Whenever I read accounts of the first few hundred years, CE, or read/hear a religious scholar explain the Bible, I see people trying to bring order where there is none.
One attempt to bring order to the confusion is to yield to authorities. In the faith it is often said, “Officially appointed authorities tells us what the truth is. We need to accept that.”
This pattern goes back to the 325 and the Council of Nicea. All kinds of controversies were alive. Which god of many gods was the real one? Was a “spirit” different from a god or the same thing?
There was so much confusion, Emperor Constantine called for a Council to bring order. Today, many churches recite the Nicene Creed which tells us in effect, “Stop the confusion, worship only this one god.” When this oath is repeated, it seems fair to say we are bowing to the Emperor Constantine.
Watching a debate on the web I was struck at how often a Christian professor referred to the credentials of those who thought like he did. Referring to those “authorities” allowed him to avoid dealing with conflicting messages of the Bible.
Officialdom is interested in eliminating confusion and disarray. Yet, confusion and disarray continue because such is indigenous to Christianity. Eyewitnesses and facts are missing. Accounts of what happened are conflicting. Authorities can paint over all this.
Perhaps one day the faith will give up trying to make sense of it all and sing, “Let Chaos Reign.”
P. S. My friend and occassional poster here, Father Oliver Herbel of the Orthodox Church, has just published his second book. I hope many will consider buying it.