Church History as an academic pursuit is mostly a matter of grasping the politics of organized religion. It’s sheer idiocy to assume politics have no place in the church; our biggest problem is that people have rejected the political structure God designed for His people. When you understand that we as humans are hard-wired to benefit most from Eastern feudal organization, it’s not hard to see where the Church went wrong. A history of flawed practice and theology arises mostly from closing off the heart-mind awareness.
I’ve noted in my discussion of The Cult that a primary objective of the Judaizers was just that — destroying heart-led religion. The reliance on heart-mind awareness was simply a fundamental assumption in most of the cultural background of the entire Ancient Near East. This faculty is what lies behind the academic term “mysticism” that describes the non-rational approach of ancient Hebrew wisdom and scholarship. The rabbinical colleges didn’t simply go Greek, but they allowed the influence of Aristotle’s epistemology to turn their Hebrew religion into legalism. The fundamental element of legalism is making a god of the written record or revelation. Following this to its logical conclusion, you can find today Talmudic quotations that insist God is obliged to adhere to Scripture as if it took away His divine prerogatives to have it recorded. (Worse, the Talmud claims precedence over the Old Testament as Scripture.) This was an idea carried over from Medo-Persian imperial policy (the earliest recorded incidence of such thinking) and wholly foreign to a more ancient Hebrew approach. In the end, Jehovah is no longer the living God, but a weak caricature of Jewish imagination.
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