Mister Richardson's
Church History Class


Chapter 6


A. Signs of Deterioration
1. After the apostles died out, unscriptural practices began to enter the church little by little.
2. By the end of the fifth century the following practices had begun to take hold in the church:

B. Causes of Deterioration
1. Even saved Christians still have a tendency to sin.
2. There was misunderstanding of the Scripture and the teachings of the apostles.
3. Worldliness increased in the church.
4. Heathen practices were brought into the church by large scale barbarian conversions.

C. Development of Monasticism
1. The founder of monasticism was Anthony of Thebes.
2. He became a monk in 270 and later began to live as a hermit.
3. Others followed his example and began to live together separated from society.
4. In Syria, a monk named Simon lived on top of a pillar for thirty years and many other followed his example.
5. Athanasius, Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine all promoted monasticism.

D. The Church begins to persecute "heretics"
1. After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, emperors began to control heresy by the use of banishment.
2. Many times this depended on who was in charge rather than who was really guilty of heresy.
3. One example is John Chrysostom, the patriarch of Constantinople.
4. He was one of the best preachers of the early church.
5. However, when his preaching displeased the empress, he was banished to Pontus.
6. He died on the way in September of 407.

Questions
1. List and define the practices which the Church adopted at this time. How are they contrary to Scripture? What harm did they do?
2. Was it right for men to leave the evil world in which they found themselves and to seek by ascetism to save their own souls? Explain.
3. Why would the Church persecute those who did not agree with it?
4. What would a Roman Catholic say about the "signs of deterioration?"


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