“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.” (John 17:20)

Like in the TV show Survivor, Christians have voted others “off the island” since the beginning. What became the Catholic and Orthodox churches excluded and condemned Christians whose views were radically different. The more we learn about the early church, the more varieties of Christian churches there were—much more theological diversity than we have today. For example, Ebionite Christians put their faith in Jesus as their Messiah and insisted on obeying the laws of the Torah, as Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, did. Marcionite Christians believed that the God of the Old Testament was not the same God as the God of the New Testament—two completely different Gods and that the Old Testament was totally irrelevant to Christians. Gnostic Christians believed that what led to salvation were the teachings of Jesus, not his death and resurrection. Because they were labeled as heretics by “orthodox” Christians, they were excluded from their churches. Next week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Let’s join Jesus in that prayer.  Next week is the Week of Prayer Christian Unity.  Let’s join Jesus in that prayer. 

Dr. Sam