Acts 2:42 - Not the ideal for the church

I've also occasionally wondered at our use of that Acts 2 passage as an example of the perfect church. Or, for that matter, of our attempts to become "like the first century church."

The thing we like (and should like) about the church of that time was their rootedness in the "Apostles teaching" (that's 'Bible' to us), their influence by and general obedience to the Spirit, their zeal for both growing in Christ and sharing Christ (eventually), and so forth.

But, while I certainly applaud my brothers and sisters as they followed Jesus 1,900 years ago; it is obvious "that was then and this is now." Even Paul touched on this when he stated that David served his generation and then went to be with his Lord (Ac 13:36). My Bible survey professor keeps hammering on us that The Apostolic Age was pretty unique in church history.

So these, and a recent semester of church history, lead me to tentatively consider that there may not be some Golden Model of Church. In fact, it may be that church is far more a child of its culture and time than we are comfortable with (I ruminate on this here).

And I'm not the only one that may be questioning this Acts-2-church-is-the-perfect-church idea. There's a whole church-planting network out there called Acts29. The idea behind the name is what-if the book of Acts continued on past chapter 28 to record the expansion of the Kingdom in our own time? That would become the '29th' chapter of the book of Acts.

I think the big idea is that the church holds tightly to the gospel and is in firm contact with its culture; not some idealized way of doing church from "The Golden Age." To even suggest that the Church had a "golden age" is to dismiss that the church's best days are yet to come.

No comments: