I proclaimed when I started posting this study a couple of weeks ago that I would be giving you a history of the church. In studying this topic I was quick to learn that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different versions of the history of the church. If you are a Calvinist your history is quite different than if you are a Catholic or Lutheran and especially an Eastern Orthodox. Everyone looks at history from their own perspective. Some like to concentrate only on the inspiring parts; I will be showing you the warts as well.
The last few weeks I have been collecting various versions of history and will give you a highlight soon. Some versions of history concentrate on Apostolic succession, others almost start their history at the Reformation. If you are a Fundamentalist you might even start in the early twentieth century for that is when your version of Christianity started. For me the history of the church starts after Christ left this earth and is continuing even now. I do believe that the best years of the church are ahead of it instead of behind. But my version of future history will depend on whether Christians are able to put some things that they currently hold, maybe even doctrine, behind them so that the path going forward can be accomplished. Of course I will explain this further during this study but that should be enough to peak your interest. 🙂
They say that “History belongs to the Victors”. The history I will be giving you here will have a healthy dose of the defeated as well. I believe that some of the defeated (heretics if you will) have value even though the power struggles of the time deemed them worthless.
I must admit, if you haven’t figured it out already, my view of the church at least going forward is a progressive one. I think that Christianity as it stands today is very passive and that is not what Jesus intended his church to be. Some say that the total purpose of Christ was to die for our sins. If that were the case then the Bible should jump from his birth directly to his death as nothing else really matters. I think an equal purpose was for Jesus to show us how to live. So, of course my history will show what happened to stifle that idea and how we can overcome the do-nothing Christian mentality going forward.
I hope that even if you don’t agree with everything I have said here that you continue on with me in this study and keep an open mind as to it worthiness. We all want to do what the Lord intended us to do while we are on this earth. That is why we pray that God’s will be done. I will be open to your ideas about that and I hope you will be open to mine.
Ok, five posts getting ready for the study is enough. Next time I will be giving you a macro-view of my version of church history and maybe some brief glimpses of the other versions.
Until then I bid you peace….
2 thoughts on “A History of the Church (but whose history??)”
Yes, I am ready for you to get to the meat. Too many of us are still stuck in the milk phase. You are a brave man, RJ. I look forward to your history lessons.
It is coming soon Bob. Maybe too soon. Brave, I don’t know; maybe just stupid. I have read about some who said the things that I am going to be saying that faced death in the Middle Ages. I think, or at least I hope, we have grown at least a slight bit since then. 🙂