Growing up, I think that i was taught with the assumption that there was “a New Testament Church”, as if we could lump all the churches described in the New Testament into a single category. And from that category we could make projections about what church should be like and what it shouldn’t be like.
However, the more I read the New Testament, the more I see otherwise.
The churches described in the New Testament are anything but homogenous. In fact, what we see is a diversity of Christian expression even with the pages of our treasured New Testament.
The Corinthian churches are more charismatic and have flowing livelihood. The churches that Timothy is pastoring seem to have more structure and developed leadership hierarchy. The churches in Asia have their own uniqueness.
The churches are all different! And I’m sure Paul saw that as well.
So, when I consider the scope of denominations today, I’m not discouraged that there isn’t a “single” expression of Christianity, as if there was meant to be. But just like our New Testament, there is a testimony of different expressions, cultures, and personalities which go into the formation of how we do church. And thank God for that diversity!