At least two of the persecutions were empire-wide and intended to destroy the church. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the apostles healed people and preached Christ to all who would listen (Acts 3). Indeed, whenever the world persecutes the church, it just grows even more. possibly to end the Roman’s invasion of his homeland, Thrace (Fields 28). Christians believe that he was perfect and that he came to earth to teach God’s plan. They drove him out of the city and stoned him. McGavran was a third-generation Christian missionary to India, where his observations of How Churches Grow (the title of another of his books) went beyond typical theological discussion to discern sociological factors that affected receptivity to the Christian Gospel among non-Christian peoples. I mean, I always knew that but hearing it that way just makes me think differently about it. The Early Church Preached the Right Message It truly shows how he was filled with the spirit in that moment, because even though these people were doing a terrible thing to him, he still loved them and didn't want them to suffer the consequences of this sin. It is worth noting that Alexander the Great is the historical figure who can be largely linked to the spread of Hellenization. On the top of these was the Holy spirti who helped the church to grow in spite of presecution and hard times. Spielvogel, Jackson J. The papers are not supposed to be submitted for academic credit. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The aupport of the pope as head of the Catholic Church A vast road system linking urban areas in Europe The invention of the printing press and improvements in literacy Economic changes and the growth if towns following the Renaissance. As the book of Acts continues, the church grows. Everything rises … Social Networks are the Vehicle. I worry about our future as Christians in this world and though I know my Savior is coming for me, I want to make sure that I trust myself and have strong enough faith in Jesus to be willing to die (or suffer consequences & obstacles) in His name! He was a Christian theology writer who wrote about the original sin and predestination. In that moment, Stephen became the first martyr of the Christian faith. It must have been testing to the faith to have so many people push against you once you know that God has a plan for you. This is one of the ancient poems that preserved the beautiful legends during the Aegean age (around 1100 B.C.) A creed is a set of principles or opinions especially as it refers to a religious philosophy of life (Pollock 16). The Jews on the other hand contributed their r eligion to the growth of Christianity . At the meeting they recognized Paul as an apostle together with the founders of the Church. Seeing a great light and falling to the ground, Saul heard a voice speaking to him (Matthews 288). The greatest leaders of the Reformation undoubtedly were Martin Luther and John Calvin. Augustine contributed to the spread of Christianity by writing about it. He faced opposition and was brought before the Jewish council for blasphemy. From the beginning, the church consisted of people who truly believed the words of Jesus, proclaimed His message, and gave their lives for the truth of the gospel. NEWMAN THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE The Spread of Christianity and Factors that Contributed to the Political and Religious Separation of the Early Church Submitted to Rev. Jerusalem in Ancient History and Tradition. Early European History. [n.p]: Forgotten Books, 2008. Stephen's story seems so foreign to today but, at the same time, really strikes a chord. Think about Stephen’s dedication to Christ. Download the app to get the full IF:Equip experience and join the conversation in your own creative way. Martin Luther precipitated the Reformation with his critiques of both the practices and the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. Sparta was the undisputed leader of Continental Greece and of the Aegean during the period of 404-362 B.C., it ended the struggles for supremacy between rival cities; however, the Greek cities soon found that they exchanged the mild sway of Athens for the brutal tyranny of Sparta (Webster 110). As with a growing organism, the local church has those who plant the seed (evangelists), those who water the seed (pastor/teachers), and others who use their spiritual gifts for the growth of those in the local church. Even Jewish priests were coming to faith in Christ. Christianity arose out of Judaism and rapidly developed as a faith with a separate identity, based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as the Christ (Pollock 9). It was said to be the voice of Jesus asking him why he is persecuting him and the Christians, Saul was then trembling and astonished asking what he should do, the voice then instructed him to go to the city where he would be told what he should do; thus did the conversion of Saul the prosecutor of Christians to Saint Paul the Apostle took place (Pollock 20). It quickly spread to the whole of Northern Province, Eastern Province and the Copperbelt, was an AIC. Matthews, Warren. Clearly, this neglect was not in line with Jesus’ heart for the church; we are to look after widows in their distress (James 1:27). This is an amazing number of books given the fact that the North American Church Growth Movement is only forty-one years old. In Stephen's speech, he points out the error of the belief that