3. Would Paul have used video if it had been available? I'm not sure I understand the difference between watching a video and listening to a letter being read at a church service. (Obviously Paul's video would have divinely inspired, we don't have that advantage at Seacoast. :)
Would Paul have used video? Sure. But that's a different question than whether Paul would have been in favor of setting up a congregation in Ephesus that was taught primarily by a video feed from Corinth. :)
It seems as though Paul not only had a heart for seeing leadership and gifts developed within the local church, but saw teaching by the local elders as being an integral part of the local church gathering. When he wrote letters to them, and asked them to be read aloud, I'm fairly sure that he did not mean for that to completely replace teaching by the elders of the church, otherwise, he would not have made teaching a requirement to be an elder. His encouragement to Timothy was to "preach the Word." He said "Elders who do their work well should be paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching." This is part of the job of the elders of a local church community. In 1 Cor 14, one of the things we do when we come together is that "When you meet, one will sing, another will teach... etc."
So even though he could have commanded that when they met, the early Christians would have nothing but letters from Apostles read to them, he seemed to steer them in a different direction.
But... the question is, "Couldn't a local church teacher just do it from another building by video?"
I think that the answer (for me) is a qualified maybe. :)
Sure, overflow rooms are one thing. Differently themed Video Venues start walking down an odd road (to me), but at least they are all in the same place being taught by someone they know and could meet after coffee in the central area, etc.
It's when we begin talking about placing venues miles and miles (and even hours) away that it begins to fall apart for me, and in large part because of what I have talked about here (and in the last entry on this) in terms of leadership being developed from within, people being allowed and encouraged to teach, a body being able to interact with those teaching them, the teachers knowing those they are teaching, etc...
I'll say more about the importance of local leadership and control and teaching in the next couple of entries...