A post in which J.A. Medders points out that any sentimental, nostalgic appeal to become more like the early church is not the solution to the church’s current problems and challenges.
After all, much of the New Testament was written to address the needs of the church, not because of its strengths.
So, tell me again, which early church you want to go back to? Immorality, persecution, division, theological confusion, legalism, and attacking the apostle Paul is what’s on the menu.
The answer to our present need is the same answer that was provided to the early church for their problems and challenges:
We don’t need to go back to the early church—we are already like them. But we do need to go back somewhere.
The only perfect church, filled with non-problematic people is in Heaven. Be faithful in the present without wishing for the past.
We must always go back to the teachings of the early church, the New Testament, but the church itself was a mess. Much like today. We are a mess, too, so we go back to the teachings that went to our messy brothers and sisters. We learn from them and the teachings—not to be like them, but to be faithful to our risen Lord.
We go back to the apostolic teaching. We go back to the Bible. We go back to Christ. A church that does that is who we should want to be.