God is confined to the walls of the temple. If we are willing to see how the early church existed among the Jewish, Roman, and Greek cultures, and implement their techniques, we too, can experience church growth. Rome controlled most of Europe and spread its empire through Asia to North Africa. Assess Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Everything World’s Religions Book: Discover the Beliefs, Traditions and Cultures of Ancient and Modern Religions. Thus, the most important belief for Christians is that the world and everything in it is an expression of God’s power and love (Pollock 16). Just like Jesus did. Growth of any kind follows a typical pattern. What are the factors that contribute to the growth of the early church? Rather, he prayed grace for his murderers as he took his last breath. In England the Anglican church remained an ally of the throne, as did the Protestant churches of the German states. He turned his eyes to see Jesus in that moment. The promise of salvation, made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection, had immense appeal in a world full of suffering and injustice. As the son of God, Jesus represents the person that all Christians must strive to be like. These sources were and still are most important criteria for the religious and moral life of the Church (Meinardus 40). When he talks about how the temple was built and the curtain to the resting place of God was torn and the Holy Spirit lives in us instead of in the temple, t just reminds me that you don't have to be at church to worship God. Church and society. The Word of God kept spreading. Overwhelming faith and Grace, Lord may we show this too. : A Gladiator rebels against Rome. A number of factors helped the somewhat surprising spread of the Christian Faith across the Roman world which began in the first century. The spread of Christianity was made a lot easier by the efficiency of the Roman Empire, but its principles were sometimes misunderstood and membership of the sect could be dangerous. However, as he approached Damascus, he was struck blind. (Source: http://www.4to40.com/culture/index.asp?p=Christianity_Disciples). He was a Christian theology writer who wrote about the original sin and predestination. The Jewish council was aggravated with Stephen because he implied that God could be worshipped outside of the temple (Shelley 2013). Wow, I remember this story as a child but never have revisited as an adult. Massachusetts, U.S.A.: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2011. From the beginning of Christianity, devotees have tried to concur on statements of beliefs, called creeds. Look at the early church. Christians believe in one all-powerful creator, God. Augustus meaning “Majestic” was the more familiar name of Octavian, he was no military genius to dazzle the world with his achievements; he was a cool and passionless statesman who took advantage of a memorable opportunity to remake the Roman state and later on, he became a wise and impartial ruler of the Roman Empire (Webster 187). The first of the reasons that the Christianity spread was a political factor. Christians formed communities bound to one another in which people could express their love by helping each other and offering assistance to the poor, the sick, widows and orphans. Stephen's unwavering belief is incredible. Oh that I could look past even my by comparison insignificant circumstances to what awaits me. The Word of God kept spreading. The spiritual factos of the rapid growth od the church in the book of Acts were the five pusposes of the church from Acts 2: worship, teaching, discipleship, ministry, evangelism and mission. I'm gonna get hate for this. Constantine favored the Christians throughout his reign. There are many different denominations within Christianity. The narrative account about Jesus Christ’s ministry and an early history of Christianity are contained in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. Writing Service UK, Essay The church growth movement began with the publication of Donald McGavran 's book The Bridges of God. All of papers you get at Grademiners.com are meant for research purposes only. Meinardus, Otto F.A. Ignorance and imagination. Spartacus and the Slave War 73-71 B.C. How would they handle one of the first conflicts within the new church? The spread of the Christian church in its earliest centuries is one of the most amazing phenomena in all of human history. They chose seven Holy Spirit–filled men with good reputations to be in charge of caring for these widows so that the apostles could continue teaching the Word of God. His life and teachings were the groundwork of Christian faith. The Romans tried to persecute it out of existence, yet it spread the gospel throughout the entire empire. The number of disciples grew greatly in Jerusalem. Spartacus spent some years as a paid auxiliary for the Romans who then became a gladiator and turned against the Roman Empire and was the sole military leader of the Slave War at around 73-71 B.C. Thompson, Thomas L., and Salma Khadra Jayyusi. Stephen, the First Martyr. a portion of Jerusalem was constituted a city-state or “polis”, which is defined not by its physical formation but by its Greek/Hellenized citizenship and way of life; during the Hellenistic period, the Temple State and the subsequent Jerusalem State was a theocracy in which the High Priest ruled (Thomas & Jayyusi 80). Peter’s original name was Simon; he was a fisherman called to be