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on the CHRISTIAN RELIGION
Some have asked me what I think about the Christian religion since I left it almost ten years ago. Do I consider it a great evil to be resisted and fought against or a force primarily for good to be emmulatedor, for that matter, do I take a neutral, "live and let live" position? Hard to say. I suppose I can see value in all three positions, yet no one of them sits entirely well with me. I oppose many of the misconceptions and exclusivity Christianity has foisted upon humanity but I also see much good that some of its followers have performed. I also see it as one path to God among many though not the only path (which is what puts me so irrevocably outside of the church's walls). Perhaps the following brief tome may provide some food for thought.
Some have asked me what I my opinion of the Christian religion is since I left it over ten years ago. Do I consider it a great evil to be resisted and fought against or a force primarily for good to be emulatedor, for that matter, do I even take a neutral, "live and let live" position? Hard to say. I suppose I can see value in all three positions, yet no one of them sits entirely well with me. I oppose many of the misconceptions and exclusivity Christianity has foisted upon humanity but I also see much good that some of its followers have performed. In the end, I'd have to say that I see it as one path to God among many though not the only path (which is what puts me so irrevocably outside of the church's walls). Perhaps the following brief tome may provide more insight and even serve as food for thought.
So what are we to make of the religion this Nazarene inspired? Is it all built on misunderstandings and presumptions and doomed to collapse of its own weight in the next few centuries, or is it humanities' greatest hope and a beacon of truth to guide a lost world to the light of salvation?
To answer that question, much depends on what you imagine this religion was designed to do. If you imagine Jesus' purpose was to save humanity from the wrath of an angry God, you will be disappointed. As of this writing, the world's population is just over six and a half billion souls. Less than a fifth of them are Christians (of all denominations and definitions). That means despite the fact that Christianity has been around for over two millennia, it still is only capable of rescuing less than a fifth of the world's population. Does that sound like an omnipotent, all-loving God to you? Is that really the best He's capable of?
I submit if Christianity's goal is to rescue people from eternal damnation, it has failed miserably. For every one person that finds salvation, four do not. When the British liner Titanic sank in 1912, just over a third of those onboard were rescued, yet the Titanic is remembered not for that third that survived, but for the two-thirds that perished. Why, then, do we consider Christianity God's greatest gift to us when it produces even more dismal results?
Am I saying that Christianity is worthless then? Not at all. Christianity has value because it has Christ, and without it we might never know this remarkable man or the God He manifests. Stripped of its religious trappings, it is pure salvationnot from a wrathful, angry God, but from our own ignorance about who and what we areand therein lies its power. Once we realize the Father and the Sonand ourselvesare one, we will have finally fixed what is broken. Christ does that for us. It's why he was put here.
But while Christianity as a religion is helpful in bringing us to an understanding of God, it will take us only so far. God's unconditional love and boundless compassion can be seen in many faiths and philosophies, both secular and religious; as such, other religions are also capable of taking us part of the way. Some, I believe, can even take you farther than Christianity can in some waysbut in the end, none can take you all of the way. They are only temporary constructs designed to help us get from point A to point B, but no faith structure will get us all the way to point Z. They simply are not structured to do so.
The reason for this is simple: All religions are man-made constructs designed to either appease or appropriate the blessings of an angry God. However, Christ offers neither because there is no angry God to appease and for that alone, Christ is to be honored, adored, and emulated.
But not Christ only, for others came before the Galilean rabbi trod upon this Earth, and others have followed after him. Like great meteors that manage to make it through the fiery heat of Earth's atmosphere to smash into the cold, hard mantle beneath, Christ and a pantheon of spiritual masters like him have impacted our planet throughout history, each leaving craterssome small and quickly forgotten and some massive and never forgottenbut all of them forming part of the mosaic of God's revelation of himself to us. They fell among us at times and in places where at least a few were ready to hear their divine message, leaving their marktheir "crater"on our very souls. We may not speak with one voice or even perceive God the same way, but each master has left us a part of the greater, ultimate truth that exists outside the limited realm of time and space we currently inhabit that each meteor "strike" further enriches. With Jesus, we just happen to have one of the largest of all such "hits," and one that left a massive crater that continues to reverberate among us today, two thousand years later.
Such is the way
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