Catholic Christianity (3a)
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Catholic Christianity (3a)

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Catholic Christianity (3a) Catholic Christianity (3a) Presentation Transcript

  • Catholic and Protestant Christianity
  • I. Early Christian Church Ecclesiastical Organization
    • Apostles – given special ecclesiastical authority by Jesus (Matthew 18:18-20).
    • Overseers – a.k.a. “elders” and “bishops”
      • Always a plurality in New Testament,
      • Responsible for the spiritual oversight of individual churches,
      • Churches were independent and autonomous,
      • Qualifications provided in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
    • Deacons – specially qualified people who were “servants of the church.”
    • Preachers, Teachers, Evangelists – those whose primary function was instruction within the church and evangelism without the church.
  • II. Early Church Government Evolves into Catholicism
    • The Age of Apologetics (a.d. 95-325)
    • A.  The Early Relationship between Church and State
      • 1)         The Pax Romana
      • 2) religio illicita
  • Factors contributing to the Persecution of the Church
    • 1.         Political Factors
      • religio illicita
      • Did not worship the Emperor
    • 2. Religious Factors
      • atheistic
      • Considered treason
      • love feasts
      • incest
      • cannibalism
    • 3.         Social Factors
      • The Christian belief in the moral equality of all men violated the hierarchical caste system of Roman life
      • non-conformity to accepted social patterns
      • rebuke to the immorality of the upper classes of Rome
      • an economic threat
  • The Two Phases of Persecution
    • ·      64 a.d. / Nero / in Rome / Paul and Peter
    • ·      90-96 a.d. / Domitian / sporadic / Clement of Rome, John the apostle (exiled to Patmos)
    • ·      98-117 a.d. / Trajan / sporadic / Ignatius
    • ·      117-138 a.d. / Hadrian / sporadic / Polycarp
    • ·      161-180 a.d. / Marcus Aurelius / Justin Martyr
    • ·      202-211 a.d. / Septimus Severus / conversion to Christ was forbidden / Irenaeus, Perpetua
    • ·      235-236 a.d. / Maximinus the Thracian / clergy were executed / Hippolytus
    • ·      249-251 a.d. / Decius / empire wide / Fabianus, Alexander of Jerusalem
    • ·      257-260 a.d. / Valerian / confiscation of property, no assembly / Origen
    • ·      303-311 a.d. / Diocletian & Galerius / empire wide, most intense yet.
    • Most officials followed the advice of the emperor Trajan (given in 112 a.d.), whose policy came in the form of a response to Pliny the Younger (governor of Bithynia).
    • Persecution and oppression of the church did not become universal or empire-wide until the emperor Decius in A.D. 250.
    • During the persecution under Diocletian and Galerius (303-313), 4 edicts were issued in the attempt at first, to undermine, and eventually to eradicate Christianity from the empire:
    • 1) All Christians of the upper classes would be deprived of their official positions
    • 2) All clergy and other church officials were to be imprisoned.
    • 3) All imprisoned leaders were to sacrifice to the gods or else "be mutilated by endless tortures."
    • 4) All Christians were to sacrifice to the gods on pain of imprisonment or more severe punishment.
  • The Development of the Monarchical Bishop
    • In the NT, the bishop (Greek, episkopos ) and the elder (Greek, presbuteros ) are identical.
    • Acts 20:17 (elder) and 28 (bishop)
    • Titus 1:5 (elder) and 7 (bishop)
    • 1 Timothy 5:17 (elder) and 3:1 (bishop
  • The emergence and solidification of the office of monarchical bishop is due primarily to the influence of four men.
    • Ignatius (A.D. 115)
    • Clement of Rome (A.D. 95-100)
    • Irenaeus (A.D. 115-195)
    • Cyprian (A.D. 200-258)
    • With the emergence of the monarchical bishop and his prominence as vicar of Christ, we see the gradual diminishing (if not the practical elimination in some areas) of the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers and the freedom of an every-member ministry in the body of Christ. Spiritually gifted "laymen" were no longer needed. A singular, authoritative voice for the church now provided instruction and guidance for the entire church.
  • Four causes for the Monarchial Bishop:
    • 1) The church felt threatened by the prophetic utterances and often extreme behavior of the Montanists.
    • 2) There was the natural tendency for one person in an administrative body to emerge as the leader.
    • 3) the religious need
    • 4) Death of apostles and the need for authoritative leadership.
    • 5) Centralize the authority of the church.
    • 6) Persecution demanded that leaders be in place to act for the entire church.
    • 7) The rise and spread of Heresy
  • The Recognition of the NT Canon
    • The Marcionite canon, the Montanist doctrine of continuous revelation, the impact of persecution, and the general need for an authoritative body of literature to which appeal may be made, all exercised considerable influence on the church with regard to the canon of inspired writings.
  • The criteria for canonicity, generally speaking, were three:
    • marks of apostolicity
    • internal consistency
    • the intrinsic power of the authoritative Word exerted itself on the collective consciousness of the people of God, being confirmed by the internal witness of the Spirit , i.e., what is the universal opinion of the orthodox community of believers?
  • The Development of an Authoritative Creed
    • The need for a test of orthodoxy, especially in the face of increased heretical doctrines, the need for a source for catechetical instruction, and the need for a public confession of candidates for baptism, all greatly influenced the creation of a rule of faith , a creed , a statement of belief ("creed" comes from the Latin credo = I believe).
  • Some churches began giving one overseer (bishop) more authority than the others.
    • This evolved into giving one bishop authority over an entire region
    • These important bishops came to be known as “patriarchs” and there were four: Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem
    • When questions about doctrine arose, churches in the first century sought a consensus from bishops by calling a church council.
    • From this, one bishop was given final authority on doctrine and practice
    • This fell to the bishop of Rome; later he would be called “pope” from the Latin papa meaning “father.”
  • Three Lines of Authority Evolved from this Departure
    • Pope – Speaking “ ex cathedra ” is infallible speaking for God and as God.
    • Councils and Church Traditions – are the next line of authority in Catholicism.
    • Scripture – The Bible is the third line of authority in Catholicism and cannot be understood by the masses and must be interpreted by the church for correct understanding.
  • Emphases of Catholic Christianity
    • Importance of good works
    • Value of tradition
    • Hierarchical authority
    • Sacraments