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Church History – Research Paper on a Religious Movement

C.B.I. of B.B.C.–Dan Eberly


Leaving the Final Authority

Introduction: Paul dealt with this very early in church history. Reference -  The circumcision controversy in the Jerusalem church,
 which had to early on establish a foundation of truth and not depart from it.

               My thinking is that we have all these other movements because the pure waters of Christianity were very early on muddied.
Paul even said under the inspiration of the Lord in 2Cor.2:17
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of
sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” Early on the departure from the truth to man’s traditions, philosophies
and wisdom led to a hierarchy of power grabbing religionists. A power struggle was on between the simple but authoritative words of
scripture and men seeking to elevate themselves in power.

          In 3John we have a prime example of trying to shut out the truth by keeping the man of God away from the people. Diotephes
was a man seeking the preeminence of the people in his pride. This is the beginning of leaving the Bible for man’s headship over the
church. The bible specifically tells us that the pastors are to be ensamples to the flock 1Pet.5:3a “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage.”


Religious Movement 

            Once you have a move away from the clear and literal teaching of the bible you have a movement away from truth. It is most
always man and his philosophy and rationalizing against the bible that produces this veering from simple truth. The bible gives clear
direction in it’s doctrines on such things as; Baptism, Salvation, and church structure. The bible was finished or should I say the c
anon of scripture (authoritative books assembled) completed around 175ad. I have neither the words nor desire to include all the isms,
schools, heresies, groups, and errors that were all apart of the move to a catholic (universal) named church and a hierarchy of bishops
with one standing out above the others.

            Nevertheless this is a movement (which preceded the Dark Ages 375-1066) to beget all religious movements. Two of the primary
forces in this race to a central ruling bishop were the persecution of the church and the heresies and schisms in the church. The church
sought to close its ranks but did not close its ranks around the scriptures.

            We will look at some dates, people, and events in the very early church that were turning points toward a Catholic Church and
papacy with all its succeeding children.

The Marks of the New Testament Church

1.     Jesus Christ is the only Head and Founder

2.     There are two church offices

3.     The Bible is the final authority

4.     The churches are independent and autonomous

5.     Personal soul liberty and responsibility for each believer

6.     Baptism and the Lord’s supper are ordinances of the local church

Some important dates and information

1.     The apostles are martyred – end of first century

2.     Under persecution the church spread into all the Roman Empire, Asia and Africa

3.     Churches grew large in Jerusalem, Rome, Ephesus, and Corinth

4.     The churches had many elders and preachers.

5.     Text Box: End of 2nd century 
Some pastors assumed authority not given to them by the scriptures such as; claiming authority over smaller churches and denying
fellowship to others – 3John 9

6.     The structure of the church changed from congregational polity to the “Catholic” hierarchy.

7.     The doctrine of salvation begins to change – The Jews and Pagans lay stress on ceremony, types and shadows, in the scriptures
as real and part of salvation. The greatest and first ceremony elevated over its real importance was Baptism.

8.     Since the bible said so much about it then it must be part of salvation was the thought process. It was during this time that Baptismal
Regeneration takes footing as doctrine.

9.     The next logical step into more heresy was since Baptism plays a part in salvation, than the sooner the better, hence Infant Baptism.

10.  The move is made from believer’s baptism to infant baptism. The Eastern Church continued to immerse (though still to infants), but the
Western branch of the church began sprinkling and pouring.

11.  These changes are slow and sporadic but nevertheless the trend is away from the bible.


Note: Keep in mind that there are some churches not following this heretical path but are holding to the pure doctrine of the scriptures.
 251 AD loyal churches split away.

12.  300 AD – Persecutions become more and more widespread. Christianity is seen as a threat to pagan leaders and their worship of idols.

13.  303 AD- First edict made by Galerius (emperor) as law to persecute Christians.

14.  311 AD- This decision fails miserably and he reverses his decree to tolerate and allow them to live as Christ followers.

15.  313 AD – Constantine comes to power and supposedly sees a fiery cross “ By this thou shalt conquer” He becomes a “Christian” 
Now Christianity is attached to the Roman Empire and becomes a world religion.

16.  An unholy union is made between church and state.

17.  A council is called and a union made with many churches (but not all churches attend this council) and Christ is dethroned as
Constantine is made head of the church.

18.  This is the beginning of the Catholic Church.

19.  Its true beginnings were more to the end of the second and turning of the third century.

20.  Emphasis is made that there were many Christian (Baptist) churches that did not attend this council which believed there should be:

·       No marriage with the state

·       No centralized religious government

·       No higher hierarchy of bishops or churches

Note: These Christian churches (Baptist) never entered the Unholy Catholic Church!

Succeeding events leading into the “Dark Ages”

Note: An incomplete Bible left many with only portions of the New Testament in the early church. It was easy for error to creep in
as many had not a full understanding of all truths. There was corruption by men in positions of power which were called “Christians”.
 As Constantine (and many others) head of the eastern branch of the church, perpetuated false doctrines the church became more
and more paganized.

