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The State of Faith
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Renewing Your Mind


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A Little History

Job 8:8-10
For inquire, please, of the former age, And consider the things discovered by their fathers; 9 For we were born yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days on earth are a shadow. 10 Will they not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their heart?

Having briefly set the foundational stage, let us consider how “itchy ears” have invaded the modern church.

The modern church can only be understood in the context of the pressures and changes the church has endured over the past few centuries. We do not have time nor the energy to provide a complete history of Christianity, but we need to understand several key events. 

The church is the body of Jesus Christ

Ephesians 1:22-23 (NIV)
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

It is composed of all true believers from all ages. At the same time, the church is a group of organizations formed to worship Christ. From the death of Jesus through the first decades of its existence, the church practiced in the form of local groups meeting in homes (Romans 16:5).  Over time, these groups became more organizationally structured. While these structures varied, with the politicalization of the Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine starting in 313, the structure became more formalized. 

Indeed, from then until the time of Martin Luther, this formal structure developed into two groups, what is now known as the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. All local churches fell under the umbrella of one of these two heads.

In 1517 Luther posted his 95 Thesis on the Castle Church door at Wittenberg and the Protestant Reformation commenced. This movement questioned many of the traditional practices of the organized church and moved to a doctrine based solely on the Bible.  However, even from its start, there was division. The various groups could not agree on such matters as the meaning of communion. But, the Protestant movement kept the church on track, even as it formed divisions - the Reformed, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, and more.

Paul teaches that we are to remain wise to the tricks of Satan (2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV) in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.). Satan knows that in division there is ample opportunity for more confusion and discord. And, Satan is in no great hurry to wreck the church. In his mind he has all the time in the world!




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July 22, 2024

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