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Interesting proof of the existence of home meetings

Sometime between AD 360 and 370, the Council of Laodicea banned Christian gatherings in private homes.

That's it...  But it is not comprehensive in it's scope. Since home meetings were never commanded in Scripture we cannot assume that every Christian met in a home setting prior to this law. (That's 'law' in quotes, of course.) But we can assume that many if not most did. 

Regardless, this edict can only be viewed as a disturbing development and as a infringement upon our liberty in Christ. 

Bureaucrats - they can be seen in every age and in every institution.

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Replies (4)
    • This is shocking when realizing that this was a short time after the official persecution of the church had ended in the Roman Empire. I wonder what Augustine and Jerome thought of that law?

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      • I also wonder. I wonder if there is a detailed record or these deliberations. Or if this decision were a close vote. And, we can also wonder what else this Council was up to... Some of these Councils were quite restrictive at times - even absurd - in their rulings.

        By the time of this Edict, the Gospel had rapidly spread to far-away places. Surely it was not taken seriously in every village and hamlet. By this time, Catholicism was well in place. Obviously they had their own ideas as to what was best for everyone everywhere. 

        What's for sure is that human beings like to take authority over others. Whether it is one person in a marriage or the world's largest country threatening to take over Taiwan, as we witnessed just a few days ago.

        Both Jesus and Paul are exemplary when it came to giving up their rights in the service of others.

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        • "Sometime between AD 360 and 370, the Council of Laodicea banned Christian gatherings in private homes."  David, where did you get this information?  It's been awhile since I've looked much at the various councils in history...partly because I try not to rely on them for sources of doctrine. As you observed, some of their rulings were absurd.  As much as possible, I take doctrine and practice from the Scripture.  Setting aside tradition is not easy; following traditions is easy.  So, it's a process of seeking the Lord for guidance.

          I think it's amusing that people in the current political realm sometimes claim to be in favor of freedom, yet they get on board with the "cancel culture".

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          • Hi Steve, I am traveling in the Richmond, VA area today and will post this ancient document in it's entirely very soon. 

            The original church meeting was likely more of a dining room event than a living rooms event. Most agree that the Lord's Supper was a feast. And it represented one of the main reasons that Christians would meet. 

            What this Council specifically forbad was eating this memorial meal in private houses. It also warned that nothing of significance was to be done among Christians without the Bishop being present.

            It's good to see you, my friend. Hang on.

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