Selasa, 03 Februari 2009


February 2

"Jesus said unto him, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus said: How can a man be born when he is old?"-- Joh_3:3-4.

MARVEL NOT! said Jesus to Nicodemus--but notwithstanding, it is difficult not to marvel at the wonder and mystery of the New Birth.
Birth, as in the case of the little chick, is emergence. His the emergence of a tiny creature from darkness and confinement into the great world, with its over-arching blue, its mantle of green, and its abundant wealth. So the mineral may be born into the vegetable, the vegetable into the animal, the animal into the human, the human into the divine. But in each case the process is the same. We are born from above. (See marginal reading of A.V. and R.V. in Joh_3:3-7.) In other words, the kingdom above us must stoop down and take us into union with itself.
This new birth from above is the heavenward side of Faith. Just as the outstretched hand has two sides to it, the palm and the back, so the act by which we are incorporated into Life Eternal has two sides to it--the angels speak of it as being born into the Life of God; we describe it as trusting Jesus Christ for salvation. If we are believing--trusting in Him--we are born from above. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." To them that receive Him, Jesus gives the right to become the sons and daughters of God. "Now are we the sons of God."
This is the mystery of the New Birth. "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in Thy Book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high, I cannot attain to it." It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He, the First-Born from among the dead, shall appear, we shall be like Him!
It is a marvel, that in some mysterious manner we awake to find ourselves attached by the ties of birth and nature to this wonderful world. What are we? Whence came we! What is the true significance of this discipline of pain and weariness intersected with joy and gladness--we cannot tell! But is it not more marvellous that we should find ourselves belonging to that Eternal World through Jesus Christ our Lord; that He is the Ladder linking this world to His own, and that where He is, we shall be also?

We thank Thee, O Saviour, that Thou hast taught us to know Thee, and to love Thee; but we thank Thee most of all for adopting us into Thy family, and making us the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. May we walk as children of Light, and go through the world fulfilling the ministries of Heaven. AMEN.

Jumat, 30 Januari 2009


"That disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter: It is the Lord."-- Joh_21:7.

LOVE WILL see most quickly. James was there, full of practical commonsense; Thomas also, who doubted, but afterwards believed; Peter, who wanted to die with Him, but afterwards denied Him; and the rest of them; but it was John whom Jesus loved, and who afterwards became the Apostle of Love, that first recognised the Master, whether by the intonation of His Voice, or the thoughtfulness of His inquiry, or the readiness of His help, does not appear. The intuitions of love are as sure as they are swift. Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish. None of these things will help as much when we come to that last hour. But Love will never fail, and those who have loved will see most quickly, most certainly, most satisfyingly.

It is Love that unites us, and we believe that Jesus is as eager for the hour to come when we shall be with Him where He is, as we are to get there. Do you not believe that the friend who has come to the landing-stage to greet you, after a long voyage, is even more eager than you are to see that breadth of water dwindle from miles to furlongs and furlongs to yards? Do you think that Peter thought the water cold, when he plunged in, or that he would spoil his fisher's coat? Will not the chill of the river be forgotten when at last we see Jesus just beyond?

In that fair morning we shall recognise and help each other. The disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Peter, "It is the Lord," and gave him the preference! Surely John would have been excused by all the rest, if he had immediately cast himself into the sea and had met Jesus first! But no! He knew how Peter had suffered, how he longed for the chance to do something to obliterate the past, how he would prize the few extra moments of private fellowship; and so he said, "It is the Lord," knowing full well what an effect would be produced on his impulsive friend.

That probably is the etiquette of Heaven! We sometimes suppose that there will be such a throng there, that we shall not be able to get near the Lord. But the greatest saints will always be the humblest and the kindest. They will come to the outer ranks, where some of us may have to stand, and say, "Come, take my place!" John will say to Peter, "It is the Lord."

Impart unto me, O God, I pray Thee, the spirit of Thy Love, that I may be more anxious to give than to receive, more eager to understand than to be understood, more thoughtful for others, more forgetful of myself. AMEN.

Rabu, 28 Januari 2009


"When the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus."-- Joh_21:4.

THE PREVIOUS evening had been full of interest and hope. Those seven fishermen had long been separated from their craft, and thinking probably that they were not to see their Master again, they betook themselves, with considerable zest, to the shore of the Lake. They entered the old familiar boat, and that night they caught nothing! It was the last fishing expedition they were to have. They were to navigate other waters, use other nets, and sail under other skies. The greatness of their disappointment was to block the door in that direction and open it in another. No longer fishermen on the shores of Galilee, but shepherds, pasturing their flocks on the celestial mountains, whence views are to be obtained, in fair weather, of the Eternal City. Has your life been a disappointment? Did you start out, years ago, with good heart and hope? Perhaps the winds were soft, the starlight brilliant, and there was a chance of the moon breaking through. But the sky soon clouded over, and the years have gone wearily! It isn't that you have been idle, but for some reason everything has miscarried; and now there seems nothing for it but to land on the shore of Eternity, as Paul did on the shore at Malta. But do not be too sure of this! When the morning breaks on that coastline, it is more than likely that you will see Jesus standing on the beach. He will know the time of your arrival, and will come down to meet you, as He did for the first martyr, Stephen, and has done for a multitude beside. It is very pleasant, as in the big ship, you emerge from the night, to see familiar faces greeting you, or even one dear face with a smile of welcome awaiting your coming! It may happen to be the landing-stage at New York, Bombay, Melbourne, or Liverpool, but what a difference it makes! And when the Day of days shall break, and the shadows flee away, and the little boat of our life grates on the shore, it will be good indeed to see Christ standing there, with His outstretched hand to welcome, to help us disembark, to lead us to the prepared place on which He has expended thought and care. "I go to prepare a place for you I will come again to receive you unto Myself."

Suffice it if--my good and ill unreckoned,
And both forgiv'n through His abounding grace--
I find myself by hands familiar beckoned
Unto my fitting place.


"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."-- Rev_3:20.

DO NOT forget the majesty and glory of Him who asks for admission!

In the following verse, He declares that He is able to give the right of sitting with Himself on His Throne. He stands, that some day we may sit! O child of two worlds, shut your ear to the chatterings and noise of this passing age, and listen to Him who stands at the door of your life and knocks!

Of course, we know that the Saviour never withdraws Himself from hearts that are really His own. He abides in them, as they abide in Him. But with us there may be ebbs as well as flows. The current may drop from feet to inches. The light may linger in the sky, while clouds obscure the face of the sun. The heat of the body may remain, but the extremities may become chilled. It is under these circumstances that the Lord of all worlds comes to the door of our poor tenement, and stands, and knocks, and asks for admission!

We may expect His knock when our love is cooling. Once our hearts beat quickly when we heard His approaching step; now, when He is at hand, we keep Him waiting on the doorstep till His head is filled with dew, and His locks with the drops of night. Do we not all know what it is to be "neither hot nor cold"? Somehow our heart has gone dead! It is then that we may expect to hear the knock of Christ. He only asks us to admit Him and He will restore the soul to love, and love to the soul.

