Have you ever wondered why we Christians do what we do for church every Sunday morning?
Why do we «dress up» for church? Why does the pastor preach a sermon each week? Why do we have pews, steeples, choirs, and seminaries?
Pagan Christianity? contends that most of today’s church practices have no biblical foundation, and in some cases, hinder people from having a genuine experience with God. With extensive footnotes and documentation, the book shows that the following church practices had little to do with scriptural mandate or apostolic application:
- Church buildings were initially constructed under the Roman emperor Constantine, around 327. The early Christian church met in homes.
- The pulpit was a piece of stagecraft borrowed from Greek culture in which professional speakers delivered monologues in public debates. There is no evidence that Jesus, the apostles, or other leaders in the early Church used a pulpit; it seems to have been introduced into Christian circles in the mid-third century.
- The order of worship originated in the Roman Catholic Mass under the leadership of Pope Gregory in the sixth century.
- Preaching a sermon to an audience was ushered into the church world late in the second century. Sermons were an extension of the activity of the Greek sophists, who had mastered the art of rhetorical oratory.
- There were no pastors, as an official or director of a group of believers, until sometime in the second century. That was eventually furthered by the practice of ordination, which was based upon the prevailing Roman custom of appointing men to public office.
- The biblical approach to «communion» or the «Lord’s Supper,» was truncated late in the second century from a full, festive communal meal without clergy officiating to the presently common habit of having a sip of wine and morsel of bread (or juice and a wafer) under the guidance of a recognized clergyman.
«Pagan Christianity?» also addresses a myriad of other practices, including tax-exempt status for churches, pews, stained glass windows, altar calls, the pastoral prayer, church bulletins, bishops, clergy attire, choirs, tithing, the collection plate, seminary training, infant baptism, the «sinner’s prayer,» and funeral processions, among others.
This volume reveals the startling truth: most of what Christians do in present-day churches is not rooted in the New Testament, …Butt in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles.
You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:7-9