Early Christian Churches – The Formation of a New Christian Community
Christian Church is a Protestant Ecclesiological denomination, referring to the community of Christians, organized around the teachings of the Holy Christian religion, started by the Protestant church. The Church, reformed in the sixteenth century by William Shakespeare and with Calvinism, is the mother of modern’s Christian Church. The term, Church of Jesus Christ, was later on adopted by Roman Catholic Church as well as the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The denomination has seen splits caused by dissimilar interpretations of Bible, inability to accept same-sex relationship and sexual relationships and a view of sexuality that are profoundly pessimistic. The denomination is known for its robust social commitment to theological and moral beliefs and is considered to be the world’s largest Christian community with tens of millions of followers. It is a prominent force in political and environmental activism worldwide. The global impact of the Christian church is perhaps its most profound influence on present-day politics. This can be observed in its major role in toppling secular governments and elsewhere, promoting social justice and economic growth, opposing poverty and other issues related to the fragmentation of the world’s societies.
The denomination has always provided a sanctuary for those who felt neglected by the mainstream society. It provides a sense of belonging and sustenance to its congregations through biblical teaching and religious activities. This has made the Christian church a significant force in social and cultural arenas. It is estimated that most people in United States are members of one denomination or the other.
The bible plays a key role in ensuring that the Christian church remains a relevant institution in society. The bible holds God’s promises and is the unalterable word of God. Through the centuries, the Christian church has adapted to changing society. In particular, the rise of liberation movements and of anti-clericalism, resulted in the dearth of intellectual depth and sophistication in much of the Christian population. Consequently, the basic doctrines of the Christian religion, especially the Bible, became a source of debate and even of contention among the Christians.
There is considerable difference between the teachings of the Christian church and those of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutherans and the Methodists. The early Christians were split into three main camps namely the Roman Catholics, the Protestants and the Independents. A compromise was arrived at in the middle of the first decade of the first century AD that ended in the union of the three churches under one denomination known as “The Roman Catholic Church”. This church later became part of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries.
During the last few decades of the first century of the first millennium, a tendency arose within the Christian church for the churches to be more closely connected with the communities in which they were active. This gave them a “more local” perspective in terms of the provision of spiritual assistance. This new trend began to take form as a result of the growth of settlements that were founded by the converts from the various Christian sects. Some of these settlements were also established by itinerant preachers who brought the Word of God to isolated areas. In this way the concept of closer fellowship between the Christian churches and the villages where they were planted began to take shape.