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1.This should be addressed to Lashundra Hunt
The Church’s first Council revealed several differences when it came to ideas of ministry and mission between Paul and the Church in Jerusalem. Some of the differences was that the Jewish Christians believed you had to be circumcised in order to save the new convert. They also felt like the convert should be Jews before they become Christians, but Paul felt different about this (Harris, 2014). I think there are several reasons how this could be helpful with todays churches. One of the ways is reading Luke and finding out bout how to make things peaceful when it comes to different religious. The way Galatians Chapter one help us understand this is by showing how Paul talked about no other Gospel and the things Jesus Christ had did. Sadducees and Pharisees were both political interest groups. The Zealots where people who defended the Law of Moses and the Essenes where Jewish that came from the Sadducees.
Harris, S.L. (2014). The New Testament: A Student’s Introduction (8th ed.). Dubuque: McGraw-Hill Education.
2. This should be addressed to Jimmie Horton
The early church differed in opinion regarding Gentiles being required to be circumcised in order to be considered saved and a part of the household of faith. It was customary by Jewish tradition and governed by Christian Pharisees that those who desired to partake in the rite of Holy Communion must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses (Harris, 2014). This ritualistic act also sealed the covenant relationship as one with a birthright into the kingdom of God which was a covenant promise extended to Abraham by God himself. Thus, if Gentiles were to be considered as a part of the church, they too must be circumcised. In essence, to reap the benefits of the Jews once must first become a Jew. Paul and Barnabas did not agree and Paul made it a point to note in his writings that he had no such agreement. It is duly noted that Peter, who was by now a leader of great influence in the Jerusalem church, ultimately made the final decision. He stipulated that the Gentiles were not required to be circumcised but must adhere to other religious practices, in particularly, restrictions of eating meat prior to blood drainage and refraining from promiscuity and sexual misconduct. It appears that Peter listened intently and observed. Afterwards, he saw a way to prevent dissension among believers and supported them in their interpretation but also required them to remain true to other practices. This happy medium was devised in godly wisdom to reduce or diminish the extreme sexual acts of the Gentiles and their devout ritual behaviors of sacrificial animal offerings to other Gods. So yes, we could use some of the same wisdom of active listening, understanding, and mediation in resolving matters of differences found among modern day churches.
Pharisees were seen as traditionalists who followed the Law of Moses but also held true to the practices of the elders, whereas, the Sadducees were those who strictly interpreted the Law of Moses and not tradition. The Essenes were a Jewish cohort who underwent a two to three-year strict process of commitment to celibacy, piety, and truthfulness in order to be eligible for membership into this reserved sect. The Zealots shared similar theological beliefs as the Pharisees but had a strong political influence and were deemed violent in nature of those who opposed any form of Judaism (Palmer, Lawrence, Littlejohn, Smith, Southern & Thomas, 2008). As you can see, each group had strict rules, practices and stipulations that made it a daunting task to live without breaching some order at some point in time. In reading Colossians 3, Paul writes to the church of Colossians to remind them of the freedom they now have after being delivered from the law and how difficult it was to adhere to all the restrictions. He encourages them to refrain from returning back to what appeared as tyranny by church leaders and politicians who created a divide among them based on religion, social class, and race. As a believer in Christ, they were now free and seen as one with Christ. He stressed they were to move about in grace and extend the same forgiveness toward others for which they had freely received. In other words be a walking epistle or exemplify the Christian principles that had been granted towards them.
Harris, S. L., (2014). The New Testament: A Student’s Introduction (8th ed.). Dubuque: McGraw-Hill Education.
Palmer, A., et al. (2008). The Life of Christ: Rediscovering how his life, death, and resurrection changed the world. The American Bible Society. Time Inc. Home Entertainment Publishing.