Tag Archives: Church History

Studying a summary of The Crusades….

Map of First Crusade

This week in Year Three of EfM, we are studying The Crusades. Now I admit that really do not know too much about this period of Church history. Since I am a visual thinker, I’m in the process of finding maps to aid me in my study of this period of history. So far I have found two maps that will be useful for my study online{ the Internet is a wonderful educational tool, if used properly}

Anyhow, as a Christian, I am not proud of the violence that was done in the name of our God & our Lord Jesus Christ by these medieval militias. Yet on the other hand, I feel that the super-extreme Muslim idea of ” holy war” against Christians & Jews is wrong. While humanity cannot undo the past wrongs{ of which the Crusades are just some examples of one group of people waging war versus a group they feels threatens their way of life}

The current Muslim ” holy war” is wrong, but sometimes Christians { including myself} forget that our forebeaers in faith waged our own ” holy war” against those whose faith is different from ours. As most Christians are nonviolent people, the majority of those who practice Islam are also peaceful. We need to , as a now-cliched bumper sticker proclaims ” COEXIST”. If we do not even try to work for religious tolerance worldwide, we’ll forever be plagued with one form of ” holy war” or another. The extreme Christian right is just as guilty as the Muslims who say that they won’t quit fighting until ALL so-called ” infidels” either convert to Islam or are murdered.

One of the greatest freedoms we have in America is the freedom to worship as we see fit. Even now, many nations do not grant their citizens this freedom. With freedom comes responsibility . I think that part of becoming an informed & responsible citizen includeds educating oneself on other races, RELIGIONS & ethnic groups.

One of my mottos is: the more we know, the less we can hate. Amen.

We Believe…

 I’m studying  the Early Church documents, councils, ect in Year 3 of EFM.

Whew!

 There is no doubt in my mind that today Arius would be considered a radical heretic. His argument against  Trinitarian theology{ God  as Three in One} not only got him into a heap of trouble back then, but I would bet that most bishops even now would excommunicate him based on his teachings.  According to my EFM text, Arius even cited certain parts of Scripture as  supportive of his far-left theological position.

This coming week’s lesson centers around the development of the Nicene Creed, a basic, albeit extra-Biblical part of the Catholic Tradition.

We Anglicans recite the Nicene Creed every Eucharist.  At servies where there are baptisms & confirmations/receptions, the Apostles’ Creed is recited. { Look in your copy of the BCP}  I noticed that the Apostles’ Creed is a more….personal statement of one’s Christian faith. 

Look at the pronouns: ” We believe” versus ” I believe”.  Those pronouns are momentously different , Especially for new Christians & { I suppose} even more so back in the time of the First Church Councils , it was paramount to attempt to agree upon what the Church teaches regarding the Godhead.  Yet as a 21st century Christian, all this ” bickering” that occurred back then among bishops seems unimportant to me in the here & now.

While I do understand the tenets of the Christian faith, as expressed in both the Nicene & the Apostles’ Creed but I’ve never really sought out a scientific understanding of the Trinity. { this is totally unlike me as usually I demand a rational explanation for everything else in my world, but I thank God for the wisdom to discern the Truth –capital T– of the basic doctrine of my faith.  To me, praying in the Name of the Triune God is as natural as  breathing.   At the end of the day, I am very grateful that these Councils happened, but  this historical knowledge really brings me no closer to the Truth that I know of a God of Love.

Amen.