Skip to comments.The Beginning of the End
Posted on 12/24/2021 6:18:08 AM PST by Kaslin
Sometime just over 2,000 years ago, contrary to the song, it was not a silent night. In Bethlehem, a young woman gave birth to a baby in a stable. The story went exactly as one would tell a story if one did not want the story taken seriously.
The first witnesses were shepherds, men so unreliable that their testimony was inadmissible in court. Key eyewitnesses were women, also seen as unreliable. The father of the child fell out of the historic record. Eventually, Roman imperial forces would exterminate the baby's entire earthly bloodline. His brothers and sisters and their children, the historic record records, were all killed. Two of his brothers, James and Jude, would write books that became canonized as part of the New Testament. Ironically, these same brothers rejected their oldest brother in life, refusing even to go to his execution to comfort their mother. Then they became leaders in the early Christian Church, dying proclaiming their brother was, in fact, Yahweh.
While you, like I, most likely grew up believing Christians co-opted a Roman holiday on which to celebrate Christ's birth, there is plenty of modern archeological evidence to suggest it was Emperor Aurelian who aligned Sol Invictus on December 25th to stop the growth of an irascible atheist cult springing up in the empire. The more Christians were slaughtered, the faster the religion grew -- the pruning made the faith stronger. Christians were viewed as atheists because they claimed to worship a living God. All right-thinking religious people in Rome knew someone had to die to become a god. So, Christians were considered atheists and atheists were enemies of humanity. They just could not be stopped.
Christianity grew and dominated Rome. It spread across the planet. For the longest time, Christianity's spread in Asia was slow. But just as it took over 1,000 years for Christianity to jump from Europe and Africa to the Americas, it took another thousand to fully penetrate into Asia. Now, in China, there are estimated to be more Christians quietly living their faith than there are total Americans. It is a thoroughly unique religion anchored in a man, not a place. Muslims have Mecca. Jews have Jerusalem. Hindus have Badrinath. The Christian has Christ. He flows, unmoored from geography, disrupting civilization. The communists feared the Pope. The Chinese fear the quiet Christian.
When the world co-opts Christianity, the faith dies. The Christian denominations that have rejected biblical sexual ethics and the authenticity of the physical resurrection of Christ are all in decline. Statistically, based on its rate of decline, the last Episcopalian has already been born in the United States. Other progressive mainline denominations are not far behind. Liberal theology has become a gateway to atheism, allowing the weak in faith a soft landing into the world on their way to Judgment Day. The believers who stay inevitably leave the dying churches and help build stronger Christian institutions. The thriving conservative Anglican Church in America, with its refugees from the liberal Episcopal Church, is proof of this. So too are the new conservative Methodists fleeing the progressive bishops of the United Methodist Church. Instead of man pruning the church through persecution making it stronger, God uses liberal theology to prune the church of heresy.
Christianity is a funny thing. The secular world continually bets against the religion. Even as it fades in the Western world, it grows ever stronger within its existing congregations and spreads to developing countries. From there, it picks up and blends into the faith traditions and the cultures of those lands. It makes a religion that is neither Greek nor Jewish, but fully a reflection of God in the diversity of His people committed to a common, shared, 2,000-year-old orthodoxy.
That orthodoxy is premised on this promise. History is at an end. Light broke forth in Bethlehem. It cannot be contained. It is in the world now, shaping the world, and will be made more full and real soon. Christ came and will return. It is the promise of this season, and every tear will be dried and all things will be made new. Merry Christmas.
Africa and Asia will send Christian missionaries to America.
The most conservative Catholic Cardinals are from Africa, I would welcome an African Pope.
Asia and North Africa.
I for one do not think Sub-Saharan Africa is much further along than it was 1000 years ago.
And then there is the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church....
They already are.
Many African church, have leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, have laid down their lives for the cause, particularly against abortion.
“Jews have Jerusalem.”
Merry Christmas to all!
African Christians in the United Methodist Church have countered the Liberalization and take-over by apostates of that denomination.
A decent article. Some cutesy wording, but the message of Christ born to save, died to save, rose to save and returning to save was declared. I shake my head when a Christian states something of ‘When the world co-opts Christianity, the faith dies.’. No, Eric. Christianity, i.e., a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, Creator of Heaven and Earth - that will never die. What occurs is that the pure message of salvation in Christ without works - gets diluted or obscured to the masses whose ears want tickling.
Those who have ears(yearn for the truth) to hear - will hear.
I’m one of those Episcopalians who is moving to Anglican.
Already starting to happen. At the Methodist church that I formerly attended, the pastor for a time was a Pakistani Christian who had to put up with discrimination by Pakistan's Muslim government before moving with his family to the US. The Methodist church that I currently attend had a couple of Korean pastors who were Bible-believers. Unfortunately, the current pastor is one of the liberals that dominate the church.
Cardinal Robert Sarah would be a good choice. Not Catholic, but in-laws are.
Interesting take on it. And yes. African missionaries will be proselytizing America. They already are.
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