Since the first century Christians have sought Jesus Christ. Some of them have done so in large institutions and tall buildings. Some have established large hierarchies and elaborate organisations. This page is dedicated to the rest – to the believers who met outside of institutions and hierarchies. They have existed in many places, at different times and they vary greatly but one thing they had in common. Every one of those groups had some revelation of the church as a community of believers. They discovered again and again what the body of Christ looked like on this earth. Many of them were persecuted and some were exterminated by by their enemies but while they existed they lived for Jesus Christ and his glory.
I hope to add a number of pages and stories over time but I will wet your appetite with my favourite story from all of church history.
It is a story of the Cathars, the believers of the 12th and 13th century who experienced the most terrible persecution of any Christian group. When their last community was hunted down just 14 of them survived to be captured. The Catholic army which captured them threw them into the dungeons and told them they had a week to recant . At the end of the week anyone who had not recanted would be put to death. For a week they lived under this terrible sentence. Did they fear? Yes but did they bend or break? No, not for an instant! When the priests came to hear their answer at the end of the week not only did all 14 men and women walk out to their deaths but 7 of their guards insisted on dying with them.
Now that is a witness. What a Christ! What a people!