Early Christian Quotes on Schisms
Didache (1st Century) 4:3:
You must not start a schism, but reconcile those at strife.
Epistle of Barnabas (1st Century) Chapter 19:
Thou shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify those that contend by bringing them together.
Ignatius’ Letter to the Philadelphians (Late 1st or Early 2nd Century) Chapter 3:
If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Cyprian’s Letter Concerning Schismatic Presbyters (Mid-3rd Century) Paragraphs 5 and 7:
There is one God, and Christ is one, and there is one Church, and one chair [of authority] founded upon the rock by the word of the Lord. Another altar cannot be constituted nor a new priesthood be made, except the one altar and the one priesthood. Whosoever gathereth elsewhere, scattereth. Whatsoever is appointed by human madness, so that the divine disposition is violated, is adulterous, is impious, is sacrilegious. Depart far from the contagion of men of this kind, and flee from their words, avoiding them as a cancer and a plague, as the Lord warns you and says, “They are blind leaders of the blind. But if the blind lead the blind, they shall both fall into the ditch.”…But if anybody, refusing to repent and to make satisfaction to God, shall yield to the party of Felicissimus and his satellites, and shall join himself to the heretical faction, let him know that he cannot afterwards return to the Church and communicate with the bishops and the people of Christ.
Cyprian’s Letter to the Roman Confessors (Mid-3rd Century):
And think not that you are thus maintaining the Gospel of Christ when you separate yourselves from the flock of Christ, and from His peace and concord…For as our unanimity and concord ought by no means to be divided, and because we cannot forsake the Church and go outside her to come to you, we beg and entreat you with what exhortations we can, rather to return to the Church your Mother, and to our brotherhood.
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Find more of what the early Christians thought on my Christian History page!