We may expect His knock when we must go forth from this world. The moment comes when the post will present us with a letter like that received by Christiana: "The Master expecteth thee to stand in His Presence, in clothes of immortality, within ten days." The same summons will come to Mr. Honest and Mr. Ready-to-halt; to Mr. Despondency and to Miss Much-afraid; to Mr. Stand-fast and Mr. Valiant-for-truth. But in each case there will be the accompanying knock of Jesus, saying: "Fear not, I will be with you. I have called you by your name, you are Mine." (Isa_43:1).

We thank Thee, O God, that Thy love has come to us in a human Form, that it shines from the Face of the Man Christ Jesus, and speaks to us in gentle tones we can understand. We thank Thee that He stands at the low doorway of our hearts, and knocks, and waits to come in and dwell with us for ever. We humbly ask that the Holy Spirit may open our eyes more fully to behold Him, and our hearts more ardently to love and welcome Him. AMEN.

Minggu, 25 Januari 2009


"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: Be zealous therefore and repent. Behold I stand at the door, and knock."-- Rev_3:19-20.

CHRIST KNOCKS at the door when His Judgments are in the earth. That God has arisen to shake mightily the earth is hardly doubtful. This is a day of the Lord of Hosts, when judgments are abroad upon all that is proud and haughty, upon the cedars and the oaks, upon the high mountains and the uplifted hills. But it is at such a time that He draws near to reassure us (Isa_2:11-21; Joe_3:16).

On the eve of the overthrow of the Cities of the Plain, He came to the door of Abraham's tent, partook of his fare, and gave promises of assurance to himself and Sarah which unfolded the Divine Purpose. Standing before the Lord, Abraham was prepared for the tragedy of the morrow, and was permitted an intimacy in which he seemed possessed by a passion for God's rectitude and righteous dealing.

Do not fear the things that are coming, but open to Him who knocks for admission. He has come to spend the dark hours in your fellowship, as a mother runs to her child's cot, when a sudden thunderstorm sweeps the sky.

Christ knocks when we are preparing for some great task. You are going forth on one of His errands, and expect misunderstanding or opposition, or you are uncertain as to your reception. Like Moses, you say: "Send by whom Thou wilt send, but let it not be by me." With Jeremiah, you plead: "I am a child, I cannot speak." Like the Apostles, you have to face a world in arms. At such a time, He waits at the door to encourage and inspire. On the night following the upheaval in the Sanhedrin, where Paul was nearly torn to pieces, the Lord stood by him, and said: "Be of good cheer!"

Christ knocks when bereavement enters our homes. We all know what it is to be full of longing "for the beloved ones, whom we cannot reach by deed or token, gesture or kind speech." The ship's masts have sunk below the rim of the horizon, in the sunset, and we turn back to homes out of which all light has gone. It is then that you may surely expect a gentle knock at the door, and He who came to Bethany when Lazarus died, that He might mingle His tears with those of the sisters, will certainly come to the door of your heart, and knock for admission that He may help to fill the gap.

Come nearer to us than the nearest. Enter our hearts, saying, Fear not, I am with thee, I will help thee. Give us all that we need to enable us to fight the good fight, add finish our course with joy. AMEN.



"He is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them."-- Heb_7:25.

THE ATTRACTION of the Divine Nature. We draw near because we are drawn. As the sun is ever exerting a drawing power on each planet and each particle of stardust in the solar system, so God is ever attracting us to Himself. To all eternity we shall be ever drawing nearer to Him, though there will be ever an infinite distance to traverse. When Jesus was lifted up on the Cross He began to draw all men unto Himself, and that magnetic attraction has continued through the centuries.

There is no reason for us to be afraid of God. He is Love! He is a consuming fire to our sin, but His Nature is essentially lovely. Moses exceedingly feared when he ascended Sinai, amid the trembling of the mountain and the heavy clouds that enclosed the Divine Light. But, as we learn from the 12th chapter of this Epistle, when we approximate to God, we encounter three circles. The innumerable Hosts of Angels, including the Cherubim and Seraphim, with their burning love and purity! The Church of the First-born, the purest and noblest of elect spirits! The Spirits of the Just made perfect, inclusive of our own beloved ones that have passed over. Surely where these are, we may venture without fear. The God in whom they live and move and have their being cannot be other than infinitely beautiful to know and love. Lord, Thou hast been the dwelling-place of all generations, and Thy secret place shall be our home for ever. "Draw us, and we will run after Thee!"

Our fears are met by the Risen and Living Saviour. First, He will ever live to make intercession for us; but next He will go on sanctifying us lower down, even to the uttermost. To the depths of our nature, He will carry His gracious work. Salvation has three stages. It begins with deliverance from the penalty of the past. Our sins are blotted out. The penalty is remitted or turned to benediction. Then we are saved lower down. The process of purification goes deeper and deeper into our nature. Finally, our body is renewed through the resurrection-grace of Christ. And surely there is a sense in which the grace of Christ will ever sink deeper, giving us a profounder realisation and participation in the things that will open before us in the eternal progress. Here we see in a glass darkly, there face to face. Here we know in part, there we shall develop in the knowledge and love of God. Salvation to the uttermost!

I draw near to Thee, Almighty and Ever-living God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, my High Priest and Mediator, who hath passed into the heavens, where He ever liveth to make intercession for sinners. Forgive and accept me for His sake. AMEN.


Jumat, 23 Januari 2009


"In the place where He was crucified, there was a Garden." -- Joh_19:41.

IT WAS in a Garden that Paradise was lost, and in a Garden it was regained! The sweet flowers of spring waved their incense-cups around the Cross, on which their Creator, to whose thought they owed their beauty, was dying for man's redemption.
Amid all the anguish of this human world, nature pursues her unbroken routine. Spring with its green, summer with its glory, autumn with its gold--these in perennial beauty carry on their unbroken succession through all the days of human sorrow. Sometimes her unchanging order almost drives men to madness. It seems as though she has no sympathy with man in his stern battle for existence! Yet surely it is better so! Our tears and strife and storm are transient, whilst the order of creation will be the basis of that "new heaven and earth" for which we wait. Yes, there were flowers at the foot of the Saviour's Cross, and they have blossomed at the foot of every cross since His!

Where there is a Cross, there will be a garden. Of course, the cross must be properly borne. We must suffer for others, not careful about ourselves. We must take the cup from the hands of the Father, even though it is presented by the hands of a Judas! We must suffer silently. No man or woman, who really suffers deeply for another's salvation, talks about it, save to God. Suffer for others in your Gethsemane-garden, and when you have been crucified after that fashion, then look for a garden in bloom. Set up a Calvary in your own heart! Let the cross there be a splint from the Cross of your Saviour! Bring thither your self-love, your ambitions, your moods and vagrant, selfish thoughts. Fasten your self-life, vain and proud as it is, to the Cross of Jesus, and let it remain there. Then in the garden of your character will arise a profusion of the rarest and sweetest flowers. If the world shuns your company, if you go lonely and unappreciated through life, yet you may find that the Lord Jesus will walk in the glades of your garden in the cool of the day, as He did in Paradise.

Your heart's a garden God has sown
To give your life the work it needed.
Some day He'll come to pluck His flowers,
So mind you keep your garden weeded.


January 22

"Now the God of Peace, make you perfect in every good thing to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ."-- Heb_13:20-21.

