Help with information reputing the autonomy of the Local Church argument


I am looking for information refuting the claim made by fudelmentalists/evangelicals that the earliest churches were not run by any outside control. This is an example from the following website

“The churches established by the first century apostles of Christ began as independent churches. They were free from outside control over the affairs of the local church. Each local church was a self-governing body, chose its own officers (Acts 6:1-6), and exercised its own discipline (1 Corinthians 5:13). Internal problems were handled by the individual congregation (1 Corinthians 6:1-5). Preservation of pure doctrine was the responsibility of the local assembly (1 Timothy 3:15, Revelation 2:14-16).”

I know of this site that covers it but am looking for more indepth information.



Biblically, read the account of the council at Jerusalem in the Book of Acts (the decisions of which were binding upon all Christian communities and were issued in the name of the Holy Spirit).

Of course, the very Epistles themselves are proof that local communities answered to their Bishop. Paul, especially, could be brutally scathing. How could anyone argue that the Corinthians were an autonomous community??? Paul opened up his can of whup-*** and poured it all over those people!

Historically, the writings of the Early Church fathers also demonstrate that local communities were not autonomous. Many of these writings are similar to the Biblical epistles (ie, letters from bishops to their various parishes) and clearly demonstrate Episcopal oversight (and further demonstrate the primacy of the Bishop of Rome).


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