The Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write that the Church is "the pillar and ground of truth."
But since the disappearrance of the apostles, who really represents the Church? The vast, nameless masses or the select, famous few? The complete body of everyday believers or just the celebrity preachers?
Some among us today would have us to receive their opinions as "Gospel Truth" after they carefully select and then rely upon the quotations of a few, celebrated Christian writers from antiquity, as if such statements represent the voice of the Church as a whole. But do such famous individuals of antiquity really speak for the entire Church or just for themselves? Who among is authorized to say? Certainly many have professed to speak for the Church even as the Roman Pope claims to be the "vicar of Christ," that is, the sole authorized individual to represent the voice of Christ, (and therefore the Church), to the world. Does not God dwell "with the contrite in heart"? Do not the contrite focus upon daily obedience rather than making names for themselves? "Do not call anyone on earth 'father' or 'teacher' or 'master' or 'rabbi', for one is your Father and He is in the Heavens. And one is your teacher, master, and rabbi, the Lord Jesus Christ. And you are all brothers."
And so, again, I ask: who really represents the Church, the vast, nameless masses or the select, famous few?
Notice again how the verse does NOT say, "Famous theologians are the pillar and ground of truth." It does not say, "The creeds are the pillar and ground of truth." It does not say, "The Roman Catholic Pope is the pillar and ground of truth." Nor does it say that "The Reformers are the pillar and ground of truth." No, it does not say anywhere, "The so-called 'Church Fathers' are the pillar and ground of truth." Nor, "Your particular denomination's central leadership is the pillar and ground of truth." Not even, "Your pastor and the local church board are the pillar and ground of truth."
So, how do we determine the historic beliefs of the Church? By the words of the vocal elite focused upon getting their voices heard? Or by the words & actions of the nameless masses who focused upon daily living "quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and reverence"?
It is the conviction of this website that the voice of the Church is heard through the words & actions of the vast body of Christians as a whole and not simply by the few famous, many of such became regarded for little reason beyond that they knew how to publish themselves.
The vast populace of Christendom of the 70-1070AD period, (and much of Christendom today), both the vocal elite & the nameless masses, speak & act of:
A) the Millennium began around the time the Apostles disappearred and was expected to end with dread after 1000AD; teachings of a yet future inauguration of a millennium were resisted as the heresy of "chiliasm," major proponents being the Montanists, widely discredited as a heretical cult.
B) Christian martyrs being made alive again and glorified to positions of delegated authority under an already reigning Christ, these Saints being appealed to for aid in the time of need and visiting mortals at times of need; much art and legends depicting these raised & glorified Saints as if seen by the artists themselves. So great a conviction of the power of the glorified and immortal Saints to reign over mortal men that some even went so far as to worship them though virtually all venerated them with memorial feasts and holidays, recognising their new authority received from Christ.
C) Jesus Himself appearing to individuals to receive them at their deaths or at crisis points of their lives, to heal them or just visiting them as He did His disciples following His Crucifixion and before HIs Ascension; much art depicting Jesus as if seen by the artists themselves.
D) The commonly held belief that one faces Judgment at the gates of Heaven just following his death, (not "soul sleeping" in the grave until the Return of Christ as Seventh Day Adventists teach). Even at modern funerals today it is commonly accepted that the deceased "is in a better place now" or "gone home to the Lord" knowing in themselves that Judgment (and its accompanying Resurrection) takes place following one's death.
All these speak in harmony with the 70-1070AD Millennium. Which cannot be said of any other system of eschatology.