THE GREEK word here rendered perfect really means "to put in joint, to complete." In his original creation man's will was intended to register the Will of God, to say Yes to it, and to pass the divine impulses and commandments to the rest of our being. Sometimes on board ship, before the phone made it possible for the captain to speak to every part of the ocean-liner, I have heard Him quietly utter his orders to a subordinate officer beside him, who in turn repeated them in a loud voice through a speaking-trumpet or tube. That intermediary may represent the will which was intended to receive its directions from the Will of God, and pass them throughout the economy of our being. Such was our Lord's attitude throughout His earthly life. He said: "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me"; "I seek not My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me"; "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

But in the Fall, the dominance of God's will and the loyal response of man's will became disorganised; and the human will instead of functioning in harmony with the Will of God, began to obey the will of the flesh in its grosser or more refined forms. Not what God wills, but what "I" will, has become the working principle of the great majority. Thus it has come about that the will, by constant misuse, has become dislocated, warped, "out of joint." Tennyson says: "Our wills are ours to make them Thine!" Just so, but they are too stubborn for some of us to manage. Hence the suggestion that we should pass the matter over to the "God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus."

Sometimes at football, or on the ice, a player may lose his balance, or be tripped up, and in the fall his shoulder may become dislocated. His arm is still in the body, but out of joint, so that it hangs useless by his side, until the surgeon by one strong wrench forces the bone back into its proper place. Is not that true of us? We are in the Body of Christ by redeeming grace, but we need to be set, i.e., to be brought into articulated union with the Will of God in Christ Jesus. Let us humbly ask the great Surgeon of souls, by the pressure of His strong and gentle hands, here and now, to joint our wayward wills with the Will of God, and then to work in us and through us that which is well-pleasing in His sight!

Gracious Father! I yield to Thee my will and desires, my members and faculties, the life of my body, the thoughts of my heart, and the aspirations of my spirit--perfect, I pray Thee, that which concerneth me. AMEN.

Kamis, 22 Januari 2009


January 21

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ."-- Rom_5:17.

IT WOULD take a lifetime--nay, it will demand eternity--to explore the treasures of this paragraph from which our text is taken. Let us not, however, stand gazing into heaven, but avail ourselves of the privilege offered us during our earthly life of reigning through the One, even Jesus Christ. Do not postpone the fulfilment of this promise! We may have to wait for the future life to unfold depths of meaning which now transcend our thought; but any fair reading of this radiant verse compels us to appropriate it for here and now.

But, "how can these things be?" He, a master in Israel asked that question of Christ! This blessed life of victory is only possible to those who have been born from above. By nature we were born from below into the first Adam, who was "a living soul." We must be born from above, into the second Adam, who becomes to all who trust in Him a Life-giving spirit (1Co_15:45). That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and cannot of itself rise into the Spirit; the Holy Spirit must stoop to lift it into union with Himself. But He will do this for you, if only you will lift your heart to Christ in simple faith and surrender.

The difference it will make! Each life has been planned by God with the intention of training it for high service here and beyond; and whatever happens in life, there is always an abundance of grace awaiting our use. But how often we are as blind to it as Balaam was to the Angel that stood on the wayside! We make our plans! We lie awake half the night in a fever of anxiety! We go to this friend or that! But we do not claim that abundance of grace which is intended to meet the need of the hour. It is only as we receive it by a childlike faith that we can reign in life. That word "abundance" in its Latin original speaks of ocean-waves. Stand on the shore and look out on that infinite expanse, and do not be content with scooping up enough to fill an oyster-shell!

What will result? A royal life! If a throne means power--we are strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. If it means victory--we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. If it means largess--we have always all sufficiency in all things, and abound to every good work.

Heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the trials and pains that are ever working for my good, and making me a partaker of Thy holiness. May I receive the abundance of Thy grace, and reign in life here and hereafter. AMEN.

Rabu, 21 Januari 2009


Disesalkan bahwa kebanyakan informasi yang berhubungan dengan Paulician berasal dari musuh-musuh mereka. Sumbernya ada dua. Sumber pertama berasal dari para penulis Yunani, Photius (Adv. Recentiores Manichaeans, Hamburg, 1772) dan Petros Sikeliotes (Historia Manichaeorum qui Pauliciani, Ingolstadt, 1604), yang telah lama dikenal dan digunakan oleh Gibbon sebagai persiapan bab ke-54 karya sejarahnya gemilang. Sejak itu tidak banyak yang bisa ditambahkan dari sumber tersebut. Catatan tersebut sangat merugikan, dan meskipun Gibbon mencurigai kebencian dan racun dari para penulis itu, dan begitu banyak fitnah yang dinyatakan dengan jelas oleh penulis-penulis itu, ia sempat disesatkan oleh informasi-informasi tersebut. Ia tidak memiliki kelengkapan informasi yang dibutuhkan untuk menggambarkan secara lengkap sejarah mereka.

Sumber informasi yang kedua mengenai Paulician berasal dari daerah asalnya, Armenia dan baru-baru ini disoroti dan diberi ilustrasi. Ada sebuah buku tua Paulician yang berjudul “Key of Truth” (Kunci Kebenaran), yang disebutkan oleh Gregory Magistos pada abad sebelas. Kebetulan Mr. Fred C. Conybeare, M.A., mantan Fellow (mahasiswa tingkat doktoral yang mendapat bea siswa) of University College, Oxford, sangat tertarik dengan masalah Armenia. Ia berada di negeri tersebut untuk yang kedua kalinya pada 1891 untuk mencari dokumen-dokumen yang menggambarkan sejarah Paulician. Ia menemukan sebuah salinan “Key of Truth” di perpustakaan Holy Synod di Edjmiatzin. Ia mendapat salinan itu pada 1893; dan teks dengan terjemahan bahasa Inggris dicetak oleh Mr. Conybeare pada 1898. Ia juga menyertakan teks tersebut dengan data penting yang diterima dari sejarah Armenia dan sumber-sumber lainnya. Dapat dikatakan hal tersebut bukan saja sebuah sumber yang baru, namun merupakan sebuah sumber informasi yang sangat penting. Lama sekali Paulician baru diizinkan untuk dinyatakan, dengan patokan hanya untuk mereka sendiri. Karena itulah, kita bisa merekonstruksikan kembali sejarah Paulician.

Gereja Paulician berasal dari masa apostolik (para rasul), dan ditanamkan di Armenia pada abad pertama. “Keyakinan tersebut pasti telah menyebar ke Mesopotamia dan Persia melalui Antiokhia dan Palmyra; dan wilayah-wilayah tersebut menjadi basis keyakinan itu sementara ia menyebar di pegunungan Taurus sekitar gunung Ararat. Ini merupakan bentuk Kekristenan awal yang sederhana. Gereja-gereja di pegunungan Taurus membentuk sebuah ceruk raksasa atau bendungan bundar dimana iman Paulician mula-mula mengalir dan tertampung dan dipertahankan selama berabad-abad, karena mereka merupakan suatu bendungan air yang berasal dari sumbernya selama berabad-abad” (Bury’s edition of Gibbon’s History, VI, 543). Pusat Kekristenan yang paling awal di Armenia adalah di Taron, yang merupakan basis dan pusat operasi yang tetap kaum Paulician.
Mereka menyatakan diri berasal dari para rasul. “The Key of Truth” mengatakan:

Marilah kita berserah dengan rendah hati pada jemaat kudus semesta, dan mengikuti pekerjaan mereka yang telah bersatu pikiran dan satu iman serta mengajar kita. Karena kita masih tetap percaya dengan waktu yang tepat satu-satunya rahasia Tuhan Yesus Kristus dan Bapa Surgawi yang kudus dan sangat berharga: -- untuk bersaksi, pada saat bertobat dan dengan iman. Seperti yang telah kami pelajari dari Tuhan semesta alam dan jemaat apostolik, maka kami melanjutkan: kami membangun didalam iman sempurna mereka yang (sampai nanti) belum memiliki baptisan kudus (Catatan pinggir, maksudnya didalam bahasa Latin, Yunani dan Armenia, orang yang belum dibaptis); tidak merasakan tubuh atau meminum darah yang kudus dari Tuhan kita Yesus Kristus. Karena itu menurut Firman Tuhan, pertama kita harus membawa mereka untuk percaya, membuat mereka bertobat, dan memberikannya (Catatan pinggir, Baptisan) kepada mereka (hal. 76-77).

