Baking is another matter. You must think long and hard before you change anything in a recipe for baked goods. If you don’t, it can fall, or not rise, or be too dry to choke down, or so “short” that it turns into crumbs when you touch it. If you use baking soda, you must have an acid like buttermilk or sour cream. If you get any fat in your egg whites they won’t whip. If you don’t heat the liquid, your yeast won’t rise, but if you heat it too much you kill it. Baking is chemistry and it does make a difference.
A lot of people don’t want to follow any sort of recipe in their religion. They think it is about good hearts, sincere love, and feeling good, none of which is quantifiable, and therefore none of which can be legislated. They will proclaim that the early church did things differently depending upon the location and the culture, and in some cases they are correct. Just like cooking minestrone can be varied according to the ingredients on hand and the palates of the eaters. But sometimes it is like baking—it does make a difference if you don’t want your cake to fall.
The word may not be used in the New Testament, but the concept of an appropriate orthodoxy is there in black and white.
And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Acts 14:23.
That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 1 Cor 4:17.
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 1 Cor 7:17.
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, I Cor 14:33.
Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 1 Cor 16:1.
There are certain things the apostles expected to be done everywhere. The methods were not always specified, and that’s where we get to choose our ingredients, but the other things are religious “baking”—things that must be done for our service to God to be acceptable. If we think we can change the chemistry we are wrong. Put egg whites in a greasy bowl and they will not turn into a beautiful meringue no matter how sincerely you beat them.
As you can plainly see from the passages quoted above, God expects some control over our service to him. Some folks chafe at the idea that we cannot change anything and everything about our religious service at our own whims. Israel had the same problem and wound up in Babylonian captivity. Don’t make the mistakes they did.
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury, Rom 2:6-8.