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THE STUDY OF CHURCH HISTORY

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THE STUDY OF CHURCH HISTORY WHY STUDY CHURCH HISTORY? It is a Biblical discipline; Exodus 13:14-16, Joshua 5:19-24, Psalm 78:1-8. It enables us to trace the hand of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: THE STUDY OF CHURCH HISTORY


1
THE STUDY OF CHURCH HISTORY
2
WHY STUDY CHURCH HISTORY?
  • It is a Biblical discipline Exodus 1314-16,
    Joshua 519-24, Psalm 781-8.
  • It enables us to trace the hand of God in the
    preservation of his people.
  • It helps us to learn from the mistakes of a past
    generation.
  • We are taught from past experience how to deal
    with our present problems.

3
THE BEGINNING OF CHURCH HISTORY
  • Immediately after the close of the Book of Acts.
  • Paul is a prisoner in Rome, year is 64AD.
  • What will now happen to the Christian Church?
  • Unlike Biblical history we do have the benefit of
    an inspired account.
  • Nevertheless using a combination of secular
    historians and Christian writers a picture of the
    development of the Kingdom of Christ on earth
    emerges.

4
PART 1
  • The Death of Paul to the
  • Emergence of the Papacy

5
FIRST ROMAN PERSECUTION
  • Nero AD 64.
  • Rome was destroyed by fire.
  • Nero was blamed.
  • Christians were blamed to shield Nero (Tacitus).

6
THE CRUELTIES OF NERO
  • Christians were crucified.
  • Some were clad in hides of beasts and attacked by
    dogs for entertainment.
  • Others were set on fire and used as human torches
    when daylight failed.
  • Tacitus wrote that Christians were destroyed,
    not for public good but to gratify the cruelty of
    an individual.
  • It is believed that this was the period when Paul
    was martyred.

7
THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM
  • 70 AD.
  • Pivotal event in New Testament prophecy Matthew
    2415-28, Luke 1941-44.
  • Christ was quite adamant would be fulfilled in
    this generation (Matthew 2434).

8
THE DETAILS
  • The Christians fled because of Christs warnings.
  • The Jews resisted stubbornly and bravely.
  • The Roman general was called Titus.
  • He used a Jewish defector called Josephus as his
    negotiator who recorded the details.
  • 1,100,000 Jews died and 97,000 survivors were
    sold as slaves.
  • Titus only left a piece of the western wall and
    three towers as a monument to the mighty city
    that he had razed to the ground.

9
THE PURPOSE
  • The Jewish people were judged for their blatant
    disregard of God.
  • They were judged for their treatment of Christ.
  • It was a sure sign that the Kingdom of God was
    now spiritual and not material with the abolition
    of the Jewish state.
  • The temple which lay at the heart of ceremonial
    worship was no longer required after Christs
    sacrifice.

10
Progress in Days of Persecution
  • 70 AD 311 AD

11
The Pliny Trajan Letters 112 AD
  • Pliny was the Roman Governor of Bithynia (Asia
    Minor or Turkey, Acts 167 and 1 Peter 11).
  • Trajan was the Emperor who pursued a policy of
    persecuting believers.
  • Pliny described Christian worship they met at
    day break for singing unto Christ.
  • They abstain from theft, adultery and other
    evils.
  • Trajan instructed Pliny not to seek out
    Christians but to punish them if a complaint is
    received.
  • This correspondence would indicate that
    Christianity's spread was a concern in the
    highest places in Rome.

12
The Martyrdom of Ignatius
  • He was Bishop of Antioch for 40 years
  • He knew the apostles
  • He was taken from Antioch to Rome as an old man.
  • He was killed by lions before 45,000 spectators
    at the amphitheatre.
  • Before he died he said, I am Gods grain to be
    ground between the teeth of wild beasts, so that
    I can become a holy loaf for the Lord.

13
JUSTIN MARTYR
  • Born in 100 AD he was the first apologist for
    Christianity.
  • Apologist comes from the Latin apologia which
    means to answer. He answered for the faith
    against Christs enemies.
  • After searching for peace in pagan philosophies
    he was converted at 32 years of age after talking
    to a man by the seaside.
  • His writings speak of Christian practices
    worship on the Lords Day, scripture reading, the
    sermon, prayers, the Lords Supper and
    almsgiving.
  • Justin was martyred in 165 AD.

14
THE DEATH OF POLYCARP
  • He was a disciple of John who became Bishop of
    Smyrna.
  • When aged 86 arrested and refused to called the
    Emperor Lord or God 155 AD.
  • As he did not fear the wild beasts he was burned
    to death.
  • He was heard praying, I thank thee that I have
    been deemed worthy to receive the crown of
    martyrdom, and that I may die for thee and for
    thy cause.
  • The watching crowds marvelled at his faith.