Mengenai butir ini, Adeney mengatakan: “Karena itu, sungguh dapat dipertahankan bahwa mereka seharusnya dihormati sebagai wakil dari kelompok Kristen yang paling primitif yang bertahan hidup” (Adeney, The Greek and Eastern Churches, 217). Selanjutnya ia mengatakan: “Kaum Baptis Oriental

purba merupakan orang-orang yang didalam banyak respek merupakan Protestan sebelum adanya Protestanisme” (Adeley, The Greek and Eastern Churches, 219).
Kaum Paulician tidak mengakui orang-orang dari kelompok lain sebagai jemaat. “Kami bukan bagian dari mereka,” kata mereka. “Mereka telah lama memutuskan hubungan dengan jemaat dan telah dikeluarkan.” Hal ini merupakan kesaksian dari Gregory Magistos, 1058 AD., yang karya sejarahnya merupakan salah satu sumber informasi utama.
Kita hanya dapat menyentuh sedikit peristiwa yang berhubungan dengan sejarah mereka. Kisah pertobatan Constantine, 660 AD. menarik. Anak muda Armenia ini menyembunyikan seorang diaken Kristen yang melarikan diri dari penganiayaan orang Islam. Sebagai balasan atas kebaikannya, ia menerima sebuah salinan Perjanjian Baru. “Kitab tersebut menjadi patokan bagi studinya dan pedoman bagi imannya; dan kaum Katolik yang berselisih dengan penafsirannya, mengakui bahwa teksnya asli dan jujur. Tetapi ia menambahkan secara khusus curahan isi hatinya kedalam tulisan tersebut dan tentang keanehan nama Paulus : dan nama Paulician berasal dari musuh-musuh mereka yang mengambil nama seseorang pemimpin yang tidak diketahui; tetapi aku yakin bahwa mereka merasa bangga dengan asal-usul mereka yang ditarik dari rasul orang-orang non-Yahudi (Rasul Paulus – penerjemah)” (Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, V, 386).
Constantine merasa bahwa ia dipanggil untuk mempertahankan dan memulihkan kembali Kekristenan yang mula-mula; karena merasa sangat terkesan dengan tulisan Paulus, ia mengambil nama salah seorang pengikutnya, Silvanus; dan gereja-gereja yang didirikannya menerima nama yang berasal dari jemaat yang mula-mula. Mereka semua dinamakan Paulician karena nama diambil dari sang rasul. Pernyataan-pernyataan kesederhanaan apostolik dari orang-orang Kristen yang taat tersebut bercerita banyak mengenai perilaku, kebiasaan, dan doktrin dibandingkan dengan buku-buku catatan yang penuh kecurigaan yang ditinggalkan oleh musuh-musuh mereka. Dengan Paulus sebagai penuntun, mereka tidak akan bergeser jauh dari kebenaran Perjanjian Baru.
Profesor Wellhausen didalam tulisan mengenai kehidupan Muhammad (Encyclopaedia Britannica, XVI, 571, edisi ke-9), memberikan sebuah catatan yang sangat menarik mengenai Baptis gurun pasir Syria-Babylonia. Ia mengatakan mereka disebut Sabian, Baptis, dan bahwa mereka melaksanakan bentuk-bentuk Kekristenan yang mula-mula. Memang, “Sabian” merupakan sebuah kata Arab yang berarti “Baptis”. Mereka sungguh-sungguh dipenuhi dengan anggota dari Syria, Palestina, dan Babylonia (Renan, Life of Jesus, bab XII). Mereka tidak tercatat didalam jalur perkembangan Kristen yang utama, dan tak tersentuh serta ketinggalan didalam kesederhanaan yang mula-mula. Muhammad banyak mengambil contoh luarnya dari mereka. Nilai ini tidak boleh diremehkan. “Hampir tidak dapat disangkal,” lanjut Prof. Wellhausen, “bahwa saksi-saksi Injil tanpa nama tersebut, yang tidak disebutkan didalam sejarah gereja, menaburkan benih yang menerjang kuman Islam.” Orang-orang Kristen tersebut adalah kaum Paulician.
Catatan sejarah yang minim ini membuktikan fakta bahwa sampai kini hal tersebut sulit untuk dimengerti. Para kaisar telah memutuskan untuk mengusir kaum Paulician dari wilayah kekuasaan mereka. Mereka mengungsi ke “daerah kekuasaan Islam pada umumnya, dimana mereka mendapat toleransi dan keyakinan mereka tetap dianggap orthodoks”. Hal ini kita dapatkan dari sang Filsuf John. Orang Arab sejak tahun 650 berhasil menolak pengaruh Roma di Armenia. Perlindungan yang sama, barangkali, memelihara gereja Paulician selama berabad-abad. Sudah jelas bahwa kaum Paulician merupakan kelompok benar dihadapan orang Arab, dan bahwa orang Islam tidak membiarkan mereka dianiaya pada masa pencobaan.
Jumlah kaum Paulician bertambah terus, dan segera menarik perhatian musuh-musuh mereka. Pada tahun 690 pemimpin mereka, Constantine, dirajam sampai mati atas perintah kaisar; dan penerus Constantine dibakar hidup-hidup. Kaisar wanita Theodora melakukan penganiayaan dimana disebutkan seratus ribu Paulician di Grecian Armenia meninggal.
Kaum Paulician pada abad kesembilan memberontak terhadap musuh-musuh mereka, mengusir Michael III, dan mendirikan negara merdeka Teprice di Armenia. Wilayah ini merupakan sebuah tempat
yang terkenal kira-kira 70 mil dari Sivas, di pinggir sungai Chalta. Mereka memberikan kebebasan berpendapat yang absolut kepada semua penduduknya (Evans, Historical View of Bosnia, 30). Dari ibukota negara merdeka ini, yang menyebut dirinya Teprice, berangkat sejumlah misionari untuk memenangkan suku-suku Slavonic dari Bulgaria, Bosnia, dan Serbia kedalam keyakinan kaum Paulician. Perihal ini ditegaskan oleh Sikeliotes. Keberhasilan mereka sangat besar – saking besarnya keberhasilan tersebut, sehingga sebagian besar penduduk negara merdeka itu bermigrasi ke negara-negara yang kemudian merdeka di luar kekuasaan kaisar. Negara Teprice berlangsung 150 tahun sampai ditaklukkan oleh kaum Saracens. Yang ada disekeliling mereka hanya penganiayaan, dan untuk diketahui – mereka sendiri kehilangan seratus ribu anggota karena penganiayaan pada masa pemerintahan Theodora – namun tetap saja diberikan perlindungan bagi semua kepercayaan maupun orang yang tidak percaya. Ini merupakan kekhasan Baptis yang menyolok.
Kaum Baptis selalu menyerukan kebebasan agama jika memiliki kesempatan. Conybeare ketika membahas Paulician, dengan jujur mengatakan:

