Monday, June 3, 2013

Lessons From the Past Give Hope For the Future

I woke up this morning feeling grieved about some of the directions God's catholic church is heading.  It is good to grieve over such things and to pray in faith believing that God is large enough to deal with us all in his way and time.

It isn't good though to forget about past church history and some of the messes God has had to bail us out of.  This morning I was reminded that back in the time of Constantine, around AD 325, many of the church bishops were Arians.  They agreed with an Egyptian Bishop Arias who promoted a slightly older teaching that Jesus and God were not equals, a non-Trinitarian theolgy.  Arias  and his teachings were a big focus at the Council of Nicea.

For Trinitarian Christians this was a big problem that seemed insurmountable and was causing division throughout the church.  Much like today, it appeared the universal church was doomed.  But God in his mercy kept his church going.  AND it took about 900 years for this particular controversy and its consequences to be dealt with.

The specifics of the controversy of that time and its solutions were not as fascinating to me as the amount of time God took to change those teachings and theology throughout his church.  God's view is big.  Our view is small.  He is an infinite Being.  We are finite beings.  He sees and knows what we cannot.  His picture is broad and our is limited to what has occurred in our own history and time.

So, as I watch in horror at what is  happening to the church on earth today, the lack of respect for the holiness of scriptures, a refusal to care about whether or not we are interpreting them correctly, the reduction of Father God to some basically unknown force of the universe who either remains unknowable or who includes us as part of his divine spark in an emotionally comfy symbiosis, rather than maintaining the separateness of Creator and creation that requires we must decide and strive to know him, I also have to pray in faith believing that God is quite capable of settling out the problems in his own church.  Church history teaches me it will likely take a far longer period of time than my own brief life span.  I pray and do what I can to maintain orthodoxy, but God will take all our struggling efforts, add his own Spirit to the mix and eventually deal with his church the way he desires and knows is best.

What a relief!!

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