a disciple of Jesus at the beginning of his ministry. When speaking of the temple, Stephen quoted the prophet Isaiah (66:1) and reminded the Jewish council that God does not dwell in houses made by human hands. Book of Acts . Every city had a congregation of Christian worshipers. First of all, the Christian message had much to offer the Roman world. Most, however agree on the basic tenets of faith (Pollock 9). As they were stoning him, Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God and asked the Lord to not hold this sin against them. Gibbon saw the local church as one of the things that contributed to the spread of Christianity. Great Leadership – Without a doubt the greatest key to church growth is leadership. His belief in Christ, his love for Christ, his desire to see all people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus led him to his death—a death he did not resist. Stephen's story inspires me to enjoy Jesus more every day...what a mighty Savior we serve! The political unity of the Roman Empire did produce a certain economic and political stability, notwithstanding its many faults. First, the church of Christ was not established at “just anytime” in history. It's humbling to know that he was so bold in his faith and so willing to die. Augustine contributed to the spread of Christianity by writing about it. Jesus was born Jewish in the Roman province of Palestine during the time of Herod the Great. The church needed to respond. In this verse, we find our second update on the newly founded church of Jesus. But note that it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7). Given the information from the Gospels, it is not surprising that Peter should emerge immediately after the death of Jesus as the leader of the earliest Church. The paper concludes that God prepared the world to receive both Jesus and his church. During the period of 264-218 B.C., the West is ruled by the kingdoms of Rome and Carthage, who at the beginning were in friendly alliance and eventually became the bitterest of foes; the three wars between them are known as the Punic Wars, which are the famous contests that ancient history records and in the end, they lead to the complete destruction of Carthage (Webster 156). The twelve apostles called the multitude of believers together to discuss the matter. Even non-Christians who eschew church-going can appreciate the importance of maintaining just one lifeline to a community of mutual care … The religious and moral norms of the Christians are largely determined by three different forms of authority: the legal authority, the traditional authority and the charismatic authority. (Source: http://www.sspeter-paul.net/edge/index.cfm?load=page&page=542). 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. Wave after wave of persecution was unleashed to squash it. It challenges me to not allow any "inconveniences" keep me from living out my faith. From all accounts in the New Testament, Peter was a man of strong emotions; he is portrayed as rash, hasty, capable of anger, and often gentle, yet firm (Pollock 18). Jesus looked beyond the cross at what was to come. None if it mattered because he knew what and who was waiting for him. The Lumpa Church was established in 1954 by Alice Lenshina, from a village near Lubwa Mission in Chinsali District of Northern Province of Zambia. As the church came from the hand of God, it was fully capable of doing the great work God gave it to accomplish. May we follow in their footsteps! Creeds attempt to verbalize what cannot really be expressed in words. All the while praying for those stoning him. I can't imagine the faithfulness and bravery of Stephen as he is being murdered to say to the Father, forgive them! Christianity satisfied the need to belong in a way that the huge, impersonal and remote Roman Empire could never do (Spielvogel 127). The belief that Jesus rose from the dead is central to Christians. What do you think of him, his style of leadership, and his administration. 3 pages (750 words). As a local church increases in life and number, we call it the increase. They met in private houses, where they sang hymns, listened to readings from the Holy Scriptures and partook in a sacrificial meal in memory of the last supper of Jesus with his disciples. Two thousand years of Coptic Christianity. While Christianity was conquering the world, the believers in its doctrines were grouping themselves into communities or churches. Everything you know about the collapse of the soviet union is wrong, Understanding Interstate and Intrastate Wars During And After The Cold War Through Levels Of Analysis, Communists vs. Nationalists in China’s Civil War. Know Where the Church is Going. When asked if this was true, Stephen responded with a poignant speech. God planned for Jesus to come to Earth and for His church to be established at a special and specific point in time in human history, which God chose an… Three years after his conversion, Paul went to Jerusalem to meet Peter and James, Jesus’ brother. In this passage, we see a conflict arise between two groups of Jews: the more traditional Jews and the Hellenistic Jews who were more open to Greek influences. His letters, which were collected for general circulation, have become a standard reference for Christian teaching (Pollock 20). The worldwide Church Mission, evangelism and church growth. Another enactment required that magistrates, city people and artisans were to rest on Sunday; this was the first