[23] The last and most severe persecution organised by the imperial authorities was the Diocletianic Persecution, 303–311. He was certainly a man God used in special ways to minister to the church, but it is important to recognize that none of the New Testament writers wrote in a vacuum nor were their writings the product of simple dictation. In facing it he needed all his faith in the power of God. [10] In the post-Apostolic church a hierarchy of clergy gradually emerged as overseers of urban Christian populations took on the form of episkopoi (overseers, the origin of the terms bishop and episcopal) and presbyters (elders; the origin of the term priest) and then deacons (servants). The prestige of most of these sees depended in part on their apostolic founders, from whom the bishops were therefore the spiritual successors. Even a church body committed to a defense of pure Lutheran orthodoxy—the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)—stumbled on this question. Without the consent of Boris I of Bulgaria, the papacy was unable to enforce any of its claims. [22], There was no empire-wide persecution of Christians until the reign of Decius in the third century. Christians were officially tolerated as people of the Book. The Post-Apostolic period was diverse both in terms of beliefs and practices. The second theme revolves around the ministry of the local church and its life in the world. The prayer that he might return to the Thessalonians (3:11), 2. The mission was only partially successful, and Ansgar returned two years later to Germany, after Harald had been driven out of his kingdom. The First Crusade captured Antioch in 1099 and then Jerusalem. (1) God uses ordinary people. Concerning the day of the Lord (5:1-11), 1. [citation needed] The inclusion of gentiles posed a problem, as they could not fully observe the Halakha. [49][50] Bulgaria was officially recognised as a patriarchate by Constantinople in 927, Serbia in 1346, and Russia in 1589. [2] Within the last century, as the influence of Christianity has waned in the West, it has rapidly grown in the East and the Global South; in China, South Korea and much of sub-Saharan Africa. The "essential criteria" generally consist of belief in the Trinity, belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to bring forgiveness and eternal life, and that Jesus died and rose again bodily. The inclusion of gentiles in the developing early Christian Church caused a schism between Judaism and Jewish Christianity during the first two centuries of the Christian Era. Concerning Christ’s return there is a two-fold emphasis of both a confident expectation along with the call to live in readiness in the light of His imminent coming. During the early 5th century, the School of Edessa had taught a Christological perspective stating that Christ's divine and human nature were distinct persons. Thessalonica was originally named Therma because of the many hot springs in the surrounding area, but in 315 B.C. The Council of Trent (1545–1563) initiated by Pope Paul III addressed issues of certain ecclesiastical corruptions such as simony, absenteeism, nepotism, the holding of multiple church offices by one person, and other abuses. As we study these books, therefore, we need to grapple with how the return of the Lord for the body of Christ should impact us and how it should not affect us, for as we will see, some had made a wrong application of the Lord’s imminent return. [45] When the crusaders arrived in Constantinople, they sacked the city and other parts of Asia Minor and established the Latin Empire of Constantinople in Greece and Asia Minor. Why? More books of the New Testament were written by the Apostle Paul than any other New Testament author. The book of Acts provides a detailed, orderly, eyewitness account of the birth and growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel immediately after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.Its narrative supplies a bridge connecting the life and ministry of Jesus to the life of the church and the witness of the earliest believers. [40] After the rise of the Frankish Kingdom and the stabilizing political conditions, the Western part of the Church increased the missionary activities, supported by the Merovingian kingdom as a means to pacify troublesome neighbour peoples. It’s the blood the church. "[85], Catholic priests were executed in concentration camps alongside Jews; for example, 2,600 Catholic priests were imprisoned in Dachau, and 2,000 of them were executed (cf. Thereafter, Christians had generally been permitted to visit the sacred places in the Holy Land until 1071, when the Seljuk Turks closed Christian pilgrimages and assailed the Byzantines, defeating them at the Battle of Manzikert. Though normally dated to 1054, the East–West Schism was actually the result of an extended period of estrangement between Latin and Greek Christendom over the nature of papal primacy and certain doctrinal matters like the Filioque, but intensified from cultural and linguistic differences. This commercial activity had two important results. "Today the Church is almost 2000 years old, and it has not