A simplified chart of historical developments ...
A simplified chart of historical developments of major groups within Christianity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find myself in the constant quest of unfolding for myself the issue of religion, the proper positioning of a man and spiritual issues and the strange complexities found in Christianity. Defining Christianity is not as simple as one may expect as all you have to do is get around different groups to find different perspective and heated debates that leave you wondering who really knows and I can see why some folks would want no part of it.

Sometimes my research has brought me to the place of asking myself if there is in fact a preponderance of evidence that a true definition of Christianity even exists. It seems at times gooey and sticky and if you eat too much of it you need to wash your hands and recover from a headache. I forget now where I read where an Apostle was chastising local church personnel for having so quickly leaving the gospel (as had been delivered to them) and to return to the truth. So apparently that leadership had been adding additional nuances or doctrine of their own making to the true gospel as they had originally been taught making then a contrived or accommodating gospel that served people and not God. One sure point or recommendation that I would insert if I were writing a report on my analysis would be that Christianity is in need of a major shakeup to be restored in its most simplistic form and purpose which is true worship and praise of the Lord. This portends of course that there are sufficiently trained Teachers available that have true service to Jesus in mind and understand the scope of that service delivery.

I once asked the Professor of a tort law class regarding a case under discussion “if you had 10 different Judges placed in 10 different rooms and all given the same case to rule on, how many different opinions would be forthcoming”? The professor said probably 10. I asked in retort, where is justice in that? He shrugged his shoulders and went on with class. Does this define a problem in Christianity? If officers of the court recognize discrepancies in interpretation of law and consider it to be acceptable, and then do Pastors and Ministers of the gospel do the same thing? Accordingly, I would ask of the Pastor what then, is the truth and intent of your message? Is it as simplistic as this? “Thou shalt not steal”? Do you steal? Yes I have stolen or no I have not stolen. If yes, is there need for penance and restitution? Can and will God forgive based upon true remorse and in response to a request for forgiveness from a repentant heart? Yes comes the answer but go and sin no more. Is the case now adjudicated and progress made? And is it therefore discovered that complexities of Christianity are found in people and not necessarily in Christianity itself? I am a person, and when combined with other persons we collectively become people, so we are back to the necessity of a required change in a person so that collectively there can be change in a society and we consequently find the true breakdown of Christianity as known today and perhaps since its inception.

Religious opinions are as fragile as ego and precious as breath. Nobody wants to be found lacking or mistaken. And yet few Christians will undertake the fearsome toil of exposing their doctrines to fresh scriptural scrutiny. Fewer still have the confidence to honestly consider new interpretations, thereby, having no need for an engineering department, because there will be no new designs needed here. To follow the Holy Spirit in the lonely paths of spiritual revelation is, after all dangerous, and there is need for scriptural interpretation so I don’t go astray. Fearing change and incrimination, the denominations found it easier to simply defend their old beliefs. Craving the solace of familiarity, they shut out new ideas and banded ever closer together, seeking the reassurance of like-minded people. Soon the security of friendly faces at the church began to provide more comfort than the denomination’s doctrines.

The social aspects of church became more important than its teachings. The congregation of believers took-on a new preeminence in the religion, and a relationship with “the body” eclipsed any need for a personal relationship with an intangible God. Fellowship grew infinitely more important than truth, and entertainment became the essence of Christianity. Now, as in the days of Balaam, the truth of Christianity has been blended with sensual desire. The denominations of today draw their converts, not from a pious hunger for the deep things of God, but from an urge for respectable social interaction. I once had a man tell me that going to church was good for business, you know build up your acquaintances so you have expanded sales potentials.

The churches pander to those with a voracity to visit, a need to be noticed, and an appetite for amiable amusement. To feed this craving, Modern Christianity employs every device of social addiction known to man. Today it has become a common carnival of fleshly entertainment, hailing the carnal with choirs, jugglers, fund-raisers, bake sales, games, pageants, plays, sports teams, spectacles, gaudy singers, lurid women, and entertaining speakers who have nothing to say. Take a harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou may be remembered.

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