Dan harus dicatat satu hal yang menguntungkan mereka, yakni Sistim mereka, seperti milik Kaum Cathari Eropa, ada didalam ide dasar dan konsep mereka yang bertentangan dengan penganiayaan; untuk menjadi anggota maka tergantung kepada baptisannya, yang dilakukan dengan sukarela, bahkan dengan tangis dan permohonan oleh orang dewasa yang setia dan yang sudah bertobat. Didalam jemaat demikian tidak boleh ada pemaksaan terhadap orang-orang yang tidak bersedia. Sebaliknya, alasan pokok calon yang akan dibaptis harus diteliti dengan seksama untuk memastikan bahwa hati dan pikirannya telah dimenangkan, dan hal ini semata-mata untuk menjaga apakah sesuai dengan tampak luarnya agar tidak terpedaya oleh penganiaya. Baptisan bayi merupakan salah satu akibat yang terburuk, karena dengan menciptakan keanggotaan jemaat Kristen seperti mesin dan hanya dari segi luarnya, maka baptisan menjadi murahan; sehingga meratakan jalan bagi para penganiaya (Conybeare, The Key of Truth, xii).

Pada tahun 970 Kaisar John Tzimisces memindahkan sekelompok Paulician ke Thrace dan menjamin kebebasan beragama mereka; dan hal tersebut dicatat sebagai penghargaan kepada mereka, namun sebenarnya hal tersebut adalah untuk kepentingan kaisar. Pada permulaan abad keenambelas doktrin mereka diperkenalkan dan menyebar ke seluruh Eropa, dan pengajaran-pengajaran mereka dengan cepat tertanam kuat ke negeri-negeri asing.
Di negeri Albigenses, di propinsi Selatan Perancis, Kaum Paulician berakar dengan sangat dalam, dan dari sinilah mereka melanjutkan surat-menyurat dengan saudara-saudara mereka di Armenia. Iman kepercayaan kaum Paulician “bertahan di Languedoc dan sepanjang sungai Rhine larut sebagai Kekristenan Cathar, dan barangkali juga diantara kaum Waldenses. Pada masa Reformasi, Catharisme tersebut muncul sekali lagi ke permukaan, khususnya diantara mereka yang disebut dengan Anabaptis dan Orang Kristen Unitarian, yang merupakan jemaat yang paling primitif. “The Key of Truth” dan kitab Ritual Cathar di Lyon memberikan kita dua jaringan penghubung yang besar” (Key of Truth, x).
Mereka dianiaya oleh para paus; dan segala bahan pustaka dan sumber lain yang berhubungan dengan mereka sedapat mungkin dimusnahkan. “Kumpulan-kumpulan Paulician, Albigenses yang mempunyai visi, dimusnahkan dengan api dan pedang; dan sisa-sisa yang terluka meloloskan diri dengan melawan, bersembunyi, atau menyesuaikan diri kepada Katolik. Didalam negara, didalam gereja, dan bahkan didalam biara, suksesi tersembunyi dipelihara oleh murid-murid rasul Paulus tersebut; yang memprotes tirani Roma dan memegang Alkitab sebagai ketentuan iman, serta memurnikan pengakuan iman mereka dari segala pandangan theologi Gnostik” (Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, V, 398).
Banyak sejarawan disamping Gibbon, seperti misalnya Muratori dan Mosheim menghargai kaum Paulician sebagai para pendahulu Albigenses dan dalam kenyataannya merupakan kelompok yang sama. Salah seorang sejarawan yang sudah sering dikutip adalah Profesor Conybeare, yang merupakan seorang yang paling ahli di dunia mengenai masalah Paulician. Ia memastikan bahwa garis suksesi yang sejati ada pada kaum Baptis:

Jemaat tersebut senantiasa menaati gagasan kelahiran baru secara rohani didalam baptisan, walaupun dengan membaptiskan bayi hal tersebut telah lama melemahkan dan membuang esensi baptisan. Memang signifikansi baptisan Yesus, seperti yang dinyatakan kepada rasul Paulus dan para penginjil, segera membutakan mata jemaat-jemaat orthodoks ... Masa kini kita banyak mendengar pembahasan mengenai keabsahan ordo (kelompok) dari Inggris, Latin, dan Timur. Para mahasiswa sejarah gereja yang jernih pikirannya tidak bisa tidak untuk bertanya bahwa tidak pernah muncul pertanyaan gereja-gereja Inggris yang kontroversi tersebut, betapapun juga, apakah mereka tidak berkhayal; pendeknya, apakah mereka, siapapun juga, termasuk kelompok-kelompok sejati mula-mula yang telah mereka nyatakan sebagai milik mereka itu. Berbagai sekte pada Abad Pertengahan yang dikenal sebagai orang Kristen memelihara baptisan dalam bentuk dan arti aslinya terus menerus menolak untuk mengakui keabsahan baptisan bayi dari gereja-gereja orthodoks besar atau penganiaya itu; dan tentu saja mereka ada didalam kebenaran, sejauh doktrin dan tradisi dapat dipercaya. Tidak perlu dikatakan lagi, bahwa gereja-gereja besar telah lama kehilangan baptisan yang asli, tidak layak lagi melaksanakan sakramen-sakramen, keimamatan, dan terus-terang juga termasuk Kekristenan. Jika mereka mau masuk kembali kedalam Kekristenan, mereka harus diperbaiki, bukan ke Roma atau Konstantinopel, namun kedalam jaringan-jaringan Kristen yang tidak memiliki nama, terutama di Timur, yang tidak pernah kehilangan kesinambungan sakramen baptisan. Mereka adalah kaum Paulician dari Armenia, sekte Bogomil di sekitar Moscow yang para anggotanya sendiri menyebut diri sebagai Milik Kristus, kaum Baptis dewasa (mereka yang melaksanakan baptisan orang dewasa) diantara orang Syria di lembah Tigris atas, dan barangkali, meskipun belum dapat dipastikan, yakni kaum popelikans, Mennonites, dan masyarakat luas Baptis di Eropa. Kecaman terhadap gereja-gereja besar dan disebut orthodoks tersebut kelihatannya kasar dan sok ilmiah, namun memang tidak bisa dihindari, dan kami menempatkan diri pada pijakan yang sama dengan yang mereka nyatakan. Kesinambungan baptisan lebih penting pada abad pertama dari jemaat dibandingkan dengan kesinambungan kelompok; memang demikian pentingnya, sehingga baptisan para bidatpun juga diakui sah. Seandainya penghargaan dinilai tinggi dengan rangkaian suksesi uskup yang tiada putusnya, itu adalah karena salah satu fungsi dari uskup (penilik) adalah mengawasi keutuhan upacara agama yang ada sejak mula. Berapa jelek para penilik (uskup) dari gereja-gereja besar itu melaksanakan tugasnya, memang tidak seberapa, setelah abad ketiga mereka bahkan memahaminya, terlihat didalam perkembangan yang tidak dapat dipastikan, dari tahun 300 AD dan seterusnya, tentang penyalahgunaan upacara baptisan, yang timbul tidak lama sebagai akibat yang disebabkannya (Conybeare, The History of Christmas, Didalam The American Journal of Theology).

