, and were raised up in the likeness of His resurrection (Acts
8:38-39; Rom. 6:4ff).
would not see any women preachers or bishops in that church. The apostles
did not permit a woman to teach or have authority over the men (I Tim.
would not be any images, incense, prayer beads, or holy water in the
church. Such things added by man many years later after
the apostles of Christ were dead.
would not be any bands, professional musicians to entertain, or musical
instruments in their worship. It wasn’t until the
17th and 18th century that instrumental music became
widely accepted in the churches. In the first century they sang and made
melody in their hearts (Eph. 5:19).
would not be any reverends or holy fathers. Jesus forbade His people from
wearing such religious titles (Matt. 23:8-9).
congregation would have elders/bishops, deacons, and saints (Phil. 1:1).
You can experience that same kind of original Christianity
today by worshiping with a church
of Christ near you. We
invite you to worship and study with us to learn more about first century
Christianity – lgchurchofchrist.com.
Adapted from John Waddy