Featured

The History of Christianity

THOC-logo

Many young believers have no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Listen now on the following platforms:
iTunes | SoundCloud | Stitcher | iHeartRadio
Overcast | Google Play | Spotify | TuneIn

John Chrysostom, Part 8 (History of Christianity #155)

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #155, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 8): Return to the Wilderness.”

When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our Scripture for today is 1 Peter 4:19 which reads: “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from St. Symeon [SIHM-EE-UHN]. He said: “To have faith in Christ means more than simply despising the delights of this life. It means we should bear all our daily trials that may bring us sorrow, distress, or unhappiness, and bear them patiently for as long as God wishes and until He comes to visit us. For it is said, ‘I waited on the Lord and He came to me.’”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 8): Return to the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

Finally, even Cucusus [KOO-KOO-SUS] seemed too near a place of exile, and Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] was ordered removed even farther, to a cold and unknown hamlet on the shores of the Black Sea. The soldiers guarding him, being aware that their charge did not have the good will of the crown, paid no attention to his failing health, and during the journey drove him to exertions well beyond his strength. Soon the banished bishop became seriously ill. When he perceived that death was near, he asked to be taken to a small church by the roadside. There he took communion, bid farewell to those around him, and preached his briefest but most eloquentsermon: “In all things, glory to God. Amen.”

In Constantinople [KAAN-STAN-TUH-NOH-PUHL] and elsewhere, people felt that a great injustice and even a sacrilege had been committed. John’s staunchest supporters refused the authority of the new bishop and of those in communion with him–particularly the patriarchs of Alexandria and of Antioch–and the schism ended only when, thirty-one years after his death, John’s memory was restored, and his body brought back to Constantinople [KAAN-STAN-TUH-NOH-PUHL] amid great pomp and celebration.

As we compare the lives of Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] and Ambrose [AM-BROZE], we see an indication of what would be the future course of the churches in the East compared with the West. Ambrose [AM-BROZE] faced the most powerful emperor of his time, and won. Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM], on the other hand, was deposed and banished by the weak Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS]. From then on, the Latin-speaking church of the West would become increasingly powerful, as it filled the vacuum left by the crumbling empire. In the Greek-speaking East, on the other hand, the empire would last another thousand years. Sometimes weak, and sometimes strong, this Eastern offshoot of the old Roman Empire–the Byzantine Empire–would zealously guard its prerogatives over the church. Theodosius was not the last Western emperor to be humbled by a Latin-speaking bishop. And John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] was not the last Greek-speaking bishop banished by an Eastern emperor.

Next time, we will begin looking at “Jerome.”

Let’s pray.

—PRAYER—

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.

John Chrysostom, Part 7 (History of Christianity Podcast #154

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #154, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 7): Return to the Wilderness.”

When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our Scripture for today is Hebrews 10:23 which reads: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM]. He said: “Nothing, you see, equals prayer. It makes the impossible possible, the difficult easy, and the crooked way straight.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 7): Return to the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

Although the bishop had returned, the causes of the conflict were not resolved. After a few months of additional intrigue, confrontation, and humiliation, Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] received a new order of exile. Once again he refused to heed the advice of his friends, and quietly surrendered to the soldiers who came after him, rather than stirring up a riot that would cause the people further suffering.

But the riot was inevitable. Mobs flocked to Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH] and the surrounding area. The army was ordered to quell the disturbance, and in the ensuing struggle the cathedral and several public buildings nearby caught fire and were destroyed. The cause of the fire was never discovered. But during the inquest many of Chrysostom’s [CRYS-OZ-TOM’s] supporters were tortured, and his best-known friends were banished–although to areas distant from him.

