Should the Church in the book of Acts be used as a paradigm for the church today? In short, I will say “yes.” However, one thing that occurred to me while thinking about this is how we only see small aspects of the church in the Scripture (cf. Acts 2:42-47). In saying that, there are significant changes that must be made today which I think – because of Western culture – would make it virtually if not completely impossible to do as such. Keep the following items in mind: I have only been attending church with a personal relationship in Jesus Christ for 1yr-11mos. Additionally, I have never been pastor of a church; I have only attended 2 church board meetings; I have never provided spiritual council to an individual/couple in crisis; I have never (to my knowledge) led anyone to church and/or to ask Christ into their life. Shortcomings or lack of professional experience aside, here is my first supporting statement behind saying why it is “virtually if not completely impossible:”
We (Americans) are too concerned with materialism to set “everything” aside for Christ; are we not? (cf. Mark 10:21) I do not say this as if I’m one of the only who will do as such. However, I find myself asking, “Is it possible in my life; to sell everything and follow Jesus?” I have a job that supplies our mortgage payment; food, clothes, health insurance, home insurance, auto insurance, et al.
What does that have to do with Acts as a paradigm? Read the account of Ananias & Sapphira in Acts 4:32–5:11. I am one who, to be honest, is an Ananias. Thankfully the Lord has not brought forth His judgment on me in the same manner; otherwise you would not be reading this. Before citing my second reason as to why I believe it is “virtually if not completely impossible” for the church today to be the Acts church of the Bible, take a moment and read the story of Ananias and Sapphira. (Ac. 4:32-5:11)
Bible Gateway. (2010). Retrieved August 26, 2010 from site; http://www.biblegateway.com/