Attributes of the Early Church

Today’s mainstream churches differ in significant ways from the early New Testament church. Here’s a partial list.

What the early church did not practice

  1. It did not observe Christmas, Lent or Easter.
  2. It did not meet on the first day of the week, Sunday.
  3. It did not profess the Trinity.
  4. It did not participate in Holy Communion.
  5. It did not baptize infants.
  6. It did not advocate celibacy.
  7. It did not venerate saints.
  8. It did not think believers were going to heaven.
  9. It did not have elaborate rituals.
  10. It did not build cathedrals.
  11. It did not take up political causes.
  12. It did not fight government.
  13. It did not withdraw from the world.
  14. It did not know itself as “Christian.”


What the early church did practice

  1. It observed annual holy days specified in the Hebrew Scriptures.
  2. It met on the seventh day of the week, Saturday.
  3. It believed that the Holy Spirit is the power of God, not a person.
  4. It commemorated Jesus’ death annually with bread and wine.
  5. It baptized adults by complete immersion in water.
  6. Its ministry married.
  7. Its saints were ordinary living people whom God had placed in His church.
  8. It believed the dead were dead and awaiting resurrection.
  9. It had simple ceremonies.
  10. It met in homes, halls and open places.
  11. It was politically neutral.
  12. It obeyed government authorities.
  13. It practiced social responsibility.
  14. It followed “the Way” defined by the law of God.