Thursday, 14 January 2016

Home or Rome?

I've written previously about whether certain churches will tend to thrive better in certain environments.  Something which I'm noticing more and more is how some believers are professing a type of "Biblical Christianity" which focusses almost exclusively on the individual believer, their conscience, and a bible.  In effect, a church limited almost to the family and the home.

The most committed of this school of thought seem to be the King James Only movement, who state that -
the KJV is a divine work of the Holy Spirit. The term "Authorized" has traditionally been applied to the King James Version alone, for this is the one Book which the Holy Spirit has blessed and used for so long. The fact that it bears no copyright allows printing ministries throughout the world to print millions of copies each year for the mission field. I know the King James Bible is the word of God because it has no copyright...
The Holy Spirit doesn't bear witness to the modern translations, but He DOES bear witness to the King James. I've always believed the KJV to be God's word, even before I was saved. No one ever told me to believe this, but the Holy Spirit just bore witness to the King James--not the others. After being saved, I spent several years of my Christian life not being aware of the big debate going on these days between King James Bible believers and New Age Version believers. The whole time I believed only ONE BOOK to be God's word, and even then I was suspicious of the new versions, although no one had told me to be. When I discovered that over eighty percent of the "Christian" schools in our nation do not believe the KJV to be the word of God, I was shocked.
From the conversations I've had with this school of thought, there doesn't seem to be a need for any sacrament except, perhaps, baptism.

King James I
Image from here

Over the last few days I saw three news stories which cast this into an interesting light.  One was Pope Francis' participation in a video with a Moslem, a Jew and a Buddhist.  The reaction from a particular strand of believers was (let us say) robust () -

Maybe the pope needs to go back to Sunday school. Even my 5yr old knows the only way to God is through His son Jesus Christ. allah was the pagan god of the Moon and that is why islam's symbol is a crescent moon. (by JM McRann)
I have never trusted this pope. I smelled a fish by the time I heard him and watched him the 2nd. time. He is evil just as obama. They both want on world order and Islam's ways. (by Brenda Kay Atherton-Lingle)
Pope = Cult leader dedicated to extracting as much money from his followers as possible. (By Duane Hallman)

When I thought about it a bit more, I realised that the Catholic church may be the only denomination which retains enough religious authority for people to become upset when it takes part in an event like this.  What tipped me off was a report of the difficult travails of the Anglican church.  Struggles over sexual morality have meant that denomination has deferred its global summit for some years.  Now that a synod is to be held, there is a fear the church may go into open schism.  Meanwhile, actual Anglican parish churches face closure for lack of worshippers.

Is this an indication of the long term future of Christianity: one or two large, strongly-structured churches, and a great many unaffiliated worshippers carrying out their devotions in their home with a Bible?  The choice for believers may come down to home or Rome

Image from here

No comments:

Post a Comment