Ed Darrell quoted this the other day, and I disparaged it. Mr Darrell gets exasperated when history is misquoted, misused or ignored. Which is ironic because this quote, ignores, misuses and offers a mistaken interpretation of history. The quote:

“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.”

Shall we consider just a few ways in which this was wrong?

  • There was no “church” when Jesus was performing his ministry prior to the resurrection. The church thing followed immediately after His Resurrection.
  • Then the church moved to Asia Minor, Greece, Egypt, Rome, India and throughout the Mediterranean.
  • The church was well established in Rome, recall Saints Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome well before Origen (a Alexandrian Copt) turned the tools of philosophy to the service of theology.
  • Examine the early “Greek” church, and their early founders. St. Cyril and St. Athanasius … of Alexandria (Copts). The three Ecumenical Heirarchs, Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom … all Cappadocian, i.e., modern day Turkey (hint: not Greece). In fact, I have trouble identifying right off any prominent Greek Saints from Early Antiquity.
  • Next actually examine the Eastern church which came out of “Greece”. It is known for its mysticism not its Aquinan/Aristotelian philosophical logic.
  • The Christian church’s movement to Rome didn’t make it an institution. It made it a persecuted cult. Three centuries later, when “Rome” was supplanted by Constantinople as the capitol it became a state religion. It is dogma among modern political philosophers, who are amazingly ignorant of the next 1000 years of the Roman state, that state and religion don’t mix. They look at the Reformation and English history for their ideas on that. Conveniently ignoring any historical trends which don’t fit their preconceptions.

And that’s just a start.

Filed under: ChristianityMark O.Religion

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