"The Workplace/Business. The church functioned as a benefactor community for all people in its community: "As we await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for Himself a special people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:13-14). "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you constantly to affirm, so that those who have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to everyone" (Titus 3:8). These two passages elucidate the fact that the early church saw themselves as a community of people called to serve and better their community. This reframed even the workplace and the purpose of wealth as each believer used their time, treasure and talents to serve their city and extend the reign of Christ through a practical demonstration of His love." -- Joseph Mattera
What?? The Titus verses have nothing to do with the early church seeing themselves as a community of people called to serve and better their community. Titus 3:8 essentially says that Christians should do good works. Why? Because they are excellent and profitable to everyone. How so? A Christian known for their good works is a testimony to Christ. The early church did not use their talents, treasure and time to serve their city. Where is he getting this from? The bible says that the early church gave all they had to serve each other -- not the world. Even when Paul takes an offering it was for brethren who were in need -- not the community. The lost need a practical demonstration of the Gospel
"Family. Their leaders modeled a family unit in submission to Christ as the head. Read Ephesians 5 :21-33 and 1 Timothy 3:5, which gives as a primary qualification for church elders the call to be faithful to their families: "For if a man does not know how to manage his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?" Also, Ephesians 5 speaks about a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the church in the midst of a Roman-Greco culture that generally devalued women and used marriage only as a way to have children and perpetuate their family legacy (romance was often connected to arrangements outside the bounds of traditional marriage); hence, the command to love their wife connected both romance and sacrifice in the marriage, which revolutionized Western civilization." -- Joseph Mattera
The NAR constantly blurs the line between what is done for the benefit of the church versus the world. Yes the family unit is very important within the church and the symbolism Mattera points out is spot on but it has nothing to do with the world. The things of God are foolishness to the world. When a Christian politician recently stated that he would not have dinner with someone who was not his wife he was mocked and ridiculed by the world. Do not lose sight of the argument that Mattera is trying to make. That these areas of culture are somehow transformed and reframed because of the resurrection. He has yet to provide any proof of such.
"Education. They honored the Scriptures as the primary way of equipping and maturing the saints starting from childhood. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Scripture was used to catechize new believers and disciple their children (see also Deut. 6:6-9) which eventually became the impulse to create a "grand synthesis" that universities (starting in about the 11th century) utilized, in their attempt to orbit all truth and every discipline around theology and the study of the Bible." -- Joseph Mattera
Mattera cannot help but give the game away when he cites scripture. The Second Timothy verses clearly state that the word of God is for the man of God! So that he may be complete and thoroughly prepared for every good work. I never heard of anyone wistfully harkening back to the glory days of the 11th Century. The reality is that carnal education seeks to disprove the bible. Education insists that a six day creation timeline is not possible. They insist the age of the earth cannot be 6000 years. They think they can explain away the plagues of Egypt. Anything to remain their own god.
'Philosophy. The apostle Paul challenged the wisdom of this world with the wisdom of God demonstrated in Jesus (see Paul before the Areopagus in Acts 17, in which he challenged Greek polytheism, idolatry and quoted their famous poets to make a case for worshipping the one true God). Read 1 Corinthians 1:17-24 to see how the gospel of Jesus challenged the philosophy of the times. In Colossians 2:8-10, Paul says: " Beware lest anyone captivate you through philosophy and vain deceit, in the tradition of men and the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him lives all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all authority and power."' -- Joseph Mattera
This is crucial to understand beloved. Paul challenged society with the Gospel for the purpose of calling people out of the world. What Mattera and the NAR seek is to change society to accept the things of God without salvation. Even the Colossians verses he cites are the same dynamic. The NAR wants to challenge culture to change culture and that is simply not supported anywhere in the bible. Having more Christian politicians will not save one single soul. Neither will having more Christianese movies or an education system that teaches biblical truths. Salvation is a supernatural event caused by the preaching of the Gospel through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If Mattera was honest he would admit his goal is to fundamentally change society so it behaves better but salvation is not behavior modification.