Back to Back Issues Page Ezine: The Beginning of Christianity
May 04, 2010

The Beginning of Christianity

Save This One!

All the Basics. All at Once. In Their Own Words.

Here is one of the best brief references to the beliefs and practices of the apostles' churches you will ever find.

The Beginning of Christianity

Save this email. Reference the web page whenever you get opportunity. Bring it out every time you begin to wonder what it is that ought to be holding Christians together.

Evangelical Christians are beginning to find out that we know a lot more about the churches the apostles started than we thought we did. We're also finding out that the writings of those churches do not belong to the Roman Catholics.

Early Christian Literature

Early Christian writings are available all the way back into the time of the apostle John. Many, who don't like what those writings say, claim that the early Christians had fallen away. They argue ...

  • Didn't Jesus rebuke most of the churches that he wrote to in Revelation 2 and 3?
  • Hadn't gnosticism and ecstatic excesses crept into the Corinthian Church?
  • Weren't some of John's letters rejected by one of his own churches?
  • Didn't the Galatians embrace the Judaizers?

While all those things are true, what is also true is that ...

  • gnosticism was driven out of the church by the mid-2nd century.
  • The Corinthians repented after they received Paul's letters.
  • The Ephesians and even the Laodiceans were restored by the rebukes of the risen Christ. [I have no page to link you to here. My references are to Irenaeus' Against Heresies and Tertullian's Prescription Against Heretics, both of which list Ephesus as an example of pure apostolic Christianity. Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History cites the Laodicean church as being in fellowship with other ancient churches throughout the 2nd and 3rd centuries.]
  • The Judaizing influence was eliminated from the church by 150 as well.

Couldn't the Apostles Build Faithful Churches?

Do we really want to believe that the apostles were worse church builders than modern Christians?

To this day, the Churches of Christ bear the flavor of Alexander Campbell, their founder from over 150 years ago. The basic beliefs of the Baptists haven't changed in the 400 years since they're founding. Calvin's five points of Calvinism have lasted unchanged in Reformed circles for 500 years.

Were the apostles not able to raise up churches that would be faithful for even 50 years?

I think they were. But what did those early Christians say?

The basics. All at once. All in one place. In their own words.

Back to Back Issues Page