Dr. Justin A. Smith, yang lama menjadi editor akademis di The Standard, Chicago, berpendapat mengenai Paulician:

Kesimpulan dari semua ini adalah, bahwa apakah bisa atau tidak suksesi (kesinambungan) jemaat Baptis ditelusuri melalui masa-masa Abad Pertengahan kembali kepada masa ketika sejarah denominasional kita bermula didalam arti yang sebenarnya, paling tidak kita dapat mengatakan bahwa asal-usul kita ditarik lurus ke atas sesuai garis keturunan Kekristenan murni yang bertahan, seandainya memang ada di dunia ini; dan bahwa diantara leluhur Baptis kita, dalam hal ini, merupakan pria dan wanita yang memiliki kehormatan menyolok untuk difitnah oleh mereka yang dibuktikan oleh sejarah sebagai ahli-ahli yang jago membunuh dan memfitnah (Smith, Modern Church Hsitory, 227).

Satu hal yang pasti, bahwa di Italia, di Perancis, dan sepanjang sungai Rhine, kaum Paulician dan Albigenses ditemukan di wilayah yang sama, dan diantara mereka tidak ada perbedaan praktek dan doktrin. Para penulis sejauh ini menegaskan bahwa memang ada suksesi jemaat dan suksesi kepentingan. Sudah terbukti, bahwa pada pertengahan abad kesebelas mereka banyak jumlahnya di Lombardy dan Isurbia, khususnya di Milan, Italia; dan tidak ada yang lebih pasti lagi bahwa mereka mengembara melalui Perancis, Jerman dan negeri-negeri lainnya, dan dengan kekudusan mereka, mereka memenangkan banyak sekali masyarakat dengan jalan pemikiran mereka. Di Italia mereka disebut Paternes dan Cathari, dan di Jerman, Gazari. Di Perancis mereka disebut Albigenses. Mereka disebut Bulgarians, khususnya di Perancis, karena diantara mereka ada yang datang dari Bulgaria, dan mereka juga dikenal dengan sebutan Boni Homines (Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, II, 200-202). Musuh-musuh mereka memuji kesalehan mereka. Suksesi mereka ditemukan sepanjang Abad Pertengahan.
Kaum Paulician didakwa sebagai Manichaeans, dan banyak prasangka dengan seenaknya dituduhkan kepada mereka didalam cerita ini. Menurut Adeley, “Kaum Paulician telah difitnah dengan luar
biasa dibandingkan dengan sekte-sekte Kristen lainnya” (The Greek and Eastern Churches, 216, New York, 1908). Katolik Roma selalu mencela pengajaran Marcion dengan permusuhan sepihak. Kini telah diketahui bahwa kaum Paulician bukanlah Manichaeans. Key of Truth menyelesaikan masalah ini (hal. 18). Para akademisi Armenia modern tidak ragu-ragu untuk mengoreksi kesalahan tersebut (Ter Mkittschain , Die Paulikianer im Byzantinischen in Armenien, Leipzig, 1893). Conybeare tidak meragukan masalah tersebut.
Kembali kepada doktrin dan praktek kaum Paulician, kami mendapatkan bahwa mereka secara konstan menggunakan Perjanjian Lama dan Baru. Mereka tidak memegang perintah kependetaan sebagai sesuatu yang berbeda dengan orang awam oleh karena cara-cara hidup mereka, pakaian dan hal-hal yang lain; mereka tidak mempunyai sidang atau lembaga-lembaga sejenisnya. Para pengajar mereka mempunyai kedudukan yang sama tingkatnya. Mereka berusaha keras dengan tekun mempertahankan kesederhanaan hidup seperti para rasul. Mereka menentang segala bentuk penyembahan berhala yang dilakukan didalam Gereja Katolik Roma. Peninggalan menakjubkan dari mereka adalah tumpukan tulang dan abu, kemelaratan hidup dan kerelaan. Mereka mempertahankan pandangan yang orthodoks mengenai Tritunggal; dan sifat kemanusiaan serta penderitaan Anak Allah yang substansial.
Pandangan Baptis berlaku didalam kaum Paulician. Mereka mempertahankan bahwa manusia harus bertobat dan percaya, dan kemudian pada usia dewasa memberi diri dibaptis, sehingga dengan demikian mereka diterima kedalam jemaat. Mosheim mengamati, “Ada bukti mereka menolak baptisan bayi.” Mereka membaptis dan membaptis ulang dengan cara selam. Mereka benar-benar dianggap Anabaptis (Allix, The Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont, Oxford, 1821).
Boleh dikatakan pendapat-pendapat mengenai Paulician dikumpulkan dari sebuah Sinode yang diselenggarakan di Arras, pada tahun 1025 oleh Gerard,Uskup Cambray dan Arras. Suatu kali Gundulphus, seorang Paulician dihukum. Ia telah mengajarkan doktrinnya di banyak tempat. Ditemukan didalam penelitian bahwa Paulician mempertahankan:

Hukum dan pengajaran yang telah kami terima dari Tuhan tidak akan saling bertentangan, baik dengan Injil maupun lembaga-lembaga apostolik jika dilihat dengan seksama. Pengajaran ini termasuk meninggalkan keduniawian, mengendalikan hawa napsu, menyediakan nafkah hidup dengan hasil kerja sendiri, tidak menyakiti siapapun, dan memberikan amal bagi semua orang yang tekun didalam usaha yang kami tuju ini.

Sehubungan dengan baptisan, mereka menanggapi sebagai berikut :

Tetapi jika ada yang akan berkata, bahwa beberapa sakramen tersembunyi didalam baptisan, maka kuasa baptisan sirna karena tiga alasan: pertama adalah, karena para hamba kehidupan yang jahat itu tidak dapat menawarkan jalan keselamatan kepada orang-orang yang akan dibaptis. Kedua, karena dosa apa saja yang sudah ditinggalkan di bak pembaptisan, kemudian dipungut kembali kedalam kehidupan dan praktek. Ketiga, karena adanya kehendak yang aneh, iman yang aneh, dan sebuah pengakuan aneh yang tidak seharusnya ada, atau mengambil kesempatan dari seorang anak kecil yang kehendak maupun tindak-tanduknya tidak dapat dipegang, yang tidak tahu apa-apa mengenai iman dan juga tidak mengetahui kebaikan dan keselamatan untuk dirinya, sehingga tidak diperlukan lahir baru, serta dari mereka tidak mungkin diharapkan pengakuan iman (Allix, The Ecclesiastical Churches, 104).

Pada saat ini belum ada suatu jawaban yang lebih baik. Ada sebuah Pengakuan Iman yang menjadi milik kaum Paulician pada tahun 1024 AD yang menyatakan:

Pada permulaan Kekristenan tidak ada pembaptisan bayi; dan bapak-bapak pendahulu mereka tidak melakukan hal yang dimaksud dan dari sanubari kami yang terdalam menyatakan bahwa baptisan adalah sebuah permandian yang dilakukan didalam air, dan mempertahankan penyucian jiwa dari dosa (Mehrning, Der heilingen Tauff Historie, II, 738).

