Saturday, February 18, 2012
Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa
As my scripture blog shows, the version of Christianity that has always impressed me most is the one I find in the New Testament. I have always been vaguely offended by the pagan accretions that have been tacked onto the original gospel: The Doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the immortal soul, the cross, Sun-day worship, Christmas, Easter etc.
But I think I was wrong. With the exception of the Trinity, those pagan accretions were deliberately adopted because they already had a power over the hearts of men. So they strengthened the religion and helped it to survive as a vehicle for the original teachings. Perhaps without those pagan accretions the original Gospel might have been lost. As it is the original first century documents (of the New Testament) have survived and are still there for us to read and accept or not as our hearts and minds guide us.
So the grand buildings, the splendid vestments, the ecclesiastical processions, the "bells and smells" of Catholicism and Anglicanism are probably something to be thankful for, far away though they be from the original Christian congregations of the apostolic era.