The Early Church Lapsed
The Early Church

Those who denied the Christian faith during persecutions.

Those who denied Christ in persecutions seemed to have extinguished the flame of faith

The first Christians seem to have regarded apostasy as an unforgivable sin, but later Christians differed in their attitudes. The majority of the church, exemplified by Cyprian of Carthage, agreed to readmit the lapsed to fellowship after public repentance. Others, including the Roman presbyter Novatian, took more rigorous stands, sometimes excluding the lapsed from any readmission to fellowship.

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