Meanwhile, the preacher with the golden mouth was led to exile in the remote village of Cucusus [KOO-KOO-SUS]. Since he lacked a pulpit there, he took up the pen, and the world was moved. Innocent, the bishop of Rome, took up Chrysostom’s [CRYS-OZ-TOM’s] cause, and many followed his example. The emperor’s actions were criticized from every quarter; Theophilus [THEE-OFF-EH-LUS] of Alexandria had no support but that of a few timid souls who dared not oppose imperial power. As the controversy became widespread, the little town of Cucusus [KOO-KOO-SUS] seemed to become the center of the world. Empress Eudoxia had died, and some hoped that Emperor Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS] would reverse his policy. But he did not, and a number of bishops supported the imperial policy by agreeing to the banishment of the famous preacher. But in the West, Pope Innocent and many others were convinced that a great injustice was being committed, and appealed to Arcadius’s [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS’s] Western counterpart, Honorius [OH-NOHR-REE-US]. The latter sent a Latin delegation to the East armed with a letter to Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS] indicating that they should be granted full respect, and that a synod should be convened in Salonika [SOH-LUH-NEE-KAH] to discuss the charges brought against John. If the Latin delegation was then convinced that the cause against John was just, Honorius [OH-NOHR-REE-US] would break communion with him. But if, on the contrary, the deposition of John was found to be unjust, Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS] should restore communion with him–and by implication return him to his see in Constantinople. This threatened not only Arcadius’s [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS’s] policies, but also that of the important bishops who had come to power by supporting them–including the patriarchs of Alexandria and of Antioch. Therefore the Latin delegation received what in its report to Innocent it called a “Babylonian treatment”–it is not clear whether on orders from the court in Constantinople, or from John’s ecclesiastical rivals, who needed the embassy to fail. The members of the delegation were imprisoned, tortured, offered a bribe of three-thousand gold pieces–which they refused–and sent home in a leaky boat that soon began to sink. In their report to Innocent, they said that the soldiers told them that the captain of the ship had been given orders to see that they did not make it home. But eventually, after changing ships, they did return to Italy. Meanwhile, a number of John’s most influential supporters simply disappeared, being secretly exiled to various remote areas and fortresses.

Next time, we will continue looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM]: Return to the Wilderness.”

Let’s pray.

—PRAYER—

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.

John Chrysostom, Part 6 (History of Christianity #153)

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #153, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 6): Return to the Wilderness.”

When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our Scripture for today is Isaiah 40:3 which reads: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from Thomas Aquinas [AH-QUAY-NAHS]. He said: “Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 6): Return to the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

But Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] had made many more enemies among the powerful. Eudoxia [YOU-DOX-EE-AH], the emperor’s wife, resented the bishop’s growing power. Besides, what was being said from the pulpit of Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH] was not to her liking–it fitted her too well. When Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] described the pomp and the folly of the powerful, she felt the people’s eyes staring at her. It was necessary to silence that voice from the wilderness that had brought such wild ravings to the elegant Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH]. With that in mind, the empress made special grants to the church. The bishop thanked her. And continued preaching.

Then the empress had more direct methods of recourse. When Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] had to leave the city in order to attend to some matters in Ephesus [EFF-EH-SUS], Eudoxia [YOU-DOX-EE-AH] joined Theophilus [THEE-OFF-EH-LUS] of Alexandria [AHL-EX-AHN-DREE-AH] in plotting against the meddling preacher. Upon his return, Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] found himself the object of a long list of ridiculous charges brought before a small gathering of bishops convened by Theophilus [THEE-OFF-EH-LUS]. He paid no attention to them, but simply went about his preaching and his management of the church. Theophilus [THEE-OFF-EH-LUS] and his partisans found him guilty, and asked Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS] to banish him. Prodded by Eudoxia [YOU-DOX-EE-AH], the weak emperor agreed to that request, and ordered Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] to leave the city.

The situation was tense. The people were indignant. The bishops and other clergy from neighboring towns gathered at the capital, and pledged their support to the bishop. All that he had to do was to give the order, and they would convene as a synod that would condemn Theophilus [THEE-OFF-EH-LUS] and his followers. This could be coupled with a popular uprising that would shake the very foundations of the empire. One word from the eloquent bishop, and the entire conspiracy against him would crumble. Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS] and Eudoxia [YOU-DOX-EE-AH] were aware of this and made ready for war. But Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] was a lover of peace, and therefore made ready for exile. Three days after receiving the imperial edict, he bid farewell to his friends and followers and surrendered to the authorities.

The populace was not ready to give up without a struggle. The streets were boiling with rumors of mutiny. Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS], Eudoxia [YOU-DOX-EE-AH], and the army did not dare show themselves in public. That night, in what was taken as a sign of divine wrath, the earth quaked. A few days later, in response to the fearful and urgent pleas of Eudoxia [YOU-DOX-EE-AH], Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] returned to the city and to his pulpit, where he was received with shouts of acclamation.

Next time, we will continue looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM]: Return to the Wilderness.”

Let’s pray.

—PRAYER—

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.

John Chrysostom, Part 5 (The History of Christianity #152)

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #152, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 5): Return to the Wilderness.”

When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our Scripture for today is Matthew 5:44 which reads: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from Athanasius [ATH-A-NAY-SEE-US]. He said: “Christians, instead of arming themselves with swords, extend their hands in prayer.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 5): Return to the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

The powerful could not abide that voice that challenged them from the pulpit of Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH], the church of Saint Sophia–the largest in Christendom. Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS], who had made him bishop, expected special favors and concessions. But John was convinced that Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] was simply another Christian in need of having the gospel clearly and unambiguously preached. The result was that Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] repented, not of his sin, but rather of his error in having brought the meddlesome preacher from Antioch.

