First time I’ve heard this joke and decided it was worth sharing:
After five years a man was rescued off a desert island. His rescuers noted the three structures that he had built. They pointed to the first and asked what it was used for. He said it was his house. They asked him about the second structure and he said, “That is where I go to church.” So they asked him about the third. He shrugged and said, “That is where I used to go to church.”
I have always wished for more unity in Christianity. Are there issues on which you think we can now unite? What are the issues that you see may cause ongoing division?
The reason religion is doomed to division and failure is for the same reason government is doomed to division and failure. Ancient man saw this in the great population which built the Tower of Babel. We are blocked, not by people, but by bureaucracy, a system that first defeats people and then crumbles in on itself.
A simple person with a simple problem seeks help, but cannot be helped because someone “higher up” has set rules in place that blocks the lower person from helping. The higher one climbs, the more complex it becomes to resolve that simple problem.
Let’s take the Catholic and Orthodox faiths. If we had two small congregations in a small town or village wanted the two to unite, the issues would be resolved within days, perhaps hours.
Which one or two people today could march into Rome and Constantinople and get these two faiths to unite? Isn’t it the bureaucracies the people must go through to even enter into these two Church’s headquarters?
I may be blind Meri but the division I’m currently seeing is between Christianity and the world? There appears to be a falling away happening at an ever increasing rate. I’ve noticed it as I’ve gotten older. The congregations in all churches are growing smaller and older. I don’t see marriages being honored and lost children being all to often the result. The next generation then exacerbates this division even more. If…I were to pinpoint the single, largest problem today, it’s males not stepping up to the responsibility to being Christian men.
It’s my personal belief, that when I was baptized by the Holy Spirit, I became a member of the Church of Christians. The rest has been man made IMO over time. I also think that the the Catholic Church is the “rock” which was foretold to Peter and they have maintained Christian order over time.
18 And I also say unto thee, that thou art [a]Peter, and upon this [b]rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
The division you mention is well worth exploring as well. Can a faith that is divided among itself stand against a world versus faith? (United we stand, divided we fall.)
Faith within our country took a hit when the Supreme Court forbade prayer and faith being led in school. Growing up, I attended a Catholic School, and no one was afraid to admonish us that good Christians or good Catholics don’t engage in “that kind of action of behavior”. Expectations were clearly defined and enforced. Parents, teachers, school were united in leadership.
Parents and schools are two other entities that should not become divided, but as we have seen in current events, Critical Race Theory and other practices/teachings have become a dividing factor between home and school.
Parents need to fight harder that school tax dollars follow the student–and families select the school their child(ren) attend. If people of faith want their children educated in their faith, it should be the easiest thing in the United States to happen.
Back in the 70s, there was a big push by Evangelicals for all to read the Bible literally (which Catholics and Orthodox–not to mention Jews–largely ignored). I think ignoring this push has proven to be a great mistake because it seems many left their faith due to the fact they could not reconcile a literal Bible with scientific fact. The Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), in my opinion, should be taught by Hebrew scholars, in all elementary schools. Fundamental Christians make a mess out of Old Testament stories.
All religions are growing worldwide. People are disillusioned with secularism that seeks to save the world via science and was relying on expert technocrats to manage society scientifically. People are returning worldwide to worldviews that re-embrace their historical cultures and foster personal relationships, while eschewing both the obsessive individualism that has produced personal isolation and loneliness; and overbearing collectivism that devalues or cancels individual personhood.
