Holy Spirit and Guidance
Christians always say that they believe in the Holy Spirit as the guider to the truth as Jesus said:
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.
So if all Christians believe that the Holy Spirit teaches the inspiration and interpretation of scriptures, why do Christians have that vast diversity among them in both aspects?
Let’s talk first about inspiration, till now there is a diversity between Catholics and Protestants about the number of books of the Bible, as the Catholics have 73 books, Protestants have 66 only and believe that others are apocrypha.
Ethiopian and Coptic churches have even more books.
If we looked at the New Testament, although its canon has been settled now, but actually this wasn’t the case among early church fathers.
There have been some books as epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas that were accepted by many fathers, now they are not in the NT canon.
On the other hand, some of the books accepted now as second epistle of Peter, book of Hebrews and book of Revelations, were not accepted by other church fathers.
If we are talking about Bible interpretations then we can see the diversity in faith among Christian churches,
For example having statues and images of saints, belief in Mary whether it is the mother of the Lord or not, immaculate conception,
Holy Spirit himself who is supposed to guide Christians, Christians have diversity whether he is proceeded from the Father only or the Father and the Son, and here we go.
Even among early church fathers as well, there have been many misinterpretations and opinions that are against Christian theology although Christians consider them as orthodoxy church fathers who fought heresy,
And believe they had a role in proving the NT true by quoting verses in their books. Actually these orthodoxy fathers adopted non orthodoxy opinions.
For example Thiophilic of Antioch said that the Trinity is “God, His word and His Wisdom”.
Papias who tells about Judas’ death that his body having swollen to such an extent that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily,
He was crushed by the chariot, so that his bowels gushed out,
Which doesn’t match at all with what the Gospels say, Ireneous who said that Jesus was more than 50 yrs when he died, Tertullian who was following the heretical Montanus, and other examples.
The question now is; if the Holy Spirit actually guides Christians, Why didn’t he guide the early fathers?
Either he guided them and they rejected the Holy Spirit, this means that they are no more orthodox as they reject him.
Or that he didn’t guide them, which negates what Christians believe that the Holy Spirit guides them.
Another question also may rise.
If the Spirit of God guides all Christians, why do we see many Christian sects?
Christians who believe the diversity among sects is not something major or believe to be non-denominational may need to have an answer to this question as well as the first question.
So when Christians say that they are guided with the Holy Spirit, the answer shall be: which one are you talking about?