A lot has changed about Christianity today from its initial conception. In as much as diversity and differences of understanding is a good thing and biblical, unity of the faith is ultimate.
Paul said ministry gifts placed in church are for our edification and growth.
Ephesians 4:11 "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
And when we get matured to tne measure of the stature of Christ, it will show in "14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."
The Church has basically relaxed and change focus from Going in to all the world, to "Go into all the church" mentality. So a lot of fighting on doctrinal dogmatism and the main focus is ignored.
The last instructions of the Lord Jesus before He ascended to the Father reveals to us the heart of the assignment of the church.
Mark 16:15 "And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."
Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
There was no reference to doctrinal squabbles, no reference to methods and styles, no room for prejudices. The instructions was to go and win the world.
Mark 16:19 "So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen."
The Church that started in Jerusalem at the advent of the Holy Spirit had but one purpose - Go.
It was a going church because all her programmes and projects were geared towards going to win the world. They were sold out. They were wholesomely dedicated. All human and material resources where for her spread. As far as they were concerned the primary goal of the church's existence was to spread the gospel, build disciples and win the world for God.
On the first day, which was the day of Pentecost, Peter preached and won 3000 new believers. In chapter 5, the church had grown to 5000. The tail end of Acts 2 tells us how they fellowshipped together, showed compassion, shared love and communion from house to house and " the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."
It was a daily conversion. It was a daily addition.
In Acts 6, rapid growth exposed leadership deficiency. And the apostles quickly dealt with the issue, so that nothing will hinder the spread of the Word. 3 "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
If only we can remove our likes and dislikes, our pride, the building project, the gossips, the politics and just allowed the Word God spread.
If only just a tenth of the Church, a quarter or half of the Church just take their eyes off denominational politics, church politics, material and wealth pursuit and the pursuit for personal comfort, for pleasure, for influence and human recognition!
Then in chapter 8 the Lord was impatient with His new church. Instead of spreading the word they started laying the foundation for a mega Church. God had to scatter them and bring their plans to nothing.
He raised an arrogant pharisee, Saul of Tarsus. A violent man, a merciless man who was just unemotional. He ravaged the Church. He scattered them so much that the nearly 10,000 member congregation were all dispersed.
Only the twelve apostles were left, to start the church from scratch again.
The most amazing thing was that those who were scattered were rejoicing instead of being bitter.
Acts 8:4 "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city."
Any Church or Christian gathering that brags on material things rather than their obedience to Mark 16:15 and acts 1:8, is doing something else other than following Jesus.
We needs to rise up and follow His instructions.