True Christianity

Is it OK to believe what Christians in earlier time periods believed?

Various angles:

  1. Christianity has never changed; it's always been the same.
  2. Christian doctrine has followed a logical progression as theologians pondered the implications of the words of Bible.
  3. There was always one true Christianity and all other variants or sects were heretical.
  4. The Holy Spirit inspired the Church leaders, the bishops, to clarify doctrines and traditions. Christians are obliged to obey them.

And even in modern times, many Christian groups claim you have to believe what they teach in order to be a "true" Christian, as I note elsewhere.

In exploring Catholicism, I encountered a lot of objections from Protestants who claimed that, little by little over time, the Catholic teachings became more and more deviant, eventually becoming heretical. They claim that protestant reformers are the ones who restored Christianity to its true New Testament apostolic form — except that they didn't.

In studying the writings of the early church fathers, it's easy to see that there were many diverse viewpoints even back then. Is it possible that one of them, for example Origen, had the correct apostolic view?

It seems the authority for true Christianity should be the apostles, yet people commonly ignore verses they don't like and categorize other verses as "cultural", meaning, it's OK to ignore these.

All in all, many Christian groups seem rather intolerant of viewpoints other than their own, and that is the point of this post — to highlight this fact.

I was shunned on a Christian forum for daring to ask a question about how to reconcile a passage in all 4 gospels that had obvious contradictory differences. It seems you have to somehow account for this in your view of inerrancy.

Maybe only professional theologians can investigate such questions. Everyone else has to choose which theologian to believe, and reject all the others.

I find it odd that God has such a hard time communicating his eternal unchangeable truth. Should people who can't seem to see through the haze and murkiness be judged to eternity in hell because they can't properly discern the true message; because they can't accurately choose which preacher to believe?