Ignorance Is Not Bliss
Guest Writer: Minister Audrey Algere’
Many years ago, when I first arrived in Louisiana, I was speaking with a young man about the history of African-Americans. Enthusiastically, I discussed how our future could be better and listed the changes that we needed to make to be successful in our endeavors. He stopped me in mid-sentence and reminded me that in order to move forward with our future that we have to know and understand our past. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know our past and believe that the hard of work of those who sacrificed for us is irrelevant.
This rings true when it comes to the study of early church history and the Bible. Some individuals believe that knowing about church history and especially, the Old Testament is not relevant and that we must focus only on the New Testament when it comes to following Christ. How can one know God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit without knowing how all of this began? The Old Testament is the epitome of a true and solid foundation for humanity. It provides a snapshot of the magnificence of God as well as the accounts of creation (world), Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and so many other significant people and events that helped to shape and mold our knowledge of church history today. God, being the foundation of everything, put in motion the plan He had for us. Here are three reasons why history, and especially church history, is important to study.
- With God being the foundation, early church history provides an opportunity for one to begin to understand and know His sovereignty. We can see God in action, all the way from Adam and Eve to His interactions with many of the Old Testament people. Since the establishment of time, God desired us to worship and to exalt Him. Although on many occasions in our history this did not occur, God remained a loving, kind, and patient Father. He disciplined as needed, but He continued to love His people. The same is for us today. While we have sin issues, and in some cases, have ignored His will, I believe discipline is forthcoming because God is God of Love, but also a God of Judgment. This was proven over and over again with His chosen people. It is important to remember that God is constant and He never changes. God is the same yesterday, today, and will be the same forevermore.
- Studying church history allows us to be mindful of the past so that we would not repeat past errors in the future. As we know, the Israelites, who were God’s chosen people, consistently disobeyed God’s laws. As a result, God allowed heathen kings and nations to punish them. The punishment repeatedly served to bring the Israelites back into the arms of God. Church history has consistently documented the events of the Flood (Noah) and Sodom and Gomorrah. When we ignore the past, it will cause us to miss the many lessons that were taught, both good and bad, by people who were in direct contact with God. Since there is nothing new under the sun, we are destined to repeat the past unless we study, learn, acknowledge, and change our direction.The Old Testament allows one to know God’s expectations for His people. His expectation for us was provided through laws and the Commandments. Additionally, Biblical history teaches us about being obedient to God while presenting illustrations of those who followed and obeyed, such as Moses, Noah, Abraham, and so many more. God expects us to obey Him and keep His covenant. Scripture clearly divulges what happened when people departed from God. They were severely punished. One would think that knowing this would prevent nations today from departing from God. Unfortunately, America has not hearkened the past and instead have chosen to evict God. So what will eventually happen to America?
- We live in a time of trials, tribulations, struggles, and many setbacks. Encouragement may be difficult to attain from others because so many people are encountering many of the same situations. Nonetheless, church history and the Bible are a great place to receive encouragement. My favorite Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5- 6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. This verse tells the reader that one should depend on God for everything we encounter. We cannot trust ourselves because we are weak, fallible human beings. Moreover, while we are trusting God, we should acknowledge that it is because of Him that we exist, and He will lead us in the right direction every time.
When we study church history and the Bible as a whole we will discover a plethora of information to live our lives by. This study will allow us to understand and know the sovereignty of God. We can avoid current problems and situations by not repeating errors of the past. The knowledge of early church history confirms God’s expectations and helps us to be obedient to His will and His ways. Lastly, one can find encouragement and love while delving into the most evocative and distinguished history of humanity.
Audrey Algere’ have been married to Edgar Algere’, Jr. for 22 years. She is the mother of four adult children. Audrey is a veteran of the United States Navy. In 2002, she was ordained as a minister. She is the founder and overseer of Visionary Christian Ministries. In addition, Audrey has been a certified teacher for 17 years. She has written two books, “Using Your Foundation for Elevation” and “Flawed System, Flawed Product”. Finally, she has three degrees: Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education, Master of Arts in Organizational Management, and Master of Science in Education Leadership in Educational Administration.