And you thought the Episcopal Church was Bad?!

Within what Anglicans call the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical books of Scripture, in the book of I Maccabees, we read in the first chapter that, after many years of Jewish struggle to maintain its own faithful identity in the context of Gentile rule,  that

certain renegades … from Israel … built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined themselves with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil. (I Mac 1:11-15)

Of course these are also the same folks, or at least the same types of folks, who wanted to cozy up with Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who would sacrifice a pig in the Temple of YHWH.

And yet, I don’t recall faithful Jews leaving their church to start some new organization. Certainly Jesus the Messiah did not do this, despite the presence of rank heresy in the midst of his church.

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