The Kingdom of God in history remains intact, even when human accretions hide its innate Power and Glory. Like the many re-touches of Da Vinci’s Last Supper through the centuries, Christianity remained intact but with its pristine energy and attractiveness covered. That led to the Cause Camouflaged.
This blog mentions only one of many other practices that corrupted Biblical Christianity into a darkened, vain imitation of Christ’s blindingly brilliant FAITH! Replacing the universal priesthood of believers of I Peter 2:9 serving others with a limited priesthood assuming spiritual authority over bothers began the decline. The Savior’s exaltation of the 70 that he sent to preach in his name should have prevented an ordained priesthood. Indeed, he saw Satan’s fall in their success—not in the earlier success of his twelve disciples Luke 10:17-23. And, seeing verse 23 as the conclusion of his appraisal, the victory of lay believers being spiritual giants should have warned ambitious churchmen from assuming that only they could master the Christian life.
The selection of seven disciples as deacons reinforced Christ’s earlier praise of laymen Acts 6:1-7. Paul’s epistle to the Philippians emphasized the local nature of leadership: deacons and elders/overseers/bishops—the latter three words referring to the same in function in a local church.
This is but one departure from New Testament teaching that hid Christ’s persuasive excellence from view. Ends Part VI