Finally a storm broke out over the right of asylum. Some fled from the tyranny of Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] and took refuge in Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH]. The chamerlain simply sent soldiers after them. But the bishop proved unbending, and did not allow the soldiers into the sanctuary. Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] protested before the emperor, but Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] took his cause to the pulpit and for once Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS] did not bow before the requests of his favorite. After that, the influence of the chamberlain waned, and many attributed this to his clash with the bishop.

Shortly thereafter, a series of political circumstances precipitated Europius’s [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS’s] downfall. The people were jubilant, and soon there were mobs demanding vengeance against the one who had oppressed and exploited them. The chamberlain’s only recourse was to run to Hagia Sophia [HA-YAH SO-FEE-AH] and embrace the altar. When the mob came after him, Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] stood in its way, and invoked the same right of asylum that he had invoked earlier against Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS]. Thus, Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] was led to defend the life of his erstwhile enemy, first against the people, then against the army, and finally against the emperor himself. The crisis came to an end when the former chamberlain, not trusting what seemed the weak defenses of the church, fled from his refuge, and was captured and killed by some of the many he had wronged.

Next time, we will continue looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM]: Return to the Wilderness.”

Let’s pray.

—PRAYER—

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.

John Chrysostom, Part 4: A Voice From the Wilderness (History of Christianity #151)

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #151, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 4): A Voice From the Wilderness.”

When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our Scripture for today is Romans 12:1-2 which reads: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from Ignatius [IG-NAY-SHUS]. He said: “The beginning is faith, and the end is love. Now these two, being inseparably connected together, are of God, while all other things which are needed for a holy life follow after them. No man making a profession of faith continues sinning, nor does he that possesses love hate anyone. The tree is made manifest by its fruit, and so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognized by their conduct. For the work of profession is not needed now, but that one be found continuing in the power of faith to the end.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM] (Part 4): A Voice From the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

The new bishop of Constantinople [KAAN-STAN-TUH-NOH-PUHL] was not completely aware of all of this. From what we know of his character, it is probable that, had he been aware, he would have acted just as he did. The former monk was still a monk, and could not tolerate the manner in which the rich inhabitants of Constantinople [KAAN-STAN-TUH-NOH-PUHL] sought to wed the gospel with their own luxuries and comforts.

His first task was to reform the life of the clergy. Some priests who claimed to be celibate had in their homes what they called “spiritual sisters,” and this was an occasion of scandal for many. Other clergymen had become rich, and lived with as much luxury as the potentates of the great city. The finances of the church were in a shambles, and the care of the flock was largely unattended. John took all of those issues head on. He ordered that the “spiritual sisters” move out of the priests’ homes, and that the latter lead an austere life. Church finances were placed under a system of detailed scrutiny. The luxury items that adorned the bishop’s palace were sold in order to feed the hungry; and the clergy received orders to open the churches at such times as were convenient not only for the wealthy, but also for those who had to work. Obviously, all these measures gained him both the respect of many and the hatred of others.

But such a reformation could not be limited to the clergy. It was necessary that the laity also be called to lead lives more in accordance with gospel mandates. Therefore, the golden-mouthed preacher thundered from the pulpit:

The gold bit on your horse, the gold circlet on the wrist of your slave, the gilding on your shoes, mean that you are robbing the orphan and starving the widow. When you have passed away, each passer-by who looks upon your great mansion will say, “How many tears did it take to build that mansion; how many orphans were stripped; how many widows wronged; how many laborers deprived of their honest wages?” Even death itself will not deliver you from your accusers.”

Next time, we will begin looking at “John Chrysostom [CRYS-OZ-TOM], Part 5: Return to the Wilderness.”

Let’s pray.

—PRAYER—

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.

John Chrysostom, Part 3: A Voice From the Wilderness (The History of Christianity #150 with Daniel Whyte III)

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #150, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRY-SOZ-TOM] (Part 3): A Voice From the Wilderness.”

When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our Scripture for today is Romans 5:3-5 which reads: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from Leo the Great. He said: “Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation, for there is no conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRY-SOZ-TOM] (Part 3): A Voice From the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

In any case, when John returned to Antioch after his six years of monastic withdrawal, he was ordained deacon, and then a presbyter shortly thereafter. As such, he began preaching, and soon his fame was widespread throughout the Greek-speaking church.

