There are some who, for some “reason” or other, oppose anyone finding a “pattern” in the New Testament for the church of the New Testament. Perhaps it is because finding such destroys all their ideas or beliefs of what the New Testament church is. God is certainly not opposed to “patternism” – Exodus 25:9 Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it. 25:40 And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain. Numbers 8:4 …according to the pattern that the LORD had shown Moses… Eze.41:17 to the space above the door, even to the inner room, and on the outside. And on all the walls all around, inside and outside, was a measured pattern. Acts 7:44 "Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 2 Tim.1:13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Heb.8:5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain."
Let’s see if we can “answer” these “quibbles” – (Question) “I would like for you to tell me why you do not use all the patterns in the New Testament. Why do you just pick out some? For example, there are these patterns that have been followed in the past.”
First of all, let’s assert that this is, indeed, a “quibble” and not a legitimate argument. Secondly, the writer seems to be saying that the church may do anything it wants to (not speaking of running beer joints or other moral sins) without authority from God, AND may leave off anything authorized by God that it wants to! I believe we must have authority from God for everything we do and if we can’t find that authority we must stop the practice!
“The upper room pattern” This is an incidental to the example (Acts 20:7-8) and not a requirement. Those who believe that it is, fail to understand how to establish Bible authority. My wife and I were going for Kentucky back to Oklahoma and passed an “Upper Room Church” and I regret to this day that I did not stop and take a picture of it.
“Flowing water pattern” Another incidental and impossible to prove that “running water” was always used in baptism (Acts 2 and 8).
“Hymn singing and going out pattern” “Order of worship pattern” Again, incidentals and matters of choice.
“Lord's Supper night pattern” I suppose our writer means that it is to be taken only at night, another impossible to prove proposition.
“Foot-washing pattern” Although the Lord washed the disciples’ feet on the same night he instituted the Lord’s Supper, it was not connected with it but the Passover meal. It was an act of hospitality and not a religious ceremony.
“One cup pattern” “One handle cup pattern” This results from folks not recognizing the figure of speech called ??? The “cup” is the contents not the container.
“Fermented wine pattern versus grape juice pattern” Matt.26:29; Mark_14:25; Luk_22:18 … drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
“One loaf and bread pinching pattern” I’m not familiar with this. I had a written discussion with a member of a “one-cup” church in Corsicana in which he desired to debate the “one loaf” but I’m not sure what our writer here has reference to.
“Sitting down pattern” I’m not familiar with this. However, Jesus both stood and sat while teaching and James refers to someone asked to sit at a footstool (James 2:3).
“Non Sunday school pattern” I’m opposed to a denominational-type organized “Sunday School” but I’m not opposed to classes for all ages.
“Church organization pattern” There is a pattern for the organization of the church in the New Testament.
“These are a few of ridiculous patterns people have come up with by following ‘Pattern Theology:’” If our writer thinks this is ridiculous, why does he ask why we do not do it? This is just a manifestation of quibbling and unreasonable opposition to a pattern for the church in God’s Word.
By Larry A Bunch
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /