@Laurieb75 Also just wanted to echo your questions about what happened with the early Church. When I read Church history and especially some of the guys like Tertullian, I just don’t understand how they could have the attitude they did if they were really walking with Jesus. It also seems like the Church fathers, being Greco-Roman, used a hermeneutic that was foreign to the Bible and had beliefs I would label as syncretistic. In words from Lord of the Rings, it seems like things were “forgotten that should not have been forgotten” and a lot of things got lost in transmission from one generation to the next. I’d love to study this area more at a graduate level to understand more deeply what happened between the apostles and the next generation.
I make sense of this apparent craziness in a few ways:
If we read the Old Testament, the Jews lost the Scriptures at one point and Josiah’s servants find the law in a dusty corner somewhere (2 Kings 22), so it seems God allows us imperfect humans to get pretty lost sometimes, but he always raises up people to restore the truth. It’s not really much different today - there is a lot of confusion and false doctrine in the world.
The early Church did some amazingly sacrificial things that humble me. So I think we can see that there was beauty amidst the brokenness.
There are lots of stories we will never hear until Heaven. God always has a remnant and He is always at work. So I fully anticipate to get a much more encouraging Church history lesson after my time on earth is done
Something worth watching is the end of this video clip from Philip Yancey. He compares the Church to a not-so-great high school orchestra playing Beethoven for people who’ve never heard it before - all kinds of noises are poured forth, but when they occasionally hit the right notes, it’s beautiful. The Church is here to show the world God’s love and we don’t always do so great, but when we do it’s beautiful.
I’m still mulling over it, but I found it thought provoking.