If the Early Church period was today, here are the Top 9 Pastors to Follow on Twitter. The Bottom 10 are also listed after the Top 9. Why would they be the Bottom 10 if they lived in our day?
Over 1,000,000 followers
1. Pelagius, 4th century; taught against original sin and atonement by Christ, that salvation is by good works through free will; Professor of Theology at Oberlin College where many popular evangelists studied and heretic Charles Finney was former president; conferred honorary M. Div. degree to Oral Roberts dropout Joel Osteen.
2. Marcion, 2nd century Gnostic; rejected the Old Testament God as a cruel and arbitrary demiurge, but accepted the New Testament God as a loving God; rejected the New Testament canon; does lunch with Peter Enns every Monday and with Pope Francis every Sunday.
3. Montanus, 2nd century; prophesied the Second Coming of Jesus in Phrygia ca. 150 AD through direct revelation by the Spirit to his prophetesses Joyce Meyer and Paula White.
4. Donatus, 4th century; taught that validity of sacraments depends on character of the minister; excommunicated by the Youth Camp Movement and Swimming Pool Baptizers Association.
5. Arius, 3rd-4th century; taught that Jesus is not divine, but only a divinized creature; discipled many great theologians, including Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell and Felix Manalo.
Over 100,000 followers
6. Tertullian, 2nd-3rd century; theologian who joined Montanism; discipled Harold Camping.
7. Sabellius, 3rd century; taught modalism: Father, Son, and Spirit are temporary manifestations, not Persons, of one God; frequent guest preacher at TBN with T.D. Jakes and Benny Hinn; has appeared on Apollo Quiboloy’s crusades.
8. Novatian, 3rd century; taught that “lapsed” Christians should not be readmitted to the church; condemned by Carnal Christians Association.
9. Valentinus and Other Gnostics, 2nd century Gnostic in Rome; founded Hillsong and various contemporary, Pentecostal-Charismatic megachurches that practice gnostic-mystic worship. He once declared, “Men make gods and they worship their creations. It would be fitting for the gods to worship men” (Logion 85: 1-4).
Bottom 10 (Less than 100 followers; most of these were persecuted or martyred by the followers of the Top 9)
1. Clement, 1st century bishop in Rome; martyred ca. 100 AD; wrote the epistle 1 Clement to the church in Corinth, which was read alongside the New Testament canonical books.
2. Ignatius, 1st-2nd century bishop in Antioch; disciple of John; martyred ca. 108 AD; on the way to his martyrdom in Rome, he wrote six letters to the churches and one to Polycarp.
3. Polycarp, 1st-2nd century bishop in Smyrna; companion of Papias, disciple of John; said to have been ordained by John; martyred ca. 155 AD; before he was martyred, he declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He has never done me wrong; how, then, can I blaspheme my King and my Savior!”
4. Justin Martyr, 2nd century Christian apologist against Roman and Jewish persecution; wrote First Apology and Second Apology to the Romans and Dialogue with Trypho (a Jew); beheaded ca. 165 AD.
5. Irenaeus, 2nd century bishop in Lyons and Christian apologist; wrote Against Heresies opposing Gnosticism; Roman Catholics claim that he was martyred ca. 202 AD.
6. Clement, 2nd-3rd century bishop in Alexandria; apologist opposed to Gnosticism.
7. Athanasius, 4th century bishop in Alexandria, exiled five times for opposing No. 5 above during the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD; because of his orthodox stand for the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Christ against Arianism, his epitaph says, “Athanasius Contra Mundum” (“Athanasius Against the World”).
8. Ambrose, 4th century bishop in Milan; discipled Augustine; considered as one of the greatest Latin theologians of the church.
9. Cappadocian Fathers, 4th century; opposed No. 5 above; these three are Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea; Basil’s younger brother Gregory, bishop of Nyssa; and Gregory of Nazianzus; advanced the development of many Christian doctrines such as the Trinity.
10. Augustine, 4th-5th century bishop in Hippo; opposed No. 1 above; developed the doctrines of predestination and God’s sovereignty in salvation; wrote the classic The City of God, where he expounds two cities—the city of God and the city of man—growing together in this age.