The Bible is a plethora of information.
Starting with a bible study of a topic of interest of yours can lead to some interesting new and unannounced findings but with welcoming arms. I seem to do this quite alot with my endeavors of bible searching. I have multiple unanswered questions in my mind, and it is a treat to come across the answer on a daily searching for truth.
I have had such an experience lately on searching the “Origins of Christianity”. I will do a small plug for a recent book that I read, that covers this topic. It is “Christian origins” by Christopher Rowland this book covered a very detail of a plethora of things leading up to the ‘Christian’ tag being used in the bible. It was when the ‘leaders’ of the said group pronounced that the ‘assembly’ should be ‘organized’ and dispel any ‘non-truth’ in the Christian faith.
It was then that the writer pointed out there were ‘various’ views on how to do this. (Let me also point out that this was a pivotal moment in the faith, on how it was to proceed) This is where one of my questions comes into view. I have always wondered how and why the separation of Paul and Peter began. I know the one area where in Galatians that Paul and Peter had a confrontation of the gospel. Paul’s ministry was based on the uniting of the Jews and the gentiles as one, in so doing it imperative that it begin with the sitting down together to commune with each other in food. It was when friends of Peter(Jews) from Jerusalem came into their midst and Peter abruptly go up from the table with the gentiles to not be seen with them.
Paul seeing this, told Peter that he was not of the new gospel identity. It was then that there was seen a separation of ‘thinking’ between the two. Most people read over this exchange of different views as a small thing. But I have always seen this as a ‘kink’ in Peter and the true gospel. I have since then found another kink in Peter and his thought process.
It was a little latter in the ministry of both men that their were hints of unification of thoughts and faith of all things ‘christian’ that needed to be said or wrote down for all to see or hear. There were various groups(assemblies) that had differing views on everything concerned. Now, if we could just stop and understand what I just explained what these groups wanted to do. They wanted to ‘cement’ the ‘ideal’ Christianity so that it will not be confusing, different in speech and word.
Now fast forward to the ‘church'(assembly)’called out ones’ of today. This is the ‘mess’ we are in today in christianity. We have to have this belief, this inclusion, that exclusion, added to the faith statement of our separate groups. Is this good or bad?
I know we read in the new testament of Jesus and Paul both instruct believers to hold close the ‘gospel’ that they had preached and to not swerve off the road to other understandings. But also Jesus tells us to ‘check’ all things according to the spirit of the Lord to keep us on the straight and given road.
Let me put a wrinkle in your seeing things, in my reading of the ‘christian origins’ book I came across some annotated pieces of information that caught my eye, It was one of the groups in the midst of the ‘assemblies’ that were brought together to come into agreement of the ‘faith statement’ for ‘christians’. It was one group from ‘Thyatira’ ,the assembly of believers whose belief that it was the ‘Understanding, or belief’ that the ‘Holy Spirit’ had come for this very reason, to guide and direct the believers. WOW!
I have often stated the numbers of denominations in the U.S. to many people in our discussions of christianity to point out the disunity of it all. But maybe I wasn’t, or we haven’t understood this plethora of belief’s in the U.S.’s christianity issue. Two things, you don’t see this in any other country. Second, Can we not see or hear the problem of when and where we went wrong? The people of Thyatira were on to something when they said that it was to be the leadership of the “Holy Spirit” that is to be our compass in this world, and not our organizations and buildings of mass confusion.
Just a side note, one of my ‘little’ nuances that I have always said to myself, is that ‘Everything in the scriptures was portrayed as the ‘right’ way to do things, the old testament stories were full of things like this. The New Testament I believe that everyone assumes that ‘everything’ was done right in God’s eyes, I don’t think it was, IMO. We are not in the right, if we are not lead by the Holy Spirit!!
Last side note, If the Thyatira group sounds familiar to you, it probably is, but you don’t know from where? It, ironically, is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation! In Thyatira’s chastisement’s from John thru God was their involvement of other idols of the land, it was not of their belief in the Holy Spirit’s Leadership!
Let’s let the Holy Spirit lead us all, and to all Let the King of Kings be our King!!