15
THE LYONS MARTYRS
  • In France it is recorded that a group of
    Christians were arrested and tortured.
  • Such was their courage that many were converted
    to Christ.
  • One, a young slave girl called Blandina was
    placed in a red hot chair, inserted into a net
    and tossed repeatedly into the hair by a bull.
  • Afterwards her throat was cut.

16
A CHURCH IN HIDING
  • By the end of the first century the Christian
    Church was forced underground.
  • The catacombs of Rome are tangible evidence of
    this.
  • These are a network of underground passages
    beneath and about the city of Rome.
  • Christian symbols such as the dove, the fish and
    the bread are painted on the walls and can be
    seen to the present day.

17
TIMES OF PEACE
  • From 211 AD to 249 AD the church was free from
    persecution.
  • Alexander Severus had a mother who was favourable
    to Christians and he would even quote scripture.
  • For the first time Christians built public
    buildings.
  • In these years men like Cyprian detected a
    worldly carnal spirit creeping in among the
    people of God.
  • He for one believed that the subsequent
    persecution were Gods way of both chastening his
    people and separating the wheat from the chaff.

18
PIOUS CYPRIAN
  • Cyprian was the bishop of the North African
    church in Carthage.
  • He was born in 200 AD, converted late in life and
    elected as Bishop by the people while relatively
    young in the faith.
  • He entered into a dispute with the Bishop of Rome
    indicating he knew nothing of Papal supremacy.
  • He was a firm believer in taking truth simply
    from the scriptures.
  • He asserted the priesthood of all believers.
  • Persecution broke out again in 249 AD under the
    Decius and his successor Valerian.
  • He was beheaded for his faith in 258 AD.

19
THE TENTH PERSECUTION UNDER DIOCLETIAN
  • 303 AD 311 AD.
  • It was chiefly instigated by Galerius and Maximin
    who were responsible for the Government of Asia.
  • This was the final and most fearful Roman
    persecution.

20
THE FOUR EDICTS
  1. That Christians should lose their offices and
    property, that they be banned from worship and
    that the scriptures be burnt.
  2. All ministers be imprisoned.
  3. Ministers were to be refused release unless they
    offered sacrifices to heathen gods and were
    counted enemies of the state.
  4. The magistrates were directed to use all means of
    torture to convert Christians to Paganism.

21
THE WRATH OF GOD
  • Pillars were raised and medals struck in honour
    of the Diocletian and Galerius for bringing about
    the end of Christianity.
  • After 8 years Galerius was eaten of worms and
    called on Christians to pray for him.
  • From his deathbed he not only apologised but
    admitted his failure to destroy Christianity and
    gave Christians liberty.

22
MAXIMIN AND THE FAMINE
  • Galerius successor pursued the same policy of
    persecution which continued throughout the
    empire.
  • There was a fearful famine accompanied by
    terrible disease.
  • Christians risked their own lives to help the
    suffering and bury the dead.
  • The Romans blamed the persecutions for their
    calamities.
  • Maximin gave Christians liberty and restored
    their confiscated properties.
  • He turned his attention to the pagan priests who
    encouraged him to kill the Lords people.

23
WHY DID THE ROMANS PERSECUTE THE CHURCH?
  • Roman Emperors hated gods which they did not
    recognise.
  • The Emperors regarded the Christian mandate to
    spread Gods Kingdom into the whole earth
    regardless of frontier to be very dangerous.
  • Christians refused to be part of public events
    which were dedicated to heathen gods. They were
    regarded as anti social and secretive and were
    therefore suspect.
  • Christians threaten the business interests of
    trades associated with paganism.
  • Christians were regarded as arousing the anger of
    Roman gods who send famines, earthquakes ect
  • S.M. Houghton, Skecthes From Church History.

24
THE SLIDE FROM FREEDOM TO APOSTACY
  • 312 AD 800 AD

25
CONSTANTINE
  • He was
  • A devout worshipper of the Sun.
  • Won the Empire by war.
  • Murdered Crispus his first son.
  • Murdered his second in the bath.

26
THE EDICT OF MILAN
  • A treaty drawn up with his rival from the east,
    Lucinus.
  • We have long considered that freedom should not
    be denied
  • Christianity could now put its years of
    persecution behind.

27
CONSTANTINE
  • The Theory
  • Saw a cross in the sky before fighting his last
    battle for Rome.
  • Converted to Christianity
  • The Fact
  • Was head of the pagan state religion until his
    death.
  • He recognised that the influence of Christianity
    could be a political tool to help him control the
    Empire.

