How do the Early Church and the Modern Church Differ?

A brief look at Acts helps us see the answer to that question:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

First- the early Church was a church of devoted people. Devoted to learning, fellowship, communion, and prayer.

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.

Second- the early Church was a church of people who shared their excess with those who had less. The Apostles didn’t charge for their services (unlike most ‘healers’ today) and the regular folk didn’t believe that they lived only for themselves.

Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Act 2:42-47)

Finally- the early Church was a church which met not just sparingly but daily. In doing so they were knit into an authentic community and as a real community, the Church was really attractive to all those who had no community of their own.

So what of the modern Church?

First- The modern Church, by contrast, is comprised for the most part of people who are not devoted to learning, fellowship, communion, or prayer. They are devoted to sports, but not to faith.

Second- The modern Church, by contrast, is not populated, in the West, of people who willingly sell what they have to benefit the poor. Sell what they have? No.

Finally- The modern Church, by contrast, is not willing to assemble more than once a week, if that often.

The reason for the malaise of Christianity in Western culture and the spiritual malaise of many if not most Christians can be directly attributed to a failure to do the three things which the early Church did daily. The cure for the modern Church’s malaise is the adoption of the three facets of practice long ago abandoned.

Of course that would take personal commitment by every Christian. And that would be nothing short of a miracle.

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