Previously, we noticed some departures from the faith in the first and second century. From these changes in church government other departures would follow. By 150 A.D. there came to be a distinction between those who served as ministers and the rest of the congregation. As this grew the “clergy” patterned itself after the Priesthood of the Old Testament. “Without reference to the causes which occasioned the distinction between the clergy and their laity, this is worthy of notice as another important change in the constitution of the church, which gradually arose in connection with the rise of episcopal power.” – Lyman Coleman. The distinction between the so-called clergy and laity is forthrightly condemned in the New Testament. (Matthew 23:8-10; 1 Peter 2:5,9)
A false doctrine that appeared in the church early in the second century was a sort of millenarianism, which seems to have been a carry-over from Judaism. Many of the Jews had expected a temporal Messiah and some of the Christians carried this materialistic hope of the Jews to the second coming of Christ. Cerinthus claimed to have special revelations from angels to the effect, that after the resurrection, the kingdom would be established on earth. Various forms and shades of this false doctrine are still taught vigorously by men.
In our next blog we will highlight the additional changes in doctrine that led to much false teaching in the second and third century. Our goal is not to discourage or frustrate, but to illuminate the need for simple Bible teaching. We only need the Bible.