Ada kemungkinan bahwa kaum Paulician merupakan kaum Adoptionists. Ini merupakan pandangan Conybeare (lxxxvii), namun pendapatnya sering merupakan kesimpulan (xiv). Lebih lanjut ia mengatakan: “Saya berpendapat bahwa kaum Cathar di Eropa berasal dari kaum Adoptionist juga sekedar berdasarkan kesimpulan” (xiv).
Kaitan pandangan ini dengan pandangan Baptis diajukan oleh Conybeare sebagai berikut:

Oleh karena itulah dalam lapangan penelitian yang dapat dipercaya harus dipertanyakan apakah kaum Paulician tidak ikut terlibat dengan banyaknya sekte yang muncul dan tampil pada masa Reformasi, sedikit banyak, setidak-tidaknya sedikit persamaan dengan prinsip Paulician seperti yang dikemukakan didalam The Key of Truth. Tidak ada tempat untuk memulai didalam penyelidikan demikian, karena hal tersebut berarti membutuhkan pekerjaan yang terpisah. Barangkali data yang memungkinkan untuk menelusuri jalur-jalur komunikasi tersebut sudah tidak ada lagi. Dalam kasus apapun untuk melakukan hal tersebut diperlukan sejumlah penelitian yang luas; namun kelihatannya memungkinkan bahwa paling sedikit kita memiliki dua sekte pada masa Reformasi yang bertahan hidup dari bentuk penganiayaan yang sama dari Gereja Katolik purba sebagaimana yang diungkapkan oleh The Key. Kedua sekte tersebut adalah Anabaptis dan Unitarian yang kemudian disebut Socinian yang diambil dari nama guru besar mereka Socinus. Dari yang disebut terakhir ini diturunkan gereja-gereja Baptis Inggris dan Amerika yang agung, dan juga kaum Mennonites Jerman. Argumentasi kaum Baptis abad keenambelas mengenai baptisan bayi sama seperti yang tercatat didalam The Key, dan – apa yang juga dapat kita harapkan – pandangan Adoptionist mengenai Kristus sebagai tuntunan menyertai mereka di masa lalu; meskipun kaum Baptis modern menerima doktrin zaman sekarang tentang Inkarnasi (Tuhan yang datang sebagai manusia) telah mengaburkan asal-usul dan melemahkan ketaatan mereka yang khusus. Dari abad pertama prinsip Adoptionist demikian alami dan demikian tak terbantahkan bersatu dengan baptisan orang dewasa, seperti juga halnya baptisan bayi dengan Kristologi pneumatik, dimana Yesus dikatakan sejak dari dalam rahim ibunya dan didalam buaiannya dipenuhi dengan Roh Kudus, makhluk illahi yang telah ada, pencipta, dan pengendali alam semesta (Conybeare, The Key, cl, cli).

Apapun kesimpulan akhir dari masalah tersebut, dapat dipastikan bahwa pandangan kaum Adoptionist dan kaum Paulician menekankan perlawanan mereka terhadap baptisan bayi.
Bentuk baptisan adalah menyelamkan subyek kedalam air satu kali, sementara orang Yunani menyelamkan tiga kali. Banyak bukti bahwa di Armenia bentuk baptisannya adalah dengan cara selam. Macarius, Patriarch dari Yerusalem, pada tahun 331-335 AD., menulis kepada orang Armenia dan mengatakan bahwa baptisan dilaksanakan dengan “tiga kali menyelam dan terkubur didalam air bak pembaptisan yang kudus” (Perpustakaan Mechitarist Fathers of Vienna, MSS, Cod. Arm. No. 100). Ada sebuah pidato yang dipelihara sejak abad keduabelas yang dianggap berasal dari Isaac Catholicos dari Armenia, yang menyampaikan praktek kaum Paulician tersebut. John Otzun, 718 AD., mengatakan kaum Paulician yang turun kedalam tempat pembaptisan (Otzun, Opera, 25, Venice, 1834). Dan lebih lanjut ia menceritakan bagaimana orang Islam mencoba mencegah mereka melakukan pembaptisan didalam aliran sungai, karena takut mereka akan menyihir perairan dan membuat mereka tidak sehat.
Praktek konstan dari Gereja Timur adalah selam. Rev. Nicholas Bjerring berkata tentang baptisannya: “Baptisan kadang-kadang diselenggarakan didalam gereja dan kadang-kadang didalam rumah-rumah pribadi jika dibutuhkan. Ia selalu dilaksanakan dengan menyelamkan bayi atau orang dewasa tiga kali” (Bjerring, The Offices of the Oriental Church, xii, New York, 1880). Dan selanjutnya didalam Liturgi ia melakukan upacara penyelaman. Demikianlah kaum Paulician mempraktekkan cara selam seperti yang dimaksudkan Alkitab.
Kaum Bogomil merupakan sebuah cabang Cathari atau Paulician yang tinggal di Thrace. Nama tersebut muncul karena berasal dari salah seorang pemimpin mereka di pertengahan abad kesepuluh, walaupun orang lain menyatakan bahwa nama mereka berasal dari sebuah kata Slavia yang didefinisikan sebagai “Yang Dikasihi Tuhan”. Kaum Bogomil berulang kali dikutuk dan seringkali dianiaya, namun mereka terus hidup sepanjang Abad Pertengahan dan masih tetap ada pada abad keenambelas.

Penulis sejarah menyatakan mereka merupakan peninggalan yang paling kuno. Dr. L.P. Brockett yang menulis sebuah catatan sejarah mengenai mereka, mengatakan:

Di antara mereka (para sejarawan Bulgaria) kerapkali dengan tak terduga saya temukan dalam jarak yang sempit, bukti yang paling meyakinkan bahwa sekte-sekte ini semuanya pada masa sejarah awalnya, adalah kaum Baptis, bukan saja dalam pendirian mereka mengenai subyek baptisan dan Perjamuan Tuhan, tetapi juga didalam perlawanan mereka terhadap baptisan bayi, terhadap hirarkhi gereja, terhadap pemujaan Perawan Maria serta para santo dan santa, dalam ketaatan independensi gereja dan kebebasan kesadaran beragama. Singkatnya, kesimpulan tersebut telah memaksa saya untuk mengatakan bahwa didalam orang-orang Kristen Bosnia, Bulgaria dan Armenia ini, kita memiliki suksesi jemaat Perjanjian Baru, jemaat-jemaat Kristen dari para rasul, dan bahwa sejak pada awal abad keduabelas, jemaat-jemaat ini beranggotakan sejumlah orang-orang yang telah bertobat dan percaya, tidak kalah banyaknya dengan jemaat Baptis di seluruh dunia pada masa kini (Brockett, The Bogomils of Bulgaria and Bosnia, 11-12).

