Victor Hugo wrote about the practice years ago of creating distorted children to later sell as court jesters and other freaks. This is described in The Man Who Laughed, and the term for these evil people is Comprachicos or child sellers. I understand that part of their technique was growing children in bottles and then breaking the bottle when the desired distortion was complete.
I don't know about this because I did not read his book. Who would want to?
Why am I writing about this horrible idea? Because I believe the practice, much modified, is still in effect. I believe that people raise their children and submit themselves to become freakish as to denominations. While in my recent hospital stay, my favorite therapist said of herself, "I am a recovering Catholic."
At the beginning of our country such ideas were taken very seriously. That is, people formed whole colonies on the basis of their favorite doctrine. The Trinity in Pennsylvania, comes to mind. I hope that all Christians would learn of this truth, but not under the threat of law, even death.
So how did Paul and others form the church in a time of great religious diversity? I believe they stressed a core of essential truth and left the details of various believers' ideas alone.
Today our differences are emphasized in some churches to the separation of even individual church members. I visited a church composed of three families, and even they had a split!
The old Today show did a quick survey in a crowd of various diets prescribed by different religions. One said, "No pork." Another said, "No meat at all." Finally a man said of his faith, "We eat anything." Suddenly this once somber crowd saw the humor in the situation and began to laugh.
Wouldn't it be great if the really essential doctrines were taught and any differences could be argued or discussed after this was accomplished? I am not asking for a universal church with watered down doctrine. Just the opposite--stress the essentials and talk about less major things later.
Am I being idealistic? Not at all. That is how the church was formed. What literature would you use? Let's hear a great big DUH. The church epistles in the Bible. So simple.
Release children from the freak making bottles. Some day there may be no bottles at all.