died yet! 3. The Church became involved in the various campaigns of russification,[71] and was accused of involvement in Russian anti-semitism,[72] despite the lack of an official position on Judaism as such. The Second Crusade occurred in 1145 when Edessa was retaken by Islamic forces. The Protestant position also included sola scriptura, sola fide, the priesthood of all believers, Law and Gospel, and the two kingdoms doctrine. I. The papacy of St. Pius V was known not only for its focus on halting heresy and worldly abuses within the Church, but also for its focus on improving popular piety in a determined effort to stem the appeal of Protestantism. Islamic expansion into Europe remained a threat for centuries, culminating in the campaigns of Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. It is one of the few cities that still exists today from New Testament times and has a booming population of 300,000. Any date assigned will have to be approximate, though probably … AD 51-52. The Holy Spirit gave birth to the church on the day of Pentecost, just as He gave birth to Jesus through the virgin Mary. The rapture of living saints (4:17-18), B. His hope in the Thessalonians (2:19-20), E. The confirmation of the Thessalonians (3:1-10), 1. [39] As early as in the 5th century, missionary activities from Roman Britain into the Celtic areas (Scotland, Ireland and Wales) produced competing early traditions of Celtic Christianity, that was later reintegrated under the Church in Rome. His followers believe that he is the son of God, and lived, died, and was raised from death for the forgiveness of sin. The Ottoman government followed Islamic law when dealing with the conquered Christian population. These activities coincided with a rediscovery of the ancient Christian catacombs in Rome. The Thessalonian epistles were written to the church at Thessalonica. A third level of monastic reform was provided by the establishment of the Mendicant orders. Answer: The Roman Catholic Church contends that its origin is the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ in approximately AD 30. There was also the report about the confusion that existed on the part of some regarding the return of the Lord and the Day of the Lord. Historian Sydney E. Ahlstrom saw it as part of a "great international Protestant upheaval" that also created pietism in Germany, the Evangelical Revival, and Methodism in England. In 829, Ansgar went to Birka on Lake Mälaren, Sweden, with his aide friar Witmar, and a small congregation was formed in 831 which included the king's steward Hergeir. The missionary team of Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke went to Thessalonica in response to God’s leading and their deep sensitivity to the will of God. First, it made Thessalonica a wealthy city. With the exception of the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles who attended the synagogue, the greater body of converts came to Christ from outright paganism. The edicts of the Diet condemned Luther and officially banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. [45] Teutonic Knights expanded Christian domains in Eastern Europe, and the much less frequent crusades within Christendom, such as the Albigensian Crusade, achieved their goal of maintaining doctrinal unity. Pentecost Sunday: The Birth of the Universal Church. The end of lay investiture threatened to undercut the power of the Empire and the ambitions of noblemen. [17][18] By the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon,[19] and by the 5th century the East, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon.[20]. (2) God takes ordinary people from all walks of life, but with one consistent ingredient. [51] In 1309, Pope Clement V moved to Avignon in southern France. The resurrection of sleeping saints (4:13-16), 2. Add to this Paul’s great burden for the Jews (Romans 9:1-3 and 10:1), and the historical principle of “To the Jew first” (Rom. [43] In addition to this ecclesiological issue, the Eastern Church also considered the Filioque clause unacceptable on dogmatic grounds.[44]. After Jason put up a bond, forfeitable if there was further trouble, Paul and his cohorts were freed and journeyed on to Berea. [47] As the translations prepared by them were copied by speakers of other dialects, the hybrid literary language Old Church Slavonic was created, which later evolved into Church Slavonic and is the common liturgical language still used by the Russian Orthodox Church and other Slavic Orthodox Christians. In reaction to these developments, Christian fundamentalism was a movement to reject the radical influences of philosophical humanism as this was affecting the Christian religion. Second, it brought Thessalonica a reputation for evil and licentiousness. The main concern of Paul's letters is the inclusion of gentiles into God's New Covenant, deeming faith in Christ sufficient for righteousness. [12][13][14][15], The Pauline epistles were circulating in collected form by the end of the 1st century. It is really not so surprising that, due to the glorious nature of the message of the gospel, people came to Christ and churches were founded