The Early Christian Church—which closely reflects the modern day Catholic Church—was roundly religious.
Not even close. The first century church as recorded in the Acts of the apostles, were far more than just "roundly religious"
~They preached and evil spirit knew them and tremble as they witnessed first hand of their kingdom of darkness being turned upside down and shaking like a mighty earthquake. The kingdom of God grew mightily throughout the Roman Empire. They were Spirit filled, with fire proceeding out of their mouth, devouring their enemies. They had power to shut heaven, and over all the power of the enemies, and the earth. Their power was so great, that even the passing of their shadow healed people. They had power to smite people with blindness and to silent the mouths of demon posses people. Catholicism is not even close to the church of the first century.....but, make no mistake about, your religion/church are in the scriptures, in such places as Matthew 15; Mark 7; and John chapter 8, there you will have many
similarities, but not the ones that you desire to be linked with, I am sure. But, the connections are too plain to link them with any other religious system in our day, other than RCC/EOC.
Now, the reason I believe there is a problem with Evangelicals concerning this issue is because they choose to ignore the early Church - it's formation, leaders, worship practices, and the authority it received from God himself.
Nice try, but the very opposite is so. "It's formation"~
NT worship is a very simple form of worship, were true worshippers, worship the Father is spirit and in truth. It can be as little as two or three people gather together in the name of Jesus Christ. The very elect, do not need fancy buildings, and all of the formal worship that goes with it and that appeals to the natural man in order to worship our God. Much more could be said, here but I believe you see what I am saying and where I could go with this. "It's leaders"~
....men walking around in long dresses? The NT church has ONLY ONE Bishop in the true sense of that word, and he is not on earth, but at God's right hand of power, highly exalted above ALL. In the NT church every child of God are part of a holy priesthood!
There is ONLY one man that mediate between us and God, the man Christ Jesus. We can go directly to God through of Lord Jesus, thank you very much. The tier of authority in Catholicism is so against the word of God. In the NT church established by Jesus Christ, the elders (older men) are the leaders of the younger believers, yet ALL are subject one to another as Peter told us to be. "Worship practices"~
...Much unlike Catholicism which is nothing more than the Paganism and Judaism mixed together, the NT worship again is SO SIMPLE. It consist of coming together, to pray and teaching the word of God, and breaking bread in remembrance of our Lord's death till he comes again. Not much more than that! Other than loving and serving one another, in whatever capacity is needed. "The authority it received from God himself"~
The authority is to preach the word, be instant in season and out of season..allowing no man to tell us that they alone have that authority, unless, they can prove it with preaching the truth, if not, then we should continue preach the truth. Truth will establish who has the authority
, not by just saying we have it, and you do not. That's too Pharisaical.
is now preferred where the individual decides what scriptural truth really is.
Again, nice try. But, individuals make up the church of Jesus Christ, and whoever has truth will prevail; not those who relied on their system of religious beliefs of what others have told them is truth....wherever there is truth, that truth sets men free from those whose corrupt system makes loud claims of being true, yet is clearly against plain teachings of the word of God, which alone is the true source of all truth.
And the end result? Confusion and multiplicity amongst the non - orthodox believers.
Truth is a gift from heaven given freely to the very elect...... where it is freely given, those few are not confused, but where it is not given, there will always be confusion and every evil work.
and the hatred of the Papacy that has evolved over the many hundreds of years.
Allow me to say one more thing. It is not so much hatred of the Papacy that has evolved over 1800 to 1900 hundred years, but we have learned to be aware of those who have killed others just like us over those many years. Have you ever read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxe's_Book_of_Martyrs?
I know at least you have heard of it!