Christianity is losing its place in western society; if we don’t rescue it, we will lose it and all of western civilization with it. Although it is currently fashionable to consider western civilization as evil, the truth is that it is only the tenets of that very civilization that lets people hold that opinion. As Joni Mitchel says:
Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.
We can’t let Christianity — and with it, all of western civilization, die. Two thousand years of development and tradition is too important to allow it to be killed by lethargy and acquiescence. The world community will go to extraordinary measures to save the culture of a remote society with less than 1000 people left, and yet we watch as that same world community revels in the death of one of the greatest cultures the world has ever known.
Of course, anyone can easily point to heinous actions carried out in the name of Christianity and/or perpetrated by members of western civilizations; but what belief system or civilization can say otherwise? Even self-described Jains and Buddhists have done things that others will consider abhorrent. Are these people then not Jains or Buddhists? The difference between a belief system with a history of detestable acts and a detestable system of beliefs is simple: Did it get better?
Also, this is not to say that other societies or beliefs are inherently evil, but attacks on Christianity happen on a daily basis while we turn a blind eye to cultural and religious traditions that degrade entire classes of human beings — all in the name of “diversity.” But true diversity does not mean everyone has to be the same, but instead that everyone has the right to be different. It is the very non-compulsory nature of Christianity that separates it from some other belief systems and allows the very attacks that will turn around and destroy those rights which most of us take for granted.
At the same time, we must see that Christianity — like any belief system — has evolved over time. Some will say that this is not true, that any so-called “evolution” is by definition a heresy. And yet, clearly this is not the case. A large proportion of today’s Christians are members of what was at some point called a heresy, a cult or, at best, a “protest religion” (protestant). Even Catholic and Orthodox doctrine (arguably the oldest forms of organized Christianity) have changed over the millennia.
Christians are often made the butt of jokes and held up for ridicule. At best, many people see us as “quaint.” However, I believe that this is because few people are taught