across the country. This political privilege was jealously guarded by the people who were extremely sensitive about anything that might result in imperial disfavor. The Church Year Nativity of Christ. The Holy Land had been part of the Roman Empire, and thus Byzantine Empire, until the Islamic conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries. The ensuing dispute eventually lead to a break from Rome and the declaration of the King of England as head of the English Church, which saw itself as a Protestant Church navigating a middle way between Lutheranism and Reformed Christianity, but leaning more towards the latter. vi–1. It was not because they had no burden for these people, but because apparently it was Paul’s strategy to minister in the larger cities with a view to having those churches reach out into the smaller communities as people naturally moved in and out of the larger and busier cities (see 1 Thess. 2:17; 3:3). Did they not need the gospel also? It is the gospel and the Word of God as a whole that is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. First and fundamentally, as a part of the Word of God and as letters written to the church, the body of Christ, they deserve our careful study for the purpose of knowing and applying God’s truth to life. From Philippians 4:16 we know that the Philippians may have sent more than one gift to the Apostle while he was in Thessalonica, but this does not necessarily assume a long period since the journey from Philippi to Thessalonica required only about 5 or 6 days, a period that could well fit within a three or four week period. Under the state atheism of countries in the Eastern Bloc, Christians of many denominations experienced persecution, with many churches and monasteries being destroyed, as well as clergy being executed. As in other places, the doctrine of the return of Christ for the church is a truth that should transform how we live as individuals and as a corporate body of God’s people. A more formal Church structure grew out of the early communities, and variant Christian doctrines developed. While this exact outline will not be followed in the exposition, it is offered as an alternative overview of the book. He was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity.[28]. It was a church under persecution, but also a church that had a dynamic testimony and that had grown through the persecution. Among the sees, five came to hold special eminence: Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria. An ober-procurator appointed by the tsar ran the committee which governed the Church between 1721 and 1918: the Most Holy Synod. Photios was refused an apology by the pope for previous points of dispute between the East and West. They considered the root of corruptions to be doctrinal, rather than simply a matter of moral weakness or lack of ecclesiastical discipline, and thus advocated for God's autonomy in redemption, and against voluntaristic notions that salvation could be earned by people. The basic reason for the Church's opposition to any sort of sinful action is that such actions are contrary to the nature God has given us. [22], Although many Hellenistic Jews seem to have had images of religious figures, as at the Dura-Europos synagogue, the traditional Mosaic prohibition of "graven images" no doubt retained some effect, although never proclaimed by theologians. The conduct of the Apostle and his co-workers (2:1-12), C. The conduct of the Thessalonians (2:13-16), 1. What emerged was the Elizabethan Religious Settlement and a state church that considered itself both "Reformed" and "Catholic" but not "Roman", and other unofficial more radical movements such as the Puritans. The Church is different than a person. With respect to Catholic relations with Protestant communities, certain commissions were established to foster dialogue and documents have been produced aimed at identifying points of doctrinal unity, such as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification produced with the Lutheran World Federation in 1999. With the passage in 313 AD of the Edict of Milan, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion, persecution of Christians by the Roman state ceased.[25]. The council is perhaps best known for its instructions that the Mass may be celebrated in the vernacular as well as in Latin. 2:1-12) that in general Paul’s religious appeal arose in error, meaning that his gospel was not a divine reality but a human delusion; that it arose in impurity, hinting that the enthusiastic gospel of the Spirit led him into immorality; and that it was influenced by sinister motives, implying that Paul, like the pagan itinerant impostors of religious or philosophical cults … was working solely for his own selfish advantage. According to Luke, the converts at Thessalonica included Jews and a great multitude of devout Greeks who were attracted by the monotheism and morality of Judaism and who had attached themselves to the synagogue (Acts 17:4). The prospective: the endurance of hope (4:13–5:28), A. These circumstances forced the missionaries to leave Philippi. 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