So a little background info before the link. I'm not sure if one can say I have no faith left because I have questioned so much, or if I have more faith, but few outward signs that would indicate that I am a 'christian'. The more I dive into the muddied waters of church history, the more I am realizing how flawed the church has become. Many would argue against me with great passion, but in a world that uses passion as a replacement for truth in an attempt to win an argument, I don't put much stock in passionate talking points without truth to back them up. My concern comes from the fact that it seems we have built flaw upon flaw or human ideas upon human ideas so that there is little foundation left that we can say is secure without scrutinizing and inspecting every aspect of it. Obviously, and I hope this to be the case, much will be found sound and solid, but I fear more may be weak and unsupportable than we realize.
I am reading a book that is attempting to look at the Christianity between the death of Christ and the writing of Paul. There is about a 2 decade gap that the New Testament has no record of; nor are there many historical documents in general. Dominic Crossan, the author, brings up one question that has haunted me almost daily, especially since I have so much time on my hands driving. The question is this: "What was there in the first church/fellowships/gatherings of the followers of Christ that warranted the persecution of Paul?"
Seriously, what do we know about those first groups of believers right after the execution of Jesus?
I have found myself exhausted by the search for truth to the point of giving up, of turning away and embracing a benign life of 'good living' instead of being associated with all that has been done in the name of 'christianity'. I am searching out something more than a title or label.
One of the things that has concerned me is the general lack of knowledge that most people have concerning their faith. So much has been taken for granted. So little is known about our origins that we could be fed anything, and think it was truth. I think that is why it feels like I have no faith; I have torn everything down past the foundation in order to build it up again.
With that being said, and if it opens up questions and dialog I am truly glad for the company. I watched this video and I saw a glimpse of what it might have been like for those early believers. Let's face it, when Jesus was doing his thing and he had followers, he was a rabbi, so a vast majority of his followers were Hebrew. I'm not necessarily saying we all need to become Jewish, but I wonder if you too see a glimpse of what that first group faced; being shunned, ridiculed, mocked, and generally looked down upon.
Without further ado: