Monday, March 1, 2010

Musings on Christianity

Right now I'm reading the second volume of "The Story of Christianity" by Justo L. Gonzalez, a historical theologian…not sure what denomination, schooled at the United Seminary in Cuba and at Yale.  Anyway, I read the first volume this past November and December.  It’s at least giving me what I think is the big picture of how the Christian church has come about since the time of Christ.  (I have desired to figure that out for a while now, trying to understand why there are different denominations, why Catholic and Protestant, etc. in the first place).  I think it seems fairly unbiased in the way it presents both the Catholic and later the Protestant evolutions (however, whether everything is accurate from the perspectives of both C’ and P’s, I don't know).

I have learned that from the very beginning (well, even by studying Acts I saw this) that there have always been disagreements and divisions.  It certainly has been a bit overwhelming to realize how much people, especially since the time of Constantine, have used the state to force Christianity (whether C or P) on others, or how people have used Christianity as a means of prestige and power in the state…and how many wars, persecution, hatred and death have come from all that…when Jesus’ primary commands were to love God and love others.  It breaks my heart to start to understand this.  I just never realized what a violent history Christians have, and yet we try to preach love and forgiveness, mercy and respect.  No wonder it can be confusing to anyone who considers themselves intellectuals or have an understanding of this history to not see Christianity as hypocrytical.

I was never interested in history in school, and when I did have to study history, it never seemed to be in the context of Christianity – which I would have been interested in.  With that said, I am rather overwhelmed that Christianity in any form or denomination has actually survived to still be around today.  I can only attribute that to the fact that the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than whatever power man thinks he has over things…and that the Holy Spirit living in me affirms that Jesus is the truth.

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