Church history Summary
---------A letter to a sister on myspace.---------
Yup. Church history, like I tell people is really pretty simple. Jesus starts the church by blessing those who chose to wait as commanded with his spirit. They go and begin making disciples but in the process a lot of wicked manipulators try to infiltrate of course. Then persecution strikes and the real believers are scattered after some of them journeyed and planted fellowships of the body in other towns and they began to be perceived as a threat to government interests.
So they were scattered like salt. And they started small groups here and there that continued to spread. But each one went through a typical growth/realization/precipitation process.
As in testing came and like in a centrifuge, those who would stand in the lord were precipitated OUT from the masses who in each group would tend to hijack the name of Christ for their own purposes.
And finally governmental interests caught the vision and formed the RC group which made a mockery of many aspects of the gospel; appointing a man made priesthood, a pope/papa, etc.
Sadly... the reformations etc. were only partial as is always the case with mass appeal movements. There is another great book called 'The crucified ones' I'm reading parts of now that deals with this at the beginning. The author notes the typical groupings that have emerged in mainstream protestant groups. Labels typical strengths and weaknesses.
A real Christian has to speak up when they see the carnal things infiltrating and they always wind up being thrown under the bus so to speak by the masses who want to maintain their carefully groomed....apostate structure.
So basically a real Christian needs to find other believers who love the lord so they can have real fellowship. If they feel led to interact with people who are in various compromise-rooted groups then who is anyone to judge another man's servant? But definitely they need to find people who are free from the bondage that entangles so many in those types of systems.
The common link..is found in the word "Nicolaitan" I believe. The greek words 'nike' and 'laos' create a compound word that means to conquer/lord over the people. God hates the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Of course some RC bishop claimed that it was some weird cult that didn't last long. Well ...why would the revelation include to accounts of how much God hates this then?
What does God really hate? He hates anything that puts a wedge between himself and those he loves. Therefore he hates religious hierarchies because that is the SUM TOTAL result of all such groups.
I grew up on a group like that. All my mom would come home saying wasn't "Oh praise God thank you Jesus for your love for us"....rather..it was "OHHH can you believe how that man can talk for a whole hour without notess...."
IT's all about glorifying the middle man. He's called "The lord's annointed". Well..aren't we all annointed? Isn't his spirit upon all of us or....
See people's language betrays their heart. They don't believe in anything remotely like the Church that Jesus described. Where each one considers the other higher than themself. Where they consider nothing to be their own but share with each one as there is need in community.
But people are willing to pay tithe...to create a pseudo-church where they can separate themselves from the community aspect...and the scary reality of the holy spirit working among them :-(
Anyway God is love and whenever people come together who love him he can function there among them in whatever environment. He can give real visions and he can give the means to fulfill those visions to his glory. The most effective witnessing body ever was the church of Acts where they simply lived in the reality of what they claimed to have faith in. -Bob