Internal Conflict in the Church?
“The Early Christian Church was rife with internal conflict, so we cannot know whose Gospel eventually emerged.”
In comparison with Islamic history, the early church was far more united and peaceful. After Muhammad’s death, there were almost continuous wars between different Muslim factions. The prophet’s widow Aisha raised an army to battle Ali less than 25 years after Muhammad’s death, and was defeated in the Battle of the Camel. The Caliph Omar was assassinated by a Persian slave Firoz in 23 AH, Uthmān was assassinated by unhappy Muslims in 35 AH, and Ali himself was assassinated by another Muslim faction in 40 AH. In 61 AH, the Muslim forces led by Yazid crushed the opposing Muslim forces representing Muhammad’s family. There was also warfare against many other factions like that of Musaylima who accepted Muhammad’s prophethood but added his own revelations. Musaylima’s 100,000 strong following almost overpowered Muhammad’s army at the battle of Al-Yamama in 633.
By comparison, the early community of Jesus’ followers never had a single war or armed conflict for at least two and a half centuries, nor is there record of any serious dispute among them during the apostolic period. They all agreed on the same gospel message, as the historical record abundantly shows.