It all started even during the dawn of Christianity.
The various religious leaders of Orthodox, Catholics, Coptics, Arians, Syriacs, among others who led the early Christianity years have already differences in their teachings.
Emperor Constantine created the Council of Nicea with the goal of settling disputes in terms of claims and create uniform teachings and doctrines among all Christian bishops; the east and west Christians. The very first issue of which, is the settlement of the question pertaining on the relationship between God The Father and The Son (Jesus Christ). After many years of arguments, the one-ness of God The Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost being one has been accepted by the members of the council. We now called it the Trinity and it is recited in the Nicean Creed.
Emperor Constantine wants unity among Christian brethren.
And he did. Or at least he succeeded in creating the Nicean Creed and Christianity has the Trinity.
Hundred years later, another dispute broke in Christian churches. This time around, the conflict wasn’t resolved leading to the separation between the Eastern and the Western Christian. The Eastern Christianity (Mediterranean ) retain their traditional and conservative prayers, worships, and teachings while the Western Christian evolved. Without the backup of the Roman Emperor, the Eastern Christians have to live on their own along with other non-Christian religions.
Western Christianity became dominated with Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholics flourished and expanded to other continents across the globe. Roman Catholicism introduced many doctrines (the original sin, St. Francis’ humility, etc) and one of the most controversial is the doctrine of purgatory. When a Roman Catholic passed on, and if he or she is destined to go heaven, the soul will first enter the purgatory so to be “purified” before going to heaven. It became very controversial and debatable as Catholicism has been viewed as the means for salvation and that reliance to the Roman Catholics clergy are of great value for after-life.
1/500 sec. F4.5 ISO 640 @ 17mm. Cathedral of Cologne Germany. 209
Until the reformist came in the 16th century when a German monk Martin Luther disagree with the Catholicism way and differentiate his view on after life that an individual him/herself is accountable to God. And the Protestantism movement begun.
Lutheran Church, Gutersloh Germany. 2009.
Protestantism was followed by other reformist such as John Calvin, the global Pentecostalism (Pentecostal), charismatic movements, and the worldwide independent churches.
The indifferences among Christian churches today are still at large. The sad part of about it is, we Christians are very good in pointing out the “heretic” teachings of another church without even understanding how it came about. We have this mentality that our church is the true church and the rest of the Christian churches are nothing but heretics. We oftentimes forget to look into history. Christianity has thrived over the centuries and overcome empires. Mistakes are made along the way.
Always remember, there is no perfect church.
While writing this article, I’ve asked my husband;
“So when do you think all these indifferences started?”
“It started when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven leaving the 11 apostles to continue His teachings”, he replied.
At least both of us agreed.
Jesus Christ knows that conflict among His followers will arise. In Luke 9:49-50 NIV,
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Me and my husband, like many Christians, wants to see that one day these indifferences in Christian churches will eventually be gone.
That instead of fighting for what is the truth, that we Christians instead focused on the two commandments left by Jesus Christ:
- Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
- Love your neighbor like yourself.
Christianity’s teaching is focused on love. The New Testament reminds us that we have to love our brothers and sisters including the unlovable.
Where is love when you allow your prejudice mind to over rule your heart and think that your church is the true Christian church?
Our Eastern Christian brothers and sisters are now undergoing the persecution in the name of Jesus Christ. No one knows how long this persecution will continue. This is the time when we, Christians need each other.
Why not remove the wall in your heart, offer prayers, lend a hand and love your Christian brethren regardless of his/her church?
After all, being a Christian, is becoming Christ-like which is all about love and compassion.
The change has to come from individual Christians; being the church of Christ.
Christian unity is what we need right now.
This is a call from God.
This is a call from Christ.
This is a call from the Holy Spirit.