What about Christianity is better with multiple versions? By “better” I mean closer to Scriptural truth and teaching?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of God?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of the Trinity?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of Jesus?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of the atonement?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of salvation?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of justification?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of Heaven?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of Hell?
Would Christianity be better with multiple versions of marriage?
Is Christianity better for having multiple versions of Christianity?
And what if the versions were by definition 99% the same and only 1% different? It seems throughout history that in each of the above cases multiple versions led to multiple schisms, fractures, and splits within the Church.
Yet where do we get our distinctively Christian definitions of all the above – of God, the Trinity, Jesus etc.? From the Scriptures and yet we are told to believe that multiple versions of the Scripture, of the source of all our distinctly Christian Theological deliverances, is healthy and unifying for God’s people.
But we know that multiple versions are not, even apart from the text and tradition debate. Consider the fact that the pastor reads a version and congregants read a different version and as such are not untied. One version is used in Sunday Service, one in Sunday School, another for family devotions and perhaps another for personal devotions. First Presbyterian reads one version and First Baptist reads another and the local non-denom church read another.
One Sunday your pastor reads from one version and the next Sunday he preaches from another version and the Sunday after that he may preach from yet another. Scholars read one version and children learning to read learn from another. Your grandfather read from one version. You read from another and your son will probably read from yet another. You read one version and your spouse reads another. Your church reads one version and your college another and each chapel speaker reads from another.
If your grandfather believed in one version of salvation and you a different version and your son a different version still, would we call such a thing “healthy” and “uniting”? If you believed in one version of the virgin brith and your pastor in a different version, would that be the recipe for spiritual vitality in the church?
In God’s economy of revelation isn’t the Bible just as important as the Apostolic Message seeing the Bible is the means whereby God has chosen to communicate the Apostolic Message to us? What if we had multiple versions of the Apostolic Message, of the Gospel? Paul tells us,
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:6-7
What accounts as “another gospel?” In sum, anything that is not identical with the Apostolic Message.
So in the present day, we are being told that we can’t have multiple versions of the Gospel but oddly enough we are being told, nay, being shamed into believing, that we should have multiple versions of the epistemic source of the Gospel. And if we can have multiple versions of the epistemic source of the Gospel, then we could just as easily have multiple versions of the ontological source of the Gospel. That is, multiple versions of Jesus. And before you pull up the reins in disbelief just take a look at the popularity of The Chosen among everyday Christians. If you can believe a 99% Bible is a 100% Bible then you can believe a 99% Christ is a 100% Christ especially given the fact that the Bible leaves out a whole bunch of stuff about the life of Christ, indeed, most of His life.