Sunday law (Webster 220-221). (Source: http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=920&original=1). Peter is invariably mentioned first in the lists of the disciples and recognized as the spokesperson of the group (Pollock 18). New York: T & T Clark International, 2003. This encouraged trade between large cities and regions 2. In partnership with Cornerstone Knowledge Network, Barna undertook research to learn more about the current culture and methods of planting and growing congregations. There is a 2,000 year-old insight that any congregation can apply to … Stephen … Through the Holy Spirit, he performed miracles and spoke God’s truth to all who would listen. Which of the following contributed to the rapid spread of the Reformation throughout Europe? He is calling me to love and serve immigrants in my community--not to force them to conform to my culture but to share the love of God, which is infinitely larger than the box I put Him in. Peter dominated the community for nearly fifteen years following the Resurrection; it was he who raised his voice and preached at Pentecost, the day when the Church came into being, he served as an advocate for the apostles before the Jewish religious court in Jerusalem and he led the others in extending the Church, going first to the Samaritans, then to the Mediterranean coast where he introduced Gentiles … Webster, Henry Kitchell. The legal authority includes the canon of Holy Scripture, the writings of the church fathers and the canons of the church. These factors can be summarized under three main headings. The early church increased in number so dramatically in a relatively short period of time for a variety of reasons. (Source: http://harpers.org/archive/2008/02/hbc-90002305). II. In comparison consider that just … He truly believed that Jesus was the promised Savior. Moreover, Christianity had universal appeal. He surrounded himself with Christian bishops, freed the clergy from taxation and spent large sums in building churches. The term Christ came from the Greek word Xristos, which can be translated as the “anointed one” or “messiah” in Hebrew (Pollock 11). Caste System In India, Hinduism And Buddhism, Liberalism, The “Best” Political Philosophy, Forms of government in England and France. The conversion of Constantine is one of the most significant events in ancient history. that highlighted remarkable excavations that disclosed the remains of a widespread and flourishing civilization during those times (Webster 75). Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press, 2002. The church increases locally and spreads universally. The mediterranean was a source of communication between the lands and eased the growth of a thriving trading network within the empire. Some widows were being neglected. Pentecostalism - Pentecostalism - International growth of Pentecostalism: Inspired by Acts of the Apostles 2:1–13, which speaks of God pouring out his Spirit in the last days, many Pentecostals believe that their revival is a sign of the Endtime, and hence a call to bring the world to salvation before Christ’s Second Coming. John Calvin was the most important figure in the second generation of the Reformation, and his interpretation of Christianity, known as Calvinism, deeply influenced many areas of Protestant … In this verse, we find our second update on the newly founded church of Jesus. Western Civilization: A Brief History. The local church was not something that needed to be abolished or repaired so that church growth could occur. World Religions. Conclusion These have evolved over the years often because of disagreements about teachings or through different ways of worshiping. And to display that grace in the worst moments. U.S.A: F+W Publications, Inc., 2002. Even Jewish priests were coming to faith in Christ. Despite being chastised, imprisoned, and beaten by the Jewish council, the apostles continued to boldly proclaim Christ (Acts 4–5). Could have the American Civil War been avoided? (Source: http://gambar-kristen.blogspot.com/2011/04/jesus-of-nazareth.html). Read Acts 6:7. Public Policy on Illegal immigration in US, Fate And Government Belief Concepts In Ancient Greece, International relations, politics, revolutions, theories, Conflict Resolution between the Human Law and the Human Conscience, Essay Christianity seemed to imbue life with a meaning and purpose beyond the simple material things of everyday reality (Spielvogel 125). As the empire grew, the army Dr. Scott Sharman in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of FTH 400r Early Church History by Linda Chiupka April 10, 2017 Chiupka 1 INTRODUCTION Although Christianity began with only a handful of disciples … Finally, Christianity fulfilled the human need to belong. THE SPREAD OF THE CHURCH. Because the veil to the holy of holies (the place where God’s presence resided) was torn in the temple upon Jesus’ death, God’s presence now resides in us through the Holy Spirit. There was two factors that helped in the growth of Rome, the Mediterranean and the Roman army. The definitions, goals and metrics of church growth have evolved in the centuries since Acts. And, more recently, the church in China blossomed during the twentieth century despite tremendous persecution. The number of disciples grew greatly in Jerusalem. Read Acts 6:8–7:60. The development of Christianity’s influence on the character of society since the Reformation has been twofold. California, U.S.A.: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2010. It