LC - "My experience is that this is an ongoing error. SUBDJOE used to point out all of the new denominations that have come along since the Awakening and revivalist movements. He was right in noting that. New denominations and new theology/orthodoxy of the last 200 plus years has added nothing to orthodox Christian theology. These denominations have only watered down theology and given a thin view of God and His mercy and grace."
True, in a sense.
My point was that original orthodoxy had been lost/ignored/changed by the dominate Church (RCC) even before Augustine appeared; his writings provided the basis of what many RCC doctrines were later based on. Smart and well intentioned as he was, he mistakenly invented the allegory method of explaining what he could not explain. When you start saying the Bible doesn't mean what it says but instead means some mystical other you've lost your mooring.
Auggie got a lot right but he (wrongly) wrote that Israel had been replaced by the church in God's plans; he wrongly determined that the Great Tribulation occurred in the period of AD 70 and he was therefore living in the Millennial Kingdom, etc. By loosing sight of scripture and dreaming up doctrines of papal succession from Peter and papal infallibility, making Mary co-equal with her Son, earning salvation through purgatory, etc., it's understandable that the Church (RC) lost sight of much truth and invented much error. However wrong some men have been, I believe most changes within the church at large have been sincere efforts to return to the original teachings of scripture, not to deviate further from them.
After Augustine, move forward to late 1,400s. Luther began what we call the Reformation when he strove to take the Church back to its roots of salvation by faith in Jesus alone; the RCC threw him out for that and would have had him killed if they could. Luther got a lot of doctrine right but he retained much of the Church's (RC) wrong position on end times when he tried to take the RCC back to its roots. In the process, he laid the ground work for the Jewish Holocaust in Lutheran Germany. But what he wanted to do was correct the course of Christianity, not divide it.
In the early 1,500s, immediately following Luther, Calvin saw Luther had retained a lot of things that should have been taken OUT and he proceeded to do so. Cal got a lot further down the road to correction than Martin but he sure didn't make perfection and he watered nothing down.
Many thinkers since the Reformation have reacted to what they felt was/is wrong in the church and have tried to refine what preceded them. Some did good work, some did not. But, at least in my mind, most of them were honestly trying to get things right and return the church (at large) to what they saw as Christian orthodoxy, not to "water down" anything for personal advancement.
I mean, slack religious men like Joel Osteen and Jim Baker and weak social denominations like "liberal" Lutherans, Episcopals, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, etc, probably really believe the happy BS they spout. They have watered Christianity down a lot but I doubt even they did it for evil ends or without conviction they're right. And I doubt even they have any more deviation from orthodoxy than the splits existing within just the RCC priesthood today!
Now, after saying all that about how we got where we are today, it's without question that men like Benny Hinn and Jimmy Swagert have obtained vast personal wealth through crafted religious performances and manipulation of gullible minds. Bad men twist scripture and attract personal followers and some even form lasting cults of personality, not scripture but, so far as I KNOW, none of them have established a broadly attractive Christian denomination. In that I specifically exclude the likes of the cults of Joe Smith (LDS), Mary Eddy (SDA), Chas. Russel (JW), etc., but none of them water anything down for an easy self righteousness. Instead, cults tend to run more towards highly restrictive legalism.
Attempts to return to church orthodoxy as it existed prior to Augustine, Luther and Calvin has not been easy, nor has it yet been accomplished, but I don't think we can properly say the deviations have been deliberate dishonesty in those who have erred.
I don't have a Phd, not even a BA. But I do have a DD214.
Common sense is an uncommon virtue
Last edited by wncchester; 02-01-2017 at 01:24 PM.