This is a re-post of the second part of my ongoing blog series, Re-Thinking The Sunday Church Service. This series appeared in late 2008 to early 2009. For a brief explanation, click here.
I'm going to take Part 2 of this series to tell why I chose the series title I did. Simply, "The Sunday Church Service" is what most of us can relate to. As my friend Bruce points out in his post What Hebrews 10:25 Doesn't Say, [Update: this link is no longer available] much of our own personal experience or ecclesiastical opinion is read back into the text. I'm the first one to point out that the Greek word ekklesia, most often [mis]translated into English as the word "church", has as its root meaning "assembly" or even "congregation." I'm providing two links that deal with this issue here and here. I'm not claiming to agree with everything said in both of these links, but if the good Protestants in my theological past can use this definition of ekklesia against the structure and teachings of the Roman Catholic church, I can surely use them against the structure and teachings of the Protestant church who have adopted nearly the same things over the centuries.
Most of us are accustomed to the Sunday Church Service (or "worship" service). Meeting on Sunday is nowhere forbidden in the New Testament. Neither is meeting in a building, with a cross. Neither is meeting at the same time every week. Neither is stained glass. Neither are chairs instead of pews. Neither is preaching, nor a sign outside telling passersby what is being preached. Neither is a choir or making tapes of the sermon or pastors, elders and deacons or fellowship meals in the basement. I'm not saying, either, that structures other than the ones most of us are familiar with are wrong. I'm just going to focus on what most of us know and address the possibility of reforming it from within. I'm going to address what I think is a lack of application of Scripture that results in a lack of real community, a lack of a sense of belonging and a lack of a sense of being useful.