Real Men in Church
You cannot defeat men like this. Tell them to keep quiet, and they disobey you. Throw them into prison, and they convert the jailer. Whip them, and they rejoice to be allowed to suffer for Christ. Stone them within an inch of their lives in one city, and they carry on with just the same message in the next. Kill them, and others arise to take their place. Endurance like that simply has to win in the long run. But we do not see enough of it in our western church. There is plenty of obstinacy, to be sure, but usually about the wrong things: church property, ministers who aren’t liked, or style of services.
Michael Green on the endurance of the early church in his great book called 30 Years that Changed the World.