could be viewed as simply another eastern mystery religion, offering immortality as the result of the sacrificial death of a savior-God. He professed love for Jesus and was capable of great loyalty. Every Christian community thus formed a little brotherhood of earnest men and women, united by common beliefs and common hopes (Webster 218). So often when presented or challenged by world views I am silent for fear of reaction. In 175 B.C. He was totally devoted to eliminating the Christian influence within Judaism. The chief presbyter received the name of overseer or bishop. Christianity was able to attract many followers due to a variety of reasons. Writing in Canada. Devotees of the Christian faith are identified as Christians. The Jewish council was enraged at Stephen’s speech. At IF: Local, God used this passage to show me the error of my belief that God is confined to the social norms of my culture. Stephen also called them out for rejecting Jesus as the Savior (Acts 7:51–53). Stephen was one of the men chosen to care for the widows. “Before time began” God purposed to offer salvation to the world through Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:9). His contribution to the development and promotion of the Greek culture and language is done through his conquests of the new lands and other cultures, thus enabling the spread of Hellenization within the period of his life, which was the fourth century BC (Eraman 34). This paper endeavors to tackle what transpired before and after the existence of Christianity into the world. Here are the top ten lessons from pastors and church leaders who have taken the plunge to expand their ministry. I think the looking beyond his present circumstance. Or the words of response come later. Read Acts 6:8–7:60. The church was considered a religio prava , an illegal and depraved religion. Start studying The Growth and Spread of the Church 2. For instance, most Christians agree that God is three persons in one: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit, creating the Holy Trinity. When a local church spreads to other cities to have more local churches, we call it the spreading of the churches. It will also help us work for the unity of all believers in Christ. In the realm of state churches and territorial churches, Christianity contributed to the preservation of the status quo of society. The Growth and Spread of Early Christianity Figure 7-3: The Early Days of Christianity by Frederick C. Grant resides in the Public Domain . Each church had also one or more deacons, who visited the sick and relieved the wants of the poor. Saul of Tarsus (who will later be called Paul after his conversion), who had been present when Stephen was stoned in Jerusalem, volunteered to take writs to Damascus to find members of the Way, arrest them and return them in chains to Jerusalem where they would be tried. It staid … •Roman Catholic Church sells indulgences, spends lavishly •Martin Luther protests, publishes, and distributes 95 Theses •Pope Leo X excommunicates Luther •Protestantism takes hold across northern Europe, dividing Christianity •John Calvin forms offshoot of Protestant Lutheranism •A blank box is shown. He walked through the history of Israel up until the time when Solomon built the temple where God would dwell. Persecution of Christians. Fields, Nic. Also, in Stephen's last moments he cried out to God saying "Don't hold this sin against them", that is amazing to me. New York: Osprey Publishing, 2009. Pollock, Robert. A recent check on Amazon.com discovered that over 25,000 books are listed under the category of Church Growth. Second, Christianity was not entirely unfamiliar. Peter dominated the community for nearly fifteen years following the Resurrection; it was he who raised his voice and preached at Pentecost, the day when the Church came into being, he served as an advocate for the apostles before the Jewish religious court in Jerusalem and he led the others in extending the Church, going first to the Samaritans, then to the Mediterranean coast where he introduced Gentiles into the Church (Pollock 18). During the persecution of Christians, Christianity gained a convert who would transform it into a world faith. These are an inter-dependent combination of political, social and economic factors. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the Catholic Church became a powerful social and political institution and its influence spread throughout Europe. 1. This is … I have much to learn in this study from the founders of the church. What would they do? There is an old saying if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. At the same time, it offered advantages that the other mystery religions lacked; Jesus had been a human figure and not a mythological one (Spielvogel 125). To lay down his life first to care for the widows, then literally as he stood by his belief in Christ unto death. Saul was a Pharisee and a murderer who persecuted the church... but a remarkable transformation took place and he became Paul, a significant and influential spiritual leader in the Christian faith. Certain officers called presbyters or elders were chosen to conduct the services and instruct the converts. After reading this passage, I realized how difficult it must have been for Stephan to turn away from the other believers and follow what God was pushing him towards in front of every discerning eye. 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