Paul's pattern was to gather the church in homes. But someone probably could have argued with him that, "Your message is different enough without alienating people with your strange practices."

Are we to suppose that building a special building never occurred to Paul or any of his followers? Or, did he outright reject such a firmly established religious practice?

Was not Paul a tent maker by trade? Was not Israel's first building a tent? Could he not have made a tent for which to gather the church in? A tent like Israel's tabernacle?

But this is not what Paul did! Paul was not founding a new religion. And neither was the body of Christ to be a part of one of the two established religious systems. The church, which is His body, was something new altogether, but it was not a religion!

Paul consistently lived so that his "manner of life" would reflect his doctrine. And he taught us to do so as well. Paul's doctrine is intended to have results.

"But thou has full know my doctrine, manner of life, purpose . .. . Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (II Timothy 3:10, 12).

Think on these things.

Clyde Pilkington

Gladstone, VA

Visit Clyde's web site at http://www.pilkingtonandsons.com

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