28
THE ADOPTED RELIGION
  • Christianity became the official religion of the
    Empire.
  • Sunday became the official day of rest and
    worship.
  • Ministers received liberal salaries from the
    state.
  • Buildings were erected by the Government.

29
THE DANGER OF ACCEPTABLILITY
  • The Christians were now in leadership in society.
  • Pagans wanted to become Christian because it was
    fashionable.
  • The Emperor demanded the right to rule the church
    and he called council meetings.
  • Before long the Bishops became became very rich
    ruling over cities in a secular fashion.
  • Over many years the Bishop of Rome slowly
    developed in power and influence.

30
THE ARIAN CONTROVERSY
  • Arius a presbyter from Alexandria insisted that
    Christ was not God.
  • Athanasius of Alexandria opposed him with a book,
    On the Incarnation of the Word of God.
  • Constantine called a council meeting at Nicea,
    close to present day Istanbul in 325 AD.
  • 300 bishops of the Church insisted that Christ
    was a member of the Trinity and Arianism became a
    heresy.

31
Augustine of Hippo
  • Of all the Church leaders in this period of
    decline Augustine is a shining light.
  • He was born in North Africa in 354 AD and speaks
    highly of his mother.
  • She prayed for her son as he went to Italy and
    lived an immoral life.
  • In a garden in Milan he sought the Lord after
    reading Romans 1313-14 and his ministry
    subsequently brought blessings to many.

32
Augustines Contribution
  • His Confessions is one of the greatest personal
    testimonies ever written.
  • He opposed Pelagius a British monk who believed
    that man was not depraved and that man has the
    ability to come to God of his own free will.
  • Augustine wrote powerfully on the inability of
    man in his natural state and of the necessity of
    Gods grace.
  • He died after a prosperous ministry in the year
  • 430 AD.

33
THE ANCIENT CELTIC CHURCH
  • Christianity had come to the British Isles before
    the Romans left in 410 AD.
  • Patrick was a Scotsman who established a thriving
    Church in Pagan Ireland. He was born in 373 AD.
  • Columba was from Donegal and settled in Iona
    establishing a monastery from which sent out
    missionaries carrying the gospel to Scotland,
  • 583 AD.

34
EVANGELISING THE PAGANS
  • After the collapse of the empire Britain was
    invaded by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes.
  • The Celtic Church in Scotland and Northumbria met
    with great success in reaching out to these
    heathens.
  • The Celtic Church was independent of the Roman
    Church.

35
ROME ARRIVES IN BRITAIN
  • 597 AD Augustine is sent by Pope Gregory 1st to
    convert the English.
  • The King of Kent was converted and Canterbury
    became the Church Headquarters.
  • Other British Kings followed suit.
  • In 664 AD at Whitby the Celtic Church in a
    conference decided to follow the customs of the
    Roman Church and became subservient to the Pope.

36
THE VENERABLE BEDE
  • Handed into the care of monastery at 7 years of
    age.
  • Lived all his life in Northumbria.
  • With a sharpened goose quill and acid he burned
    his writings into animal skin.
  • He wrote 69 books including Bible commentaries,
    hymns and secular writings.
  • Englands first historian.
  • The first person to produce a calendar based upon
    the life of Christ (AD and BC).
  • He died in 735AD at 62 surrounded by his pupils
    who were helping him produce a commentary on
    Johns Gospel.

37
PAGANISM POLLUTES THE CHURCH
  • Since Constantines time Pagan practices slowly
    became normal within the Church.
  • These included such doctrines as Purgatory,
    praying for the dead, holy water and the worship
    of the mother with the child.

38
PROPHECY FULFILLED IN ROME
  • Paul wrote that the Antichrist would only be
    revealed until that which hindered his arrival
    would be taken out of the way, 2 Thessalonians
    23-12.
  • Constantine foreseeing the fall of Rome moved the
    Emperors seat to Constantinople. This gave the
    Bishop of Rome more power.
  • In 476 AD Rome fell to the barbarians and the
    Bishop of Rome quickly stepped into the power
    vacuum and became a dominant secular force in the
    new political situation.

39
THE MODERN PAPACY DEVELOPS
  • Innocent 1 insists that no decision can be taken
    in the Church without his authority, 402 AD.
  • Leo 1 strengthens the Popes hold on the Western
    Churches.
  • The claim is made that the Pope has the authority
    of Peter as the first Bishop of Rome.
  • Gregory the Great took the responsibility for
    defending Italy and he appointed Bishops to
    represent him in other places.
  • In 800 AD Charlemagne King of the Franks was
    crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Leo 3rd. Now the
    Papacy has a revived Roman Empire to control and
    usurp.

40
The Pope Crowns Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor
41
THE FUTURE
  • Next time we will consider how the true church
    survived in the period of history which was now
    beginning known as the Dark Ages.
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