Summary: A brief history of the church leading up to the question of what theology is the most advanced and why.
Is Your Theology Oppressive or Liberating? Captain Kelly Durant
Peter 1:15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
2. As time goes on usually there is progress and advancements in most things that make you wonder, how did people live before? How was it done in the old days? For example, for transportation for centuries people rode in carts drawn by horses, but then the first car was made. It was complicated and uncomfortable with several gear shifters that had to be pulled to drive it. You also had to get out and crank the front of the motor to start it, and it would not go much faster than 40 mph. Today however, any modern car is luxurious by comparison with air conditioning, automatic windows, sound systems, gps systems etc.
So everything has a progressive science behind it and today I will comment on how the same can be attributed to theology. When the first apostles evangelized Jerusalem and all Judea, as in the Book of Acts, the men preaching had no background study in theology, no diploma from a Christian University, and some could not even read or write very well. Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. The conclusion here is being with Jesus and having the Holy Spirit does through you and me what mere education cannot! Their obedience brought them power and liberation from the oppressive, hypocritical, condemning religions of their era.
As a matter of fact, for hundreds of years later most followers of Jesus never got to read what you get to read in the Bible today, they only had a few of Paul’s letters copied, and maybe some had the books of Moses, and others had possession of other Jewish writings as discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. So today we are privileged to have the Canon (Bible) prepared as we do now backed by dozens of thousands of intelligent theological material. Also the knowledge of ‘good and evil’ is augmented and anyone can “google” to read books that were prohibited from the Bible. But when you know God’s heart, when you have the Holy Spirit for discernment, you can determine why the ancients chose to ban certain books due to their inconsistencies with the holiness of God found in the scriptures as relayed from the prophets of God.
3. After Rome was converted to Christianity by Constantine soon after 300 AD, many Christians came together to unite on the basic points of what Christians should agree upon. Many people believed on Jesus without ever reading the Bible (as the reading of the Bible was only permitted by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church) until Martin Luther, the reformer came along 1,200 years later and translated the Bible into German so that any believer could read it. The Church wanted his head for heresy but God raised up people to protect him in hiding. Many translators of the Bible were persecuted or martyred such as the English translators John Wycliffe and William Tyndale. Be thankful you can open the Bible and read it as millions before could not!
So the early Christian believers only had bits and pieces they could learn from through the predominant oppressive church stepping on the water hose preventing the flow of the truth. How many of you ever learned the Nicene Creed growing up? It was the only doctrine many Christians got to learn after it was introduced in the year 325 AD and they revised in 381 AD. The Nicene Creed is still used today and I want to review it as it is still forms a basis of theology for all Christian believers. Compare it to The Salvation Army’s 11 doctrines as we cover this, and you can conclude how for hundreds of years, millions of believers learned a fairly sound theology of faith, but it was just the basics.
Nicean Creed: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.