When one reads his New Testament, he realizes that the early church was simply organized with each congregation an independent unit with elders, deacons, and other members. There was no clergy, no denominations, no missionary societies, or monasteries.

No pomp, no circumstance, no ritual, just plain worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) characterized New Testament Christians. Their worship consisted of heartfelt prayers, singing without musical instruments, and the Lord's Supper observed by every member, every Lord's Day. Each one gave liberally of his means and the assembly was taught the Word of God.

Soon, however, man became dissatisfied with the New Testament pattern and digression set in. The result was the apostate Roman Catholic Church.

Such an apostasy was a matter of New Testament prophecy (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Acts 20:28-31). It began within the eldership with one man being designated as bishop over a congregation, then later over several congregations. Finally, there came to be a bishop over the Eastern Church and one over the Western Church with the Western Bishop gaining the most power. This Roman Bishop claimed to be the pope or "papa" over all Christians.

Other changes were taking place as well. The gospel preacher evolved into a priest. The Lord's Supper became the Eucharist and mass. Repentance became penance. By the third century, hereditary sin and infant baptism were added. One departure led to another as man lost respect for the New Testament pattern.



Dear reader, you can go back over cultism, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism all the way back to the church of the New Testament. Here the Scriptures are your final authority. Here you worship and live as the Scriptures teach. Here you are not a part of any cult or Catholic or Protestant denomination. Here you obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) by doing precisely what people did in New Testament times. (cf. Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 9, Acts 10, Acts 16, Acts 18.8 etc.).

Worship with those who are of like mind (Hebrews 10.25) and together, following the word of the Lord, you will comprise the church of the Lord, and by faithful Christian living heaven will be your home.

Also see "We were Catholics"