The Body of Christ has chosen the influence of politics over a progressive revelation, those both left and right of center. A symptom of religion repositioning itself in front of true spiritual discernment. This often occurs over centuries, as a hierarchical codependency is created by leaders in the Institutional church. Their downline ministers dependent on systemic reinforcement for their sources of income, benefits and sadly, even personal fellowship. The true innovators jump ship first, mostly now independent.
Then in some cases we are limited by a a deliberately sown fear of violating the language of scripture, this God breathed text, its language held so sacred and culturally fixed that we may have already lost one, if not three of the next generations. All this even after Pentecost, as recorded in Acts, testified to the need for a new language.
The O.T. message, thoroughly imbedded with a culture of tribalism, and idolatry, one hardly seen as relevant, yet it mysteriously contains a critical and again, a progressive revelation that points clearly to a Messiah, the Christ.
And, even though the New Testament (added to the Canon in the 2nd Century by Eusebius) fulfilled that very mystery foretold within the Old, we still struggle to walk away from the Law, a schoolmaster only as Paul described it, yet so tightly woven into our hermeneutics that at times the Church regresses.
The New Testament clearly speaks of the Spirit as the true source of revelation, though the scriptures remain a valuable tool..."All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." II Tim. 3:16-17).
My fifty years of reading bears that out as true.
The New Testament language was also framed around a critical transition from a fearful, but assumed wrath appeasing offering of something dear to please the Creator. This was a necessary step to move mankind out of idolatry and yes, brutal child sacrifice. In the Old Testament the substitutionary Lamb until Christ had come, the Good News!
At Pentecost, the Body of Christ was empowered with a new language, an heavenly one, along with an even more progressive revelation, as sacrifice was no longer required, for "Christ in us" was now the "hope of glory."
For decades the gifts of the Spirit and those exercising these gifts would not be controlled by religion, and the message spread across Europe, so aligned with the revelation of the sacrificial Lamb.
By 337 A.D., the age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire and Christianity. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople after himself. It would later become the capital of the empire for over one thousand years; for this reason the later Eastern Empire would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire. Faced with controlling nations conquered, while navigating the passions of multiple faiths, himself rumored to have been converted (no one sure), he empowered the Universal Church, calling for distribution of the Canon, perhaps as a book of order and religion won again. Afterwards, the Orthodox Church would split into East and West in 1050 A.D.
Later, Jan Hus in the 1400's, Luther 100 years later and afterwards still, the Wesley brothers discovered there was more. Eventually, the Pentecostal renewal broke out in the early 1900's. Yet that renewal soon divided again over racial barriers shortly after Azusa Street and a black pastor, William Seymour.
By then, the United States was home to Episcopalians, Baptists, Antibaptists, Methodists, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Disciples of Christ, Assemblies of God and the list goes on as religion again wins.
The Institutional Church in America, estimated in 2020 with 380,000 edifices, each with a some variant yet fixed doctrinal seems ess valued than ever. One stat offering that only 37% of Millennials see the I.C. as beneficial.
Meanwhile, there is a renewal of hope and a hunger for wisdom emerging in the marketplace as God has seeded the globe with ideation among a growing number of faith oriented entrepreneurs.
Now if we can only agree on a language, one suitable and flexible enough to communicate this ever expanding revelation of who God is across the multiple generations now alive on our planet!