For Christianity the early fragmentation of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe and Asia was first initiated by the Orthodox Church in 30 A.D. These two churches where the only major denominations recognized by large groups of people even though there where theological arguments within each denomination for many years. It took 1496 years for there to be another major schism from the Roman Catholic Church. In 1517 Catholicism fractured again this time under the teaching of Martin Luther who was a German Roman Catholic Augustinian monk. Luther’s 95 theses was a protests against the corruption emanating from Rome. Soon after the Lutheran church experienced the same schisms within the confines of its faith and we can see some of the major denominational fractures that followed within Protestantism by the multitude of the protestant denominations and churches in the world today. The many subsequent schisms and fractures from Catholicism within Protestantism following in its breakaway from the Roman Catholic Church are seen in the vast multiplicity of denominations.
The first recognized religious organization to splinter from within Protestantism in the New World was the Church of the Latter Day Saints in 1830. Following that time in the late 1800’s up to the early 1900’s in the U.S. and around the world Protestantism continued to fracture. With this fracturing the formation of new world protestant denominations began to increase rapidly. Pentecostalism the most prevalent denomination in the world today did not follow for another seventy years after the formation of the Church of the Latter day Saints. After this time there where many other fractures within the Protestant denominations and even though Pentecostalism is the largest and fastest growing denomination in the modern era it is a relative latecomer on the scene as far as being a recognized religious denomination. January,1 1900 is often regarded as the founding date of the Pentecostal movement. Pentecostalism became more and more accepted during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s and is now considered a mainstream Protestant denomination by many in the Christian faith.
The departures from the undiluted truth of the apostolic teachings began early and in earnest with Rome beginning with the Nicaean counsel at the behest of Constantine the emperor of Rome in 324 AD. Although this schism between the true and original faith had been growing over time this schism soon found firm political footing under Constantine and was justified by his power as the emperor of Rome. His church remained the principle power and belief in the empire and even as the politic of Rome crumbled the doctrine of Rome created by Constantine remained for over a millennium until the schism created by Luther and the invention of the printing press caused a chasm so large that Protestantism or Lutheranism became a socially and legally recognized belief.
King Henry the eighth caused a split from Catholicism during his reign as the king of England and in 1525 he became the head of the Church of England in exactly the same way that Constantine had become the head of the Catholic Church of Rome. Both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church where created by the proclamation of the ruling power. King Henry did this for the simple reason that he wanted a divorce from one of his wives and since the Pope wouldn’t grant Henry’s request he created his own church of which he became the head. The Church of England and thus Protestantism found its champion. King Henry mercilessly persecuted those that would not abdicate their allegiance to Rome. The Bishop of England was given the choice of becoming the Archbishop of the church of England with King Henry as head of the church or have his head cut off. Let’s say he kept his head and was royally rewarded for doing so.
With this schism the fracture of the truth that started with Constantine began to splinter into even more denominations. Catholics in England became as persecuted under King Henry as the Protestants did in the rest of Europe by the papacy. The lose of freedom that was caused by both sides in this struggle is what caused first the dark ages and then one of the bloodiest civil wars in England. Millions of people where caught up in these relgio-politcal shifts. This consolidation or ecumenism on both sides effectively destroyed freedom from any departure from the powers that be. The truth became even more convoluted and diluted as this splintering continued through time.
As this fragmentation began to become more widespread the truth became even more diluted through the ominous teachings and interpretations of men some of whom had very little education in any matter let alone the Greek and Hebrew writings of the scriptures. Most of the denominations that are seen in today’s society around the world are the trees of the roots that have taken hold and grown strong through the traditions handed down from generation to generation from parent to child with the same misunderstanding and ignorance of their founders and all the while with little inclination to discover the roots of their so dearly held beliefs.
This is the ignorance that God speaks of when He says that men die for the lack of knowledge. There is little concern for the truth among the denominations due to the apathetic and anemic hunger for the truth. There is a general malaise among the members of the congregations and instead of seeking the truth many would rather agree to disagree and move forward in ignorance because it is seemingly to difficult to strike off from the this familiar path.
The modern ecumenical movement of this generation is a topic that requires serious thought and consideration in light of the history of such efforts imposed on those willing to accept such pacification by the marching force of such policies and that is a discussion to long to include in this short article. However it is important to note that power is a numbers game it matters not what the ideas are or who the people may be people. The most powerful unifying force is ecumenism. It is and will always be the most powerful unifying force for any generation or faith or politic. The singularity caused by ecumenism does not care what the belief, idea, faith, politic, currency, country or people it occupies. It only cares for the singularity of such in order to gain the support of the masses for its own purposes.
America occupies the same ideological ground that made Rome great and it is in the same danger that Rome faced in its ideology in its transfer from a republic to totalitarianism. The independence and freedom gained from the ideological ground plowed by the founders of America are being overtaken by the same power that overtook the great civilization that was Rome. It is attempting to control new masses with the same message that caused the failure of all great civilizations and now America is in the cross hairs of this power. Generations of Americans will see the failure of Rome in America under the ecumenical moment that inspires the embracing of diversification. Most will be pacified by their own seemingly good reason. But the standard for truth is truth and the measurement of any mortal reason must stand the test of this measurement. I do not tell you or ask you to march to any beat but your own, but be aware of the fact that the beat that you choose to march by may be a drumming you can not distinguish from your own as many may be beating to the same beat and thinking that they are marching to their own drum for the rhythm of one drum may match the rhythm of the masses making the sound of your drum indistinguishable from the sound of another.
History is the teacher and it is there for those who have an appetite to undertake it. It is as it has always been the blind leading the blind. The truth for far to many is a journey to difficult to undertake so these many follow the leader regardless of where they are being lead for it is far easier to follow than it is to blaze the trail of truth. The ignorant follow the ignorant and let it be so for that is the way of men and women for it is the path of least resistance. Ignorance is the path most trod and the way is well worn. Its trail is easy to follow because it is has been traveled by so many.
My hope and my prayer is that you draw your own conclusions for you will be asked why you stand by them in whatever or wherever you find yourself. I hope you have the answers that will set you free from the bonds of fear. For if you are fearful then you have not succeeded in finding the reality that is the truth. As a great man once stated “Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.”