HEAR HEAR!!! Imagine people so ignorant that they actually believe an omnipotent God is capable of inspiring men to write exactly what he wants them to write and then preserving those writings throughout history so that ALL the people he loves and wants in his kingdom could read for themselves and figure out how to get there! Oh, for the glory days of the Dark Ages when all the ignorant peasants had to do was listen to and heed the teachings of godly scholars like Torquemada and those infallible Christian scientists who excommunicated Galileo because he foolishly believed that the Earth was not the center of the solar system. And let’s not forget those Hebrew Scholars either!! Just because they hated Jesus, rejected his teachings and set him up to be crucified, and to this day still reject him as the Messiah, is no reason not to listen to them if you want to know about Christ and how to have a loving relationship that leads to your salvation. Yes sir, if you can’t trust people that hate, reject and kill you to be nice and truthful about you, well, what’s this world coming to?? Let’s hear it for all those educated people throughout history who have guided so many to Jesus… What is WRONG with those people who simply take GOD at his word? What a mess they’ve made of the world.
Galileo was not excommunicated because of his theory–but because he wanted to change the Bible so that it reflected his theory. Our ignorance was not then, but today. Galileo lived in a time where he could figure out the revolution of the earth around the sun. At the same time, he could not imagine an earth filled with millions of books, of which the Bible was only one. In his time, the Bible was pretty much the only book–at least the only one widely circulated. Galileo could not foresee that there would be books galore with his theory, could only see the one book and insisted that this one book include his theory.
Where would you stand today if Galileo was to come back and still insist that the Bible be changed so that his theory was reflected therein? Would you be in favor of Galileo being allowed to change the Bible?
“I, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galileo of Florence, aged seventy, arraigned personally before this tribunal and kneeling before you, most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, general Inquisitors against heretical depravity in the entire Christian dominion … do swear that I have always believed, and do now believe, and with God’s help will in the future believe all that is held and taught by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. But whereas, after an injunction which had been lawfully intimated to me by this Holy Office that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the Sun is the center of the world and is immovable, and that the Earth is not the center of the world and moves, and that I must not hold, defend or teach in any way whatsoever, either verbally or in writing, the said false doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine is contrary to Holy Scripture, I wrote and published a book in which I discussed this doctrine which had already been condemned, and presented arguments in its favor without offering any solution, I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy … Therefore, wishing to remove from the minds of your Eminences and all faithful Christians this vehement suspicion justly conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I do abjure, curse and detest the said errors and heresies and general each and every other error, heresy and sect which is contrary to the Holy Church; and I swear that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything which might again give grounds for suspicion against me. … I swear and promise also to comply with and observe fully all the penalties that have been or may be imposed upon me by this Holy Office. … I, the said Galileo Galilei, have abjured, sworn, promised and bound myself as above; and in testimony of the truth I have signed the present document of my abjuration with my own hand and recited it word for word in Rome, in the Convent Sopra Minerva, this 22nd day of June 1633.”The recanting of Galileo, June 22, 1633 in the Great Hall at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Wikipedia: “The middle finger from Galileo’s right hand, is currently on exhibition at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy.”
By no means is Galileo the only short-sighted persons. At the time he could not prove his theory which is why the Inquisition took an interest in a charge of Heresy. Pope Urban (then a Cardinal) encouraged Galileo in his research and urged him to publish his findings–just not become an advocate of them, which I personally think is quite funny.
It appears that the Earth’s rotation around the sun was the “climate change” brouhaha of that time. It only got worse when a “committee” (the Inquisition) decided to gather and become the expert on the issue.
If we think we have advanced in any practical way over resolving difference since the 1600s, we may have another think coming. Committees didn’t work then and they won’t work this time, either.
You ignored the main point. You uphold the same fallacy the Catholic Church has upheld throughout its history, that PEOPLE, and ESPECIALLY Catholic priests are the repositories of Gods revelations to man and that it is THEIR RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY to disseminate said revelations to the rest of ignorant mankind. Somehow, the acquisitions of letters after ones name like BS ■■■■■■■■■■■ MS ( More of the same) and PHD (Piled higher and deeper), somehow bestow Godly knowledge and wisdom of such magnitude that they may even correct the plainly written word of God if they believe it to be in error! Such human arrogance, enforced by centuries of threats, torture, prison, and even horrible deaths kept people in ignorant bondage for centuries. Much like what the Democrats have been doing to society for decades.
