Dec 14, 2012

one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church

What did this mean for the ancient church?

The early Christians knew their faith was more than ritual; that it was a complete manner of life. This meant  new converts were to radically transform their former habits and practices. Certain symbols helped visibly demonstrate this reality, as Henry Chadwick noted, “the Christians were well aware that if they  were to be a society with a coherent community life they could not live on a purely individualistic inwardness” (The EarlyChurch, Penguin, 1967, 258). The liturgical practices of the early church did not arise from a pragmatic consideration, as we see the commands laid out in the New Testament. Of course, the exact manner in which the sacraments were done could vary, and so it did. Either way, though, the church viewed these rites as God’s gifts to them as gospel visuals. These outward signs were representative of the unity that bound all Christians everywhere together as a community in Christ being sanctified. They knew were His and they were to live and act like his possession as they followed the apostolic tradition, model,and pattern.

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