Church History

“If you don’t know history, you’re are doomed to repeat it.” I remember hearing this quote from George Santayana many years ago and it makes me think about how we all tend make choices based on what we have learned from our past. There’s something really valuable about knowing where you have come from. From a national perspective, we might teach students about the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, and the reasons why our country is uniquely designed. These are important topics for a U.S. Citizen to understand because it forms the foundation of our society. But what I really like to study is church history because I have found that many of the movements and denominations over the centuries have made the same basic mistakes and, as a result, I don’t think they ever achieved everything God had planned for them. Sadly, we see the same mistakes pop up throughout the centuries and the most common ones I have seen are an attempt to control what Holy Spirit is trying to do, having pride in being God’s “chosen vessel”, and not equipping others to carry the movement forward. These are all mistakes that we could easily avoid with one simple shift of our focus away from ourselves and onto what God wants to do. I don’t think anyone intentionally tries to control God or seeks to make pride part of their lifestyle but it’s easy to let our eyes drift onto the mission we have been given and off of the one who gave us the mission; even the slightest drift can have disastrous effects. Just take a look at the life of William Branham, who had a powerful gift of healing and words of knowledge, but let his desire to teach change his focus and ultimately resulted in creating a lot of confusion. There are plenty of other examples that we can study so that we don’t fall into the same traps. I have come to love church history and I keep a lot of books on the shelf that help me to see where we have been and where we are headed. I hope that these signs help me to keep my focus where it needs to be so that I can accomplish everything I was created to do. Don’t be doomed to repeat history, study up on the past and you will be prepared to successfully navigate the challenges ahead.

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