Beberapa penulis Katolik Roma telah menegaskan bahwa kaum Bogomil tidak melaksanakan baptisan, atau menjalankan Perjamuan Tuhan; dan lebih jauh lagi, mereka menolak Perjanjian Lama. Ini barangkali tidak mempunyai makna apa-apa kecuali bahwa mereka menolak baptisan bayi, dan mengutip Perjanjian Baru sebagai yang tertinggi dan otoritas atas masalah tersebut.
Penganiayaan terhadap kaum Bogomil sebagaimana juga terhadap kaum Paulician, terus berlangsung dengan keras. Segala upaya dilakukan untuk memusnahkan mereka. “Namun mereka tetap tidak bisa dibasmi,” kata Conybeare, “tetapi hanya membuat mereka bergerak dibawah tanah. Mereka bersembunyi di seluruh Eropa, khususnya di daerah Balkan, dan sepanjang sungai Rhine. Di tempat-tempat persembunyian tersebut, kelihatannya mereka menghimpun kekuatan bersama secara rahasia untuk muncul kembali ke permukaan bila ada kesempatan. Kesempatan tersebut adalah pada saat Reformasi Eropa, dimana khususnya dibawah bentuk Anabaptis dan gagasan Unitarian, ragi dari jemaat apostolik mula-mula tersebut dengan bebas berbaur dan mengubah bentuk kepercayaan yang lain. Kami yakin bahwa kaum Bogomil dari Negara-negara Balkan memegang peranan yang sangat penting dalam melahirkan gerakan agama yang besar tersebut (The Key of Truth, cxcvi).>

Buku-buku untuk bacaan dan referensi lebih lanjut:
Fisher, 142.
John C.L. Gieseler, A Compendium of Ecclesiastical History, II, 208-212; III, 494-500.
Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edition Bury.
F.C. Conybeare, Rituale Armenorum.
F.C. Conybeare, The Key of Truth.
John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, II, 101-105, 135, 136, 201-205.
Augustus Neander, A General History of the Christian Religion and Church, V, 337-370.


The Christian school movement is the fastest growing educational movement in America today. The U.S.NEWS AND WORLD REPORT and CHRISTIAN LIFE magazines have referred to the rapid proliferation of Christian elementary and secondary schools as the "Boom in Protestant Schools" and "The Christian School Explosion." Christian schools are currently being established across the United States at the rate of two new schools a day.

In California we average one new Christian school each week. Obviously parents by the thousands have opted to send their youngsters to Christian schools as opposed to secular public schools. As a parent who sends my children to Christian schools and speaks to thousands of parents on the radio and on tour, permit me to share ten reasons why you should send your children to Christian schools:

ONE: You are accountable to God for what your children are taught in school. Proverbs 22:6 is a direct command to parents. It says, "Train up a child in the way he should go..." What your children are taught in school should be a direct extension of your parental views. The teachers under whom your children are taught should be the kind of teachers you would personally hire if your children were being educated in your home.

TWO: Christian schools offer a better level of instruction. There is no question about it. The test scores over a long period of years are conclusive. The annual Stanford Achievement Test administered to first through eighth grade Christian school students in the western states shows these students to be seven to nineteen months ahead of the national norm in reading, and seven to thirteen months ahead of the national norm in all subject areas.

THREE: The Bible does not teach that children should be exposed to all kinds of sin. We are to train "up" a child, not point him downward. Children do not grow spiritually stronger in a negative non-Christian environment.

Students do not become stronger Christians by being taught non-Christian thinking, but by being taught Christian thinking, and there is no such person as a "neutral" school teacher who neither advances nor inhibits religion. School represents 16% of your child's time. It is prime time, a training time, and Christian school education represents a positive Bible- centered form of instruction that will build a child up in the faith- -not tear him down. Proverbs 19:27 says, "Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge."

FOUR: The Christian school is right for your child because the Christian school has not cut itself off from the most important book in the world--the Bible. Without the Bible, education is nothing more than the blind leading the blind. Standards for morality must be taken from Scripture alone, not from situations as often taught in secular schools. As Theodore Roosevelt stated, "To train a man in mind and not in morals is to train a menace to society."

FIVE: The Christian school provides an opportunity for your child to witness for Christ. This surprises some people because they assume all students in a Christian school are Christians. In most cases a majority are Christian; however, in every Christian school there are always some students who need the Savior. Christian students are trained and encouraged to reach these youngsters for Jesus Christ. Witnessing in a Christian school has the support of parents, students, teachers, administration and the school board. Presenting Christ as Savior is not illegal in a Christian school.

SIX: Christian school educators teach all subject matter from a Christian context. They put the Bible at the center of the curriculum and ask students to evaluate all they see in the world through the eyes of God. To quote Dr. Roy Zuck,

The secular vs. Christian school issue is really a question of whether a child will learn to view life from man's perspective or God's perspective. From man's viewpoint, history is purposeless; from God's viewpoint, history has meaning. From man's viewpoint, science is the laws of "nature" at work; from God's viewpoint, science is the outworking of His laws.

In a Christian school, a student is exposed to the centrality of God in all of life. In public education, a student is legally "sheltered" from this important dimension of education.

SEVEN: Christian schools support the family as the number one institution of society. Christian school educators train students to respect their parents. These educators agree with the early American patriot, Noah Webster, who said, "All government originates in families, and if neglected there, it will hardly exist in society."

EIGHT: "The atheists have, for all practical purposes, taken over public education in this country." Shocking words, yes, but they were spoken by a prominent public school educator, Dr. W.P.Schofstall, former Arizona State Superintendent of Schools. Paradoxically, many public school personnel openly support Christian school education.

As a matter of fact, the largest group of parents who send their children to Christian schools are public school teachers and principals. I conducted a nationwide survey among these public school educators. The following statement is typical of the responses I received:

I prefer to send my children to a Christian school because Christ is central to all information taught and caught. The public school is basically humanistic and materialistic in its approach to life and the fundamental questions of human existence and purpose. The Christian school holds a unique position with the home and the church.

NINE: Christian school educators maintain discipline in the classroom and on the playground. Without a reasonable standard of discipline, the process of education is severely hampered. "For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines..." the Bible teaches. And it is within that context of love that discipline is carried out in a Christian school. This important feature of education is rapidly disappearing from the public school education. According to the recent GALLUP POLL OF PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS EDUCATION,

Lack of discipline in the public schools again heads the list of problems cited most often by survey respondents. Discipline has, in fact, been named the number one problem of the schools in seven of the last eight years. New evidence of its importance comes from the special survey of high school juniors and seniors. An even higher percentage of this group names discipline as the leading problem faced by the public school.

TEN: "We believe that our children are gifts of the Lord. We are responsible to train them according to His Word not only at home and in church, but in school as well." This statement was made by a parent in response to a question on an application form for enrollment of his children at Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

More and more parents, especially Christian parents, are coming to the conclusion that secular public education and most of its teachers and principals no longer represent their personal parental views. These parents are exercising their freedom of choice and sending their children to Christian schools and colleges.

Note: The first chapter of this book has over the past two years been published in newspapers and national magazines for a total circulation of more than one million copies. It first appeared in 1975 in Dr. Clyde Narramore's magazine PSYCHOLOGY FOR LIVING. Then Dr. Jerry Falwell secured permission to publish it in his national publication FAITH AFLAME.

It appeared later in several denominational publications and a variety of newspapers. Because of its wide circulation I do not claim copyright. This of course does not pertain to the remaining chapters. Most chapters of this book have appeared in recent issues of a one page publication called CHRISTIAN SCHOOL COMMENT. They were originally written with this book in mind. Each chapter has been updated, rewritten and rearranged to fit the sequential needs of this volume.

by Paul A. Kienel

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