House Churches?

Ben Witherington has a fascinating post (with revealing shots) of a third-century house church.

Some of the distinguishing characteristics he gleans from this pre-Constantinian archaeological dig are:

  1. Baptisms were not always by immersion, even when immersion was easily accessible. Likewise, the baptistry was not a focal point in the main worship space.
  2. Believers were distinguished by groups of leaders and followers.
  3. Similarly, “Christianity had never known a period where its leadership structure was not hierarchical to some degree.”
  4. Early Christians were not against a dedicated space for worship, albeit many/most were on the grounds of a wealthy person’s home.
  5. No requirement for pure acappella music existed.
  6. Only a small number of people were involved (50-70).
  7. “They were not opposed to artistic representations of their God or their saints, or their Biblical heroes, or their martyrs. They believed art could be used in worship and honor God.”
  8. In many respects, Christian worship followed synagogue structure.

What can we take from this and apply to our churches?

What does not apply to our churches?

2 thoughts on “House Churches?”

  1. Would anyone else agree that this might support the teaching that baptism by holy spirit has superceeded baptism with water after the resurrection of Christ, or perhaps when holy spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost (See: Luke 3:16, John 7:37-39, Acts 1: 4-5, Acts 2:33, Acts 18:24-19:6, 1 Cor 6:11, 1 Cor 12:13, Heb 9:9-14). Afterall Eph 4:4-6 does seem to indicate that there is only one baptism prescribed for this age.

  2. rdemersaz:
    By no means would I agree that this supports Spirit baptism superceding water baptism. The latter presupposes ther former in every biblical instance.

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