I am a Protestant. I have been trying to trace the church from the time of Jesus to the current day. I have a question.
In the first half a century I see great debates in the defense and development of true doctrine. During this time central truths were developed such as the doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation. At least 24 major heresies were withstood, and the New Testament was canonized. If any of this would have failed to happen, Christianity, as we know it today, would not look the same.
Here is my question.
Many of the doctrines of the early church, such as tradition, liturgy, icons and so on were all well established by the third and fourth centuries. They have been rejected by the Protestant faith as false teachings. But these doctrines were developed close to the source where the water is usually the purest. They were developed by men that gave their lives for what they believed and taught. If they were heretical, would the streets have not run with blood, yet it seems there was unity on most doctrines?