The Bible says FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM. It is meant for CHRISTIANS. People who don’t know Christ, let alone deny or hate him, have no idea what they’re talking about and not enough common sense to know that they don’t know. They certainly have no business teaching the Christ given truths of its pages to anyone, especially Christians. Would you recommend people be taught about the Jews by reading Mein Kampf?
As to Galileo, where do you get this idea he was trying to change the Bible? Change it from what to what? The Bible doesn’t teach geocentricity or heliocentricity specifically. It is NOT a science text book, but whatever science could be gleaned from it wouldn’t contradict scientific facts established by God himself. Any misunderstanding or misinterpretation used to justify a geocentric point of view only demonstrates the ignorance of the readers, not error in Gods word. The same type of ignorance of people that claim the earth is flat or that American slavery was Biblically justified, or that women should be kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.
Was Galileo threatening to open a publishing house and publish a new Bible and somehow insert the subject of heliocentricity? His trouble with the Catholic Church was solely due to publishing a book that promoted the idea of heliocentricity. He had been warned to keep that idea quiet. The fact that the book had a simpleton character putting forth the Popes position on geocentricity didn’t help his cause either. It took 400 years for the Catholic Church to reverse its condemnation of Galileo and these are the people you trust to receive and disseminate Gods truth to people?
It is godless ignoramuses throughout history that have made a mess of things, not fundamentalists.
Not true. First of all, introducing information about Galileo and the realities of his time is something is merely interesting. But even more interesting is how you despise Catholic priests.
From the beginning, Protestants insisted that everyone can read and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, discern the meaning of the Bible all on their own. Catholic priests at the time pointed out it is not that simple–and it is not. As the Bible was translated from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English original points and meanings were watered down and even lost. Even today, the average person simply has not the time to do the research necessary to understand the points the original authors were making.
Some non-Catholic Christians, are adamant that modern English is good enough, that one’s own interpretation works well enough. And that’s fine. Even in daily life, people tend to work things out for themselves without consulting an expert every time we plant a garden, need medical attention, or remodel. Still, those who have training in such fields have value, too. Like the Catholic priests of bygone days you deride for example.
I will address one thing here and respond to the rest of your post later…
I do not despise Catholic priests. I do not despise anyone. What I do despise is the arrogance of anyone who believes themselves wise enough to trample on the plain word of God and teaches people to follow what THEY SAY over what GOD says… Its made worse when the people proclaiming themselves the oracles of truth forbid dissent and punish those who disagree with them. Force is the mark of a tyrant, and between God and Satan, I believe it’s obvious who is the tyrant and who isn’t. God isn’t afraid of people studying his word for themselves, in fact, HE COMMANDS PEOPLE TO STUDY HIS WORD! The truth sets people free. God is not the author of confusion and any confusion regarding his word is ALWAYS man made. On the other hand SATAN IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF IT! Every single time someone is convinced they couldn’t possibly study Gods word and understand the truth, especially regarding their salvation, Satan gains a victory because we are held accountable individually, not corporately. Your church, and sadly most of her Protestant offspring have been casting doubt on Gods word, and thus God himself for centuries. Just like Satan in the Garden of Eden Christians are enthralled by “ CHRISTIAN” leaders who ask “HATH GOD SAID???” and finish their teaching with “THOU SHALT NOT SURELY DIE!”
Above all God loves people and wants them in his kingdom and he inspired and preserved his word PRECISELY so people can learn how to get there and claim this GIFT themselves. John wrote “ These things I write unto you that YOU MAY KNOW YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” No ambiguity or confusion in that promise
Romans 6:23 makes it crystal clear “ THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH”, but “ THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD”
When you cast doubt on any of Gods word, this plain truth becomes suspect too…
Yes they are becoming very hostile. If we accept the truth, Jesus promised he was going to return, and though he said no man knows the day or hour, he did say “ When you see these things…:” These things are happening now and getting worse. Its time for Christians to take a stand for the truth.