Are You Ready For Some History ?


Organizations

An organization is founded or begun, by people.  Microsoft, the computer software giant, was started by two people, Bill Gates and Paul Allen.  Although extremely successful, Microsoft is barely thirty years old, so will only be used here as an example of how an organization can start

Another example, of many possible, is Ford Motor Company.  Started by Henry Ford, with the help of investors, in 1903, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous production for 107 years.

Then there are entities that have a larger number of ‘founders.’  Take the United States, as an example.  The Second Continental Congress, convening in May 1775, had fifty-six members, and is generally considered the founding of the United States.

An even older group would be the Christian Church.  Ostensibly founded by the twelve apostles after the crucifixion of Jesus, this organization, having been around for over 1800 years, would appear to have survived both growing pains and the test of time.

Growing pains, in this context, is really about who controls the organization.  In the, so called, Christian church, in the first one to two hundred years after the death of Jesus, there was a serious and concerted power struggle over control of the “message of the universal (catholic) church.”

Original intent, a term popular today when speaking of the U.S. Constitution, was applied to the twelve apostles by the generation that followed ca 100 – 200 whose leaders were Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Tertullian of Carthage and others.  From the Irenaeus entry in Wiki (my ems):

Irenaeus’ best-known book, Adversus Haereses or Against Heresies (c. 180) is a detailed attack on Gnosticism, which was then a serious threat to the Church, and especially on the system of the Gnostic Valentinus.  As one of the first great Christian theologians, he emphasized the traditional elements in the Church, especially the episcopate, Scripture, and tradition.  Irenaeus wrote that the only way for Christians to retain unity was to humbly accept one doctrinal authority—episcopal councils.  Against the Gnostics, who said that they possessed a secret oral tradition from Jesus himself, Irenaeus maintained that the bishops in different cities are known as far back as the Apostles — and none of them were Gnostics — and that the bishops provided the only safe guide to the interpretation of Scripture.  His writings, with those of Clement and Ignatius, are taken to hint at papal primacy.  Irenaeus is the earliest witness to recognition of the canonical character of all four gospels.

This group represents the “orthodox” position and they won.  They supported a rigid ‘bishops, priests and deacons’ hierarchy.
were opposed by the “gnostics” who believed in “traditions about Jesus that are secret, hidden from ‘the many’ who constitute what, in the second century, came to be called the ‘catholic church.’ ”

History is written by the winners and up until the discoveries in Egypt in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, the only history we had of the beginnings of Christianity was the “official, orthodox” version put out by the Christian church.

Now, fortunately, we are able to see that there were various forms of Christianity in the three hundred or so years following the death of Jesus and how that shook out prior to Constantine.

And, more importantly to this discussion, we can juxtaposition that shaking out with the various political factions in the United States in their attempts to “find a more perfect union” under various interpretations of the U.S. Constitution.

Let’s agree that the ideas embedded in the founding of our country took written form in the last quarter of the eighteenth century.  That would include Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and I’m sure others of which I am unaware.

So, we’ve had this experiment going on in the USA for about 220 years.  Sometimes the more liberal factions (enlightened?) make progressive changes and hold sway for some years. At other times, those that want less change work to turn back the clock.

We are in a “turn-back-the-clock” era now.  The moneyed people behind this are the ones that got Reagan elected president. So they have been working at this process for something over 35 years.

Here are two current posting explaining part of my posit.  First from MaHa, then Kevin Drum.

How it ends, who will write the history, what recent events, SCOTUS decisions will prove to be key, we do not know.  What is known for sure those who do not learn from history are DOOMED to repeat it!

I will not be a passive observer.

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