A Church of Converts. Widening the Circle of Jesus’ Followers. Major Concepts. The Original Circle The Circle Expands Paul Gentile Converts. The Original Circle.
Widening the Circle of Jesus’ Followers
Because the Apostles and other disciples claimed that Jesus was the Messiah, they ran into trouble with the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem and persecution of those who followed “Jesus’ way” began almost immediately.
Samaritans and Gentiles began accepting the Good News, but the Jewish followers of Jesus in the Jerusalem community objected to the baptizing of Gentiles because they (the Gentiles) did not follow the Jewish Law as regards food, prayer, circumcision, etc.
Meanwhile Paul began preaching to his fellow Jews and was persecuted by the Jewsih authorities who had previously been his bosses.
Paul seems to have teamed up with Barnabas and together they made a powerful team in convincing people to convert to “Jesus’ Way.”
… before the Sanhedrin read his words in Acts of the Apostles 7:1-53
Leader claims divinity Yes Usually
Leader is sole judge of member’s actions No Yes
Totalitarian Governance No Yes
Total control over member’s daily lives No Yes
Exclusivity of membership No Yes
Physical isolation of the community No Often
Deep emotional dependence on leader No Yes
Independent thinking prohibited No No
Tries to destroy individual ego No Yes
Uses mind control techniques No Disguised, but Yes
Exploits member’s finances No Yes
Almost “slave work” conditions No Yes
…. “The Lasting Legacy of the Apostles:
Christian Communities and Scriptures”