Sometimes I wonder if Protestant (particularly evangelical) Christians think that there were no Christians between the dates of 313 CE (the legalizing of Christianity) and 1517 CE (general beginning of the Reformation).
I say this because I often read various posts on blogs etc. by Christians. When their references fall between the above dates there is often the attachment of “Catholic” written in a way that one imagines it being said aloud in a foul tone followed by a hearty spit.
When Protestants speak of Christian history, often the word ‘Christian’ is only attached when it is referencing denominational history post-Reformation or early church history pre-313 CE. I find this annoying and betraying of a serious bias.
It is as if there are people who seriously think God was not involved in the history of the church for one thousand two hundred and seventeen years.
A little humility needs to be injected at this point:
– Christian history is a theological history of God’s interaction with humanity, centred on Christ…it is not selective
– The Protestant Bible is 188 years old and is any Christian Bible translation or revision that follows the 1825 decision by the British and Foreign Bible Society to omit books of the Biblical apocrypha. (see Wikipedia).
– The Catholic Bible is 1,613 years old (traced to Latin Vulgate) comprising the whole 73-book canon recognized by the Catholic Church, including the deuterocanonical books. (see Wikipedia; with apologies to the Orthodox Catholic for not mentioning the minor differences between the two).
– A church is a natural, mutually desired gathering of Christians for the sake of celebration, worship, education/edification, prayer, healing, etc. A church is NOT a building designated Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Catholic, etc.
I think, with these realities in place, a more mutually respectful dialogue can take place between ALL Christians regardless of their very human denominational structure/designation or lack thereof.