1.     416 AD – Infant baptism becomes compulsory

2.     426 AD – The Dark Ages begin – True Christian churches are martyred unmercilessly for the next 1000 years.

3.     Popery begins with Leo II

4.     Religious liberty is gone as true New Testament churches are hunted and hounded for the next ten centuries.

            So we have the what, when and a little of the why, of what happened; but I would write further about the who, that were involved
in this movement toward religious apostasy.

            The beginnings of the church were simple in that Christ the Chief Cornerstone paved the way and the foundation was laid on Him
by wise master builders. 1Cor.3:10, 11. Now Christ cannot be changed or diluted in His personal work (Calvary) and as being the Rock
of the church. The problem lies in the building by those who were not “wise master builders.”  The bible clearly states in 1Cor.3:11 that there
is no other foundation or Rock that can be laid. The true Christian church starts with Jesus Christ. It is just too obvious from the clear teaching
of scripture that no one could; Whoa !!! stop the presses; there is one “church” that tries to change the very Rock of the church. You guessed
it the Unholy Roman Catholic Church. They take Matt.16:18 and make Peter (
the stone) the foundation in place of the statement of truth about
Jesus Christ. In Matt. 16:16 we see Peter’s own profession from his lips state that “Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God.”(
The Rock).
In Matt.16:19 they (they being the bible violators) insist was Christ giving all authority to Peter (the keys of the kingdom) and John 21 Peter is
 told to feed the sheep.

            Did Peter have authority? Yes, but only that which was given by Christ and the scriptures. Peter himself said in his epistle 1Pet.2:6-8 that
 Jesus Christ was the foundation and Chief Cornerstone. Question: Who denied Christ and failed Him in the garden at a most critical time? Jesus Christ
had to urge Peter to feed His flock after the resurrection. My, my how simple truth is twisted and changed to suit men’s beliefs and attempts to solve
internal and external problems in the church. Take heed we do not the same things but stick to the truth. The church faced persecution (external) in the
period between 100-300ad. It also faced heretical teaching (internal) from various men and groups that arose. The church tries to gain solid footing and
closes the canon of scripture but then veers away from it by setting up monarchal bishops. Guess whose bishop goes straight to the top, right Rome’s.
This is the beginning of a slide that so far has perpetrated 2000 years violence and death toward bible believing Christians. Millions pour into hell under
 blind guides and apostate leadership. This is the unholy union or bondage created when church and state marry. May I offer an illustration.

            Illus: It takes 90 days for waters of the Mississippi River to travel 2552 miles from here - its headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota - to the
Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River is the largest river system in the
United States and the largest of America. This river drains all or part of 31 U.S.
 states. The three months it takes to leave its headwaters and meander to the Gulf of Mexico this river accumulates all kinds of things along the way.
From a pure, cool, deep, clear lake in Minnesota, it winds up a shallow, lukewarm, muddy delta draining itself into the Gulf.

            This is what happens when men add or subtract to God’s word. 

            The devil doesn’t want unity according to truth, just the opposite. Truth divides but when the lines of truth are blurred it allows confusion.
This allows the boundaries to be set by the church and apostate men instead of the Bible.

Conclusion: If we would look back at how this small despised sect of believers became such a great movement, with it becoming the official religion
of the Roman Empire, we might wonder how this was detrimental. Christianity had raised the moral bar very high. Women were given dignity as human
 beings and more recognition in society. The gladiator shows were eliminated and the slaves were given milder treatment. Roman legislation became
more just and missionary work was spreading. There were disadvantages such as the government in return for position, protection and aid, demanded
the right to intervene in spiritual and theological matters. The church paid the price then and will pay the price today if we bend to any pressure from
 the state wanting a hand in the true church.

Points:  State accreditation today in Christian schools and colleges is a slippery slope. Having the charitable giving status is fine but if they take it away
believers should continue to give without batting an eyelash. We don’t give to take it off our taxes at years end. We are going for an education (hopefully)
 to serve the Lord not make a ton of money. Today the “wall of separation “ screamed so loudly by the atheistic crowd is the most twisted misunderstood
writing one could ever imagine. I include that very letter below in hopes (I FOR ONE) it is not ever believed to be anything but what it was intended
– religious freedom.


Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.


The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association,
give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded
of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship,
that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American
people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus
building a wall of separation between church and state.
[Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only
 to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive
is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each
respective sect.
] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction
 the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your
religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson

            May I add to the very end of this paper that the Unholy Catholic Church is the only entity that is both a sovereign city-state and head of the
 largest religious whore on earth. The devil is the great deceiver and if you don’t believe that knock on any door in Ireland or in the world and try to tell
the occupants that salvation is full and free in Jesus Christ alone. Eph.2:8, 9


Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

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Daniel & Katherine Eberly

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E-mail: eberlydc@juno.com

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