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Greet one another with a Holy Kiss?
Recently, I did some research on two rarely mentioned topics: holy kisses and love-feasts. Did you ever wonder, "Why don't we greet one another with a holy kiss?" Or "Why did love-feasts disappear early on in Christianity?"
A HOLY KISS? OR AN UNHOLY KISS?
You have probably heard someone mention that men used to kiss women and women kissed men, but there was some sort of controversy, so they made a law abolishing such practice, so that only women could kiss women and men men.
Actually, it is far crazier than that. It started off, that Christians in leadership had no qualms with greeting one another in such a manner. However, around the 9th Century, those of anti-sex gnostic persuasion just could not take it anymore. It was too embarrassing for women and men to kiss. Even if it was something like a kiss on the cheek or the forehead, such a thing was "immoral". So, the church council decided to make a rule against such activity.
So, the church decided to undo what the Apostle Paul instituted, out of a false desire to be more temperate. As they deemed all physical touches as such to be "lustful".
Well, it did not stop there. No. Unfotunately, that was only the beginning. From there, it became a kiss for the priest or bishop instead of one another, whereas you could only kiss the Bishop or Priest (about the 12th and 13th Centuries). So you could only greet your pastor or priest in such a manner.
Then, from there, it turned into something even more rediculous. They decided to pass around a board, for which you kissed (after 13th Century). Perhaps an icon of sorts. So, kiss the icon, and pass it along. NO more kissing the priest, no more kissing those of the same sex as you. And definitely no greeting your sisters in Christ, you hormone driven pig. Pardon the sarcasm.
Well, as with the sad state of affairs are within the church, we have come to the conclusion of the matter. No kissing ever. No friendly kissing anyone who is Christian. Thus we have totally undone what the Apostle Paul instituted. NO longer do we kiss and greet with a hug our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. No, that is too shameful and lustful and wicked. Rather, we just do not greet them at all. We have solved the problem!
No, instead, we goto church. And sit like a bump on a log. And half the time, we know almost no one in the church. Wow, isn't that amazing? And also nullifying the Word of God with our tradition.
Am I saying it is a sin if you do not kiss your brother or sister in Christ? No. But, what I am saying is, the point is to be kind and loving towards your brothers and sisters in Christ, greet them and to not to be a stranger. Further, I am saying that we should reinstitute this activity, seeing we fear God and scripture says to do it.
A CHRISTIAN LOVE-FEAST? OR A CARNAL FEAST?
And that brings us to the detested Christian love-feast. Why haven't you never heard of it? Probably because it was annexed about 1500 years ago. It did not take long for the church to get rid of this Christ instituted sacrament.
I should point out a few Christian groups did in fact revive the practice in various forms. Methodists for instance were one group. And there were a handful of others who made amends to restore it to its proper place.
However, the idea was at one time, Christians used to recline on beds (as did the Romans and many at that time) to eat and relax together.
Using a triclinium, they would have beds around a plate of food and would recline while eating, talking, making merry. Perhaps there would be some songs, prayers, maybe even a skit or two.
But, due to the continuous influence of Gnosticism, something odd occurred within the first few centuries of Christianity.
You see, there are two types of Gnostic living:
Since the church was starting to be heavily influenced by both types of Gnosticism, you found that either Christians were becoming too liberal (partaking in all manner of vices and illicit pleasures) or too conservative (total denial of all pleasures and considering all lust and physical pleasure evil).
Many of those in charge of the church tended to be more of the asceticism vein of gnostic application on such topics. And decided to start making rules regarding these Christian love or "agape" feasts. First, they started by saying no more reclining on beds, and definitely no beds in church.
Then, they decided to declare all forms of "love feasts" to be not good and forbade them.
Shortly thereafter, love-feasts died out. An institution of Christ was cut off. Since often the Lord's Supper was attached to the Love Feasts, the church decided to only have the Lord's Supper on its own.
This is why today, generally speaking, when you have communion at a church, it is without such a feast and closeness of Christians.
Rather, it has become more of a process of singleness. Between you and God, and maybe has lost a lot of the closeness of Christians within the Body of Christ.
Perhaps if we brought back these two institutions of God, Christians would not be so separated and fighting over the smallest of opinions.
We could bring back the closeness in the Body of Christ, to show, we are one true Family of God and Bride of Christ.