J Edwards

From I Corinthians we see that church meetings are for the edification of the saints. We are to be sensitive to our witness to unbelievers if they happen to show up. The apostles generally preached in venues where unbelievers were.

Also, the church is able to distinguish brethren from non-brethren for the purposes of communion, so why should this be a stumbling block when it comes to distinguishing in terms of who speaks?

The Corinthians did not have church meetings down. But we can get an idea of what an ideal meeting should look like from I Corinthians 14. In I Corinthians 14:26, Paul was supportive of these things going on in church, but they had to be done unto edifying. He gave specific instructions on tongues and prophecies.

Notice he never told everyone to sit down and shut up listen to the one elder assigned to speak that week. I know there are some Reformed people who argue for a 'non-miraculous' manifestation of the gift of prophecy in this age. Are there any people who hold to this view on this forum?

If there is no one gifted to prophesy or speak in tongues in this church, still keep in mind the fairly open format of the I Corinthians 14 meeting. If you have 10 teachers in your church, why should only one speak in a meeting, particularly week after week, only that one person speaks. The apostles appointed elders 'apt to teach' from within the congregation, back before Sunday school was invented. How did they know who was 'apt to teach?' And how can new teachers-- and potential elders--mature in their gift if there is no opportunity.

There is also scripture reading, singing, and various other activities that can be shared by various members of the congregation, rather than just having one (or two or three) do it.

On singing, I Corinthians 14:26 would indicate they sang solos. So would Tertullian's apology, which says that one by one they went up to sing a song from their hearts or from the scriptures to the Lord after they ate the Agape. I read an article by a retired Classics (Greek and Latin)professor that 'speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs' could have referred to taking turns singing solos as well.