Back to the Basics

Examining our traditions

Often we humans tend to make elaborate the simple and to embellish the unadorned. A study of the history of Christian worship bears this out.

Rather than ritual, pomp, and ceremony, early Christian worship was simplicity itself. Often gathering in homes, first-century disciples knew nothing of vested clergy and robed choir, processionals and recessionals, pipe organs and prescribed liturgies.

Various possible reasons could be offered for the development of the “high church” tradition, but how many worshipers have thought to question whether indeed it has a basis in Scripture?

Following the divine pattern

A fresh look into the New Testament reveals the simple nature of the worship of the early church. They partook of unleavened bread and shared the fruit of the vine as they remembered what Jesus did on their behalf (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29).

They prayed together earnestly, and their a cappella singing was an expression of heart-felt praise (Acts 4:23-31; 12:12; 16:25; Ephesians 5:19).

They listened as the word was taught (Acts 14:21-22, 27; 20:7), and they gave liberally as they prospered (2 Corinthians 8:1-5; Philippians 4:15-19).

They were a family of brothers and sisters in Christ, gathering frequently to worship their common Lord, receive instruction and encourage one another (Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:24-25).

Is there any reason why we cannot do the same today?

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