Monday, January 25, 2010

The Christian Story

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Christian churches are losing members and there are many reasons why this is so. The most worrisome is that many members don't trust religious thought anymore. Century after century they have heard so much theological rubbish that they've become skeptical.  Sadly, but not  too surprisingly, Christians themselves have become their own worst enemy. 

Our experience is that science reveals more and more of the past. Science also  relentlessly leads us to the future.  In a broad sense, the everyday changes are reflected in how we look at ourselves. 

The Christian story, initially spread by Christ and his desciples, made it's way from one generation to another.  At the time of Christ's birth this included; traditions, education, family relationships, religious practices and etc. As Christianity was essentially passed from "mouth to ear", its many elements were necessarily interpreted and edited. In time societies began to rely on a clergyman to make sense of its complexity, and it was the clergy that was actually responsible for the theology. It was the clergyman who laid out the proper way to practice Christianity. 

Most advanced societies have become skeptical about  Christian subjects that are difficult or impossible to explain by logical reasoning. 

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Why be concerned?  Personally, I've always been on the fence; not an agnostic or an atheist, but not a convinced believer either. It's now 2010 and Christianity is being overwhelmed by Islam around the world. This is not a good thing.  Islam will soon be the dominant religion on the planet, and it is a mess.  Islam has not advanced from it's medieval state and remains an uncivil influence in the  world.  As fast as it grows, Christianity falls behind. What's going on here?  Christianity is not attracting as new members as quickly, and it is losing many older members to skepticism. Can it be turned around? 

Christianity faces two major challenges.

(1)   Despite angry words and thoughts expressed in the Holy Bible, Christianity is a peaceful, contemplative religion that celebrates life.  For gaining believers it relies mostly on delivering it's message by word-of-mouth persuasion.  To compete with the influence of Islam, Christianity must find a new way to reach prospective members.
(2)  I submit that the leadership of the Christian religion, [Protestant and Catholic], have confused it's history and philosophy. It has become conflicted with contradictions, and made difficult to understand. Christianity depends entirely on a [leap-of-faith] for a person to become a true believer. In other words a new applicant must renounce his or her logical reasoning and accept the illogical tenets of Christianity to become a member. Adding to the confusion, leadership of Protestant and Catholic Christian churches have introduced theological ritual nonsense in their presentation of the faith. Ritual that has been invented by theologians rather than suggested by any reference contained in the Holy Bible. I believe at least some of this should be eliminated.

Mysticism is integral and can not be separated from Christianity. The Bible is, among other things, a history a  time when mysticism explained phenomenon that people did not understand, and today theological mysticism  records the beliefs of the past that are used to teach fundamental lessons that apply to modern times.  Many Christian churches don't  explain what is history and what is myth. This,of course, adds to the confusion of beliefs within the church.

More later . . . .

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