Roger Boone and Raymond Fox
The Simplicity of the Church
In a world that is becoming increasingly complex, it is refreshing to discover something with simplistic beauty. Simplicity is the unique quality of the gospel of Jesus. The beauty of the gospel is that, though it is a very uncomplicated message, it adequately satisfies the needs of man. The church that Jesus built reflected His message, as a simple fellowship of believers, knit together in love. Today, unfortunately, man has corrupted this original simplicity with a multitude of his own ideas and practices. Returning to New Testament Christianity means returning to the simplicity of the New Testament church.
A Simple Worship
One of the uncomplicated beauties of the New Testament church was its worship. When the early disciples met for worship, together they sang songs of praise from their hearts, without the intrusion of musical instruments (Colossians 3:16). They also united their hearts together in humble, unadorned prayer to God (Acts 2:42). Those men, who were respected as faithful teachers, taught God's holy word (1 Timothy 2:11,12). Every first day of the week the early Christians observed the Lord's Supper, a simple memorial in remembrance of Jesus (Acts 20:7). The Christians also willingly and lovingly set aside a portion of their sustenance each Lord's day to help the needy saints and to spread the gospel (1 Corinthians 16:2). In contrast today, after man adds complex ceremonies, mysterious rites, prayers in languages that no one can understand, and endless pitches for money, the simply beauty of the New Testament worship is lost.
A Simple Purpose
Just as Jesus had only one purpose in His life on earth, "to seek and to save the lost" Luke 19:10, the church that He built had only one purpose: to spread the good news of Christ's saving mission. However, many modern day religious institutions are confused about their purpose. Some think their purpose is to entertain; so worship becomes an elaborate production staged for an audience. Others think their purpose is political; so thy spend their resources backing political causes. For some, attending church services is merely a social activity to see who has the prettiest building and the wealthiest membership. In the midst of all these changes, reading in the New Testament about the early church is like a breath of fresh air.
Is this Simplicity Possible Today?
Returning to the original simplicity of the church is possible by peeling away all the man-made additions that have complicated Christianity. The church of Christ believes and practices this simplicity by following only the New Testament as the pattern for the church today.