How important was the early church? Do you consider it to be closer in doctrine and practice than the modern church? As I read more of the Church fathers the more I realize that Protestant christianity is farther away from their practices than we might think. For instance Justin Martyr seems to affirm transubstantiation in this quote: Justin probably wrote this around the year 150 A.D. it's hard to comprehend the church falling into heresy so quickly after the Apostles had died. I guess my question is this: Does the early church beliefs matter to you?