In 397, the bishopric of Constantinople [KAAN-STAN-TUH-NOH-PUHL] became vacant, and the emperor ordered that John be taken to the capital city to occupy that prestigious position. But his popularity in Antioch was such that the authorities feared a riot, and therefore kept the imperial decree secret. They simply invited the famous preacher to visit a small chapel on the outskirts of the city, and when he was there they ordered him into a carriage, in which he was forcefully taken to the capital. There he was consecrated bishop early in 398.

Constantinople [KAAN-STAN-TUH-NOH-PUHL] was a rich town, and one given to luxury and intrigue. The great Emperor Theodosius [THEE-OH-DOH-ZHE-UHS] was dead, and the two sons who had succeeded him, Honorius [OHN-RHEE-UHS] and Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS], were indolent and inept. Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS], who supposedly ruled the East from the capital city of Constantinople [KAAN-STAN-TUH-NOH-PUHL], was in fact ruled by a certain Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS], the palace chamberlain, who used his power to satisfy his own ambition and that of his cronies. Eudoxia [YOU-DOX-EE-AH], the empress, felt humiliated by the chamberlain’s power, although in fact it was Eutropius [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS] who had arranged her marriage to Arcadius [AHR-KAY-DEE-UHS]. The intrigues that enveloped everything in that city had also had a hand in John’s elevation to the patriarchal throne, for Patriarch Theophilus [THEE-OFF-EH-LUS] of Alexandria [AHL-EX-AHN-DREE-AH]had been actively campaigning in favor of a fellow Alexandrine [AHL-EX-AHN-DRIN], and John had been given the post through Eutropius’s [YOU-TRO-PEE-UHS’s] intervention.

Next time, we will begin looking at “John Chrysostom [CRY-SOZ-TOM] (Part 3): A Voice From the Wilderness.”

Let’s pray.

—PRAYER—

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.

John Chrysostom, Part 2: A Voice From the Wilderness (The History of Christianity Podcast #149)

This is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the History of Christianity Podcast #149, titled, “John Chrysostom [CRY-SOZ-TOM] (Part 2): A Voice From the Wilderness.”

When I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I somehow had the false idea that Christianity began when I got saved. I had no concept of the hundreds of years of history that Christianity had gone through since the time of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. I have found that many believers, young and old, have the same false idea. The purpose of this broadcast is to dispel this notion by sharing with listeners the history of Christianity from the ministry of Jesus Christ all the way up until the present day in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t have to worry: this is not a lecture. This is a look at the basic facts and figures of Christian history that every believer and every person needs to be aware of.

Our Scripture for today is Galatians 6:10 which reads: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from Clement of Alexandria. He said: “If God rewarded the righteous immediately, we would soon be engaged in business, not godliness. We would be pursuing not piety, but profit.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “John Chrysostom [CRY-SOZ-TOM] (Part 2): A Voice From the Wilderness” from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

He was above all a monk. Before becoming a monk he was a lawyer, trained in his native Antioch by the famous pagan orator Libanius. It is said that when someone asked the old teacher who should succeed him, he responded: “John, but the Christians have laid claim on him.”

Anthusa, John’s mother, was a fervent Christian who loved her child with a deep and possessive love. She was quite happy when her lawyer son, then twenty years of age, asked that his name be added to the list of those training for baptism. Three years later, when he completed the time of preparation that was then required, he was baptized by Bishop Meletius of Antioch. Once again his mother rejoiced. But when he told her that he intended to withdraw from the city and follow the monastic way she was adamant, and made him promise that he would never leave her as long as she lived. It may well be that some of these experiences are reflected in his later sermons on topics such as marriage and the family.

John’s way of solving the tension between his monastic vocation and his mother’s possessiveness was simply to turn their home into a monastery. There he lived with three like-minded friends until, after his mother’s death, he joined the monks in the Syrian mountains. He then spent four years learning the discipline of monastic life, and two more rigorously practicing it in complete solitude. Later, he himself would admit that such a life was not the best kind of training for the shepherd’s task. “Many who have gone from monastic retreat to the active life of the priest or the bishop are completely unable to face the difficulties of their new situation.”

Next time, we will begin looking at “John Chrysostom [CRY-SOZ-TOM] (Part 3): A Voice From the Wilderness.”

Let’s pray.

—PRAYER—

Dear friend, simply knowing the facts about Christian history without knowing the One on Whom this faith is based will do you no good. If you do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, may I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can be a part of the church in this life and in the life to come. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, remember that history is truly His story.