BY REV. DORAL PULLEY
Jesus Christ was not a Christian; in fact, he is not even the founder of the Christian church. Although Jesus laid the foundation for Christianity, Christianity in its early stages was a sect of Judaism. It wasn’t until several years after Jesus’ ascension, that the Church gained its independence.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, is actually recognized as the founder of Christianity because he made it clear that Christianity was its own religion. He established Christian churches composed of both Jews and Gentiles and wrote letters to those churches. His letters are also called epistles and account for most of the books of the New Testament.
One of the major highlights of my pilgrimage to the Holy Land was going to the synagogue where Jesus attended services. Jesus was a Jew and as a good Jew he went to the synagogue regularly. He had a “home church” where he was a part of the worship experience by reading the scriptures, preaching, teaching and performing miracles.
The synagogue was an integral part of the town of Capernaum where Jesus did a lot of his ministry. The way that Jesus’ historical synagogue was structured reminded of many edifices today. In addition to the sanctuary, there was a fellowship hall and a place for children to play. It’s amazing how the core needs of people have not changed.
As Christians, we are followers of the Christ consciousness that Jesus represented. There is no way that we can be true disciples of Jesus Christ without having regular fellowship with others. In addition to having a church home, following Jesus calls us to be active participants in the life and ministries of the church.
There is nothing wrong with watching church on line or taking Bible classes electronically. These are wonderful supplements to our spiritual growth. Nevertheless, they are not a replacement for personal interaction with others. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I AM in the midst of them (Matthew 18:18-20).”
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity Temple of Truth Church, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg.