Starting a New Testament Church
blanton75 asked this question on 2/8/2002:
If you were able to start a N.T. Church what policies, management, program and financial principles would you have? (don't say "I'd build it in accordance with the N.T." I know that-what I'm asking is how you would implement your understanding of the Scripture). Please define a N.T. Church in accordance with the Scripture. Jean
The joy of the Lord be in your heart.
I like to answer questions. But I think I can do it better when I know the reason why this question has been put.
The way you put your question is not quite corresponding the Catholic way. I'll explain.
We don't start a "N.T. Church". As you perhaps know, our Bishops, the successors of the Apostles, are in charge of a diocese, a geographical or juridical entity. Those regions outside a diocese are dependent of supra-regional authorities, like the Roman Congregations of the Vatican.
So starting a Church requires the consensus of the Bishop in question. Generally he has some guide-lines how he thinks his priest should administer this Church.
Even the foundation of a Church in a region where there isn't yet a Bishop requires the consent of the Vatican Congregation in charge of that territory.
As you see, I cannot establish a Church spontaneously. Don’t look at it as pure juridicism. It is a question of being in communion with the Church.
Another problem is the personal administration. In Germany the parish-priest receives a salary. In other parts as there are different ways to sustain the local Church.
Personally I would like to live in a Church that was a mirror of the first community: All had everything in common. But then you have to have a community that is one heart and one spirit. All local churches should tend in that direction. Perhaps the saying of one of my professors of the seminarian days is very to the point: "I believe in conversion when it reaches the briefcase and the bank account.
Basically, I suppose, you want an ideal definition. But, nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked. Life, especially supernatural life, is not computerized and implemented. It's really a salvation story between men and the Holy Spirit.
As you see, I'm trying to guess at the motive of your question. If I'm totally wrong, please elucidate and I'll try again!
What we need is a Church under the guidance of the Holy Spírit. And there is no chemically pure N.T. Church. It's a Church where all those who want it can be member. You and even me!
God bless you