Thursday, Sept. 22
Through the first five centuries, truths concerning God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the trinity, and salvation by grace through faith, survived a multitude of obstacles and the gospel message remained intact. But in those same centuries, other doctrines and practices were emerging, much of it starting in the first century. Plurality of elders was replaced by powerful bishops, which led to practices such as imposing penance. And then came men with more power, Archbishops, Patriarchs, and Popes—and eventually Apostolic succession. Monasticism was prevalent in the first century, as was sainthood. The elements of the Lord’s table were considered the actual flesh and blood of Christ and receiving these elements bestowed grace on the recipients. Jesus’ mother was given the title “The Mother of God.” After the fifth century things got worse infant baptism, different modes of baptism—sprinkling and pouring, purgatory, indulgences, and Limbo, a special place in heaven for babies that were baptized before the age of accountability. Only God knows why all this happened the way it did. We can only stand in awe and trust Him.