by G. D. Andreano
The Problem of History
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” – 2 Th 2:15
A third reason I left Protestantism follows the second, which is the perpetual schism that occurs because of an ignorance of Christian history.
The problem is, in practice, Protestants have adopted sola scriptura at the expense of history and tradition. If one allows themselves to believe scripture (as interpreted by oneself) is all that matters, then it is no wonder why there is so much division. If you asked the average Protestant to start with Jesus and quickly name all the church leaders up to present day, they will say something like
“Jesus, the apostles, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, my dad.”
If they are of a more Arminian tradition, just replace Calvin and Spurgeon with Westley and Finney. The point is, in two thousand years of history, the only patristic source people can name is Augustine, and that was eye-opening to me. It shows how most Protestant traditions are not educating people about basic history.
To describe my spiritual journey of time travelling through Protestantism, I’ll again use the hotel analogy:
I began at the top floor. The top floor is the most recently renovated, with more modern Protestant traditions that were established in the 20th century. As I progressed in my spiritual journey, I traveled back in time through history to earlier traditions (This represents descending the floors of the ‘Protestant hotel’). I needed to get to the lowest “Reformation” level to realize that my travels have been all too short-sighted. Why descend one level at a time when I could just take the elevator all the way down?
It was not until this point when I discovered that the only thing below the Reformation level was the Anglican lobby. When I entered the lobby, I realized my home was not established at the time of Christ. Rather, it was established much later. When I looked at the wall and saw the date of establishment, I realized I had been living in the wrong building the entire time. The writing on the wall said this hotel was built in the 16th century. So, after a few years sitting at one of the lobby computers, I began searching for directions to my true home (established in the 1st century).
I thanked the hotel staff for their hospitality and said my goodbyes.