Church Changes Over Time

Here are a few examples in which the Church argued, fought, and changed:

1.     All believers must be circumcised and follow the dietary laws.[1] Paul, Peter, and James pushed to eliminate the requirement for new male believers to be circumcised and eat Kosher. No one debates this in Christianity today.

2.     The sun and stars revolve around the Earth.[2] Galileo paid the price for this change by spending his life following his 1633 conviction for heresy under house arrest. No non-nitwits dispute the scientific proof against this one.

3.     The Earth is about 6,000 years old. Since the early Church, religious scholars counted the years in the genealogies and stipulated a year of creation and of Christ’s second coming. Even Isaac Newton, in the early 1700s, worked on an Earth chronology with the 6,000-year assumption. Then James Hutton, the father of modern geology, realized the Earth is much older.[3] Most scientists today agree the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, though some Christians still hold to the 6,000-year age.

4.     Everything has been the subject of debate. Musical instruments, types of music, styles of dress, Sunday School, alcohol, tobacco and many other things have been debated in the Church over the years since Christ’s resurrection.

What are we fighting about now? Acceptance of homosexuality is a big one. When people are asked about their impressions of Christians, they generally don’t talk about our amazing charity. They see us as judgmental, hypocritical, anti-homosexual, and boring.[4] Much of that sentiment comes back to homosexuality.

Most Christians believe the Bible states clearly that homosexuality is a sin. That’s what I thought. Then a friend asked me if I remembered the first time I saw a Playboy magazine. I did. I remembered that strong attraction and something funny going on in my pants. I was like, “Stand back, I don’t know how big this thing is gonna get.” Turns out I had nothing to worry about.

But then my friend asked me to consider if I would have had that sexual attraction when I saw men in a magazine. I realized I didn’t make a choice to be attracted to women, I just was. I started to feel empathy for the folks who felt same sex attraction and were told it’s a sin. I decided to read the entire Bible, paying close attention to sex and marriage.

[1] Acts 15:1-29

[2] Psalms 93:1, Psalms 96:10, Psalms 104:5, I Chronicles 16:30, Joshua 10:13, and Ecclesiastes 1:5

[3] Jack Repcheck, The Man Who Found Time, (New York, NY: Basic Books of Perseus Books Group, 2009), 152. Jack is my grandson’s other grandfather.

[4] David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, “unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity... And Why It Matters,”