The purpose of this post is not to "argue" anyone into my denomination of Christianity, or make anyone feel inadequate. My heart's longing is simply to call people to what I believe to be a fundamentally Christian idea, the study of history. I mention my own theory of why much of history has been lost which is, of course, my opinion. I would simply hope that this article causes people to go and study church history, prayerfully and thoughtfully, and be willing to accept if God uses it to challenge them, in whatever way that may be. If you want to be comfortable where you are at, I would encourage you not to study church history, as my life is much harder than it was before I studied it. My life, though, is also far more fulfilling after studying it.
I was reflecting on history and the Bible, and something hit me: most of the Bible is history. The main way that God has chosen to reveal himself is history, and in scripture we constantly see that God is known to future generations by remembrance of what he has done in the past, AKA history. The Israelites are called to look not only at their own lives and generation, but the past lives of their lineage, to see God working and to know him.
- "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the LORD our God commanded you?' then you shall say to your son, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.'"
- "Thus the sons of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side."
- "We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."
- “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.'”
~St. Anthony the Great
- "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. 'Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.'"
- So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
- "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
- "If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."
~1 Timothy 3:15
- "So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."
~2 Thessalonians 2:15
- In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
- "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
- "One Christian is no Christian.”
- Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
We must be willing to admit that there may be some sand beneath our feet, and be willing to admit we may not have both feet firmly on the rock. He who thinks in this manner, even if he is on the rock already, will find that foundation stronger. He who will not think in this manner, or does not have time, or does not find it interesting, or doesn't feel like it, is already knee deep in sand.
- "Why defend a lion when you can open the cage and let it defend itself."
~My dad on the subject of Truth
- You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.
- Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” [The prophet Huldah responded,] "Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.'"
~2 Kings 22:8, 11, 18-20
- This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’"
History is where the truth is. History is where spirituality is. History is where the church is. History is where our Christian family is. History protects us from repeating past mistakes. Without history, there is no journey, no progress, no hope. History is the main way by which we know the teachings of our Lord Jesus, who was a real historical figure and participated in the life of humanity. Study the life of his body like you learn the heritage of someone you love, for the Christian community is where Christ is found from the time of his ascension until the time of his return.