Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Christianity In The Change Timeline
In Stirling's A Meeting At Corvallis (New York, 2007), the tyrant Arminger's antipope is said to be legitimately a bishop, able to ordain priests. Further, he and two cronies can validly consecrate other bishops.
If I were a Christian, I would disagree with bishops. Churches were founded by Apostles who claimed to have witnessed the Resurrection. See here. Each Apostle appointed ecclesiastical assistants. When an Apostle died, his church elected one of his assistants as his successor. These successors were the first bishops. The other assistants remained priests or deacons. In the absence of a witness, the next best thing was someone who had known the witness and heard his testimony. Their acquaintance with the Apostles was the only basis for the first bishops' preaching and teaching authority. Nowadays, anyone consecrated bishop is no nearer to evidence for the Resurrection than anyone else. He can only read the New Testament like you or me so I do not think that he has any special authority and we do in fact hear bishops saying very different things.
How was the Church meant to last beyond the first generation? It wasn't. Paul expected Jesus to return as soon as he, Paul, had completed his mission to the Gentiles. Jesus had fulfilled an Abrahamic tradition, not intiated a new tradition. Some of Paul's converts became impatient because their fellow believers were dying and Jesus had not returned yet. Paul replied with a letter saying that those still alive and those who had died, having been resurrected, would be raised up and would meet in the air, thus giving rise to the idea of the Rapture. Two thousand years later, we can say that it didn't happen.
There is more but not tonight.