Thursday, January 21, 2010

Understanding the Seven Church of Revelation

I was listening to a talk show that I follow online, and the host started talking about the theory that the Seven Churches of the Revelation of John each represent Seven Eras of the Church. it is an interesting theory, and I have looked at it a little but not much. it never really fully convinced me but sounded, well neato.

So as I was listening to the host talk about this theory I realized why this theory never completely convinced me of its truthfulness. it is only focused on the western church. it completely ignores the Orthodox Church (and the Coptic Church).

If this theory is to be understood it would have to at least take into account the Orthodox Church. Because when we take this into account it completely changes what the Universal Church Looked like from the time of the great schism (1054) to the time of the Reformation (1521).

Now I point this out because the talk show host said that one of the eras was identified by there being only one person or one man in charge of the church. This would be in reference to and only to the western church, so forget the eastern (aka Orthodox Church) and the Coptic church (Egyptian Church). Because the patriarchs were still very much "in charge" of the Eastern Church. in fact the Eastern Orthodox Church had by this time long believed that the Roman Church (or Latin Church or Western church) was an anathema. for the the center of religion had moved from Rome, to Constantinople eventually to Moscow which was for a time called the Third Rome.

And of course both majoy branches of the church completely forgot about the Coptic Church.

Taking this into account does it simply adjust the theory of the seven churches or does it completely discredit the theory that each of the seven churches in the revelation of John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, are representative of the different eras the church would go through? Well I don't know I look to those who are much smarter then me who read my ranting here on the blog and in the world of face book to sort that out.

1 comment:

matthew said...

I don't think there is much validity to that theory overall, though there are some interesting parallels. But given the purpose (directed toward the original audience), that theory is only AT BEST a secondary level possibility.

I think your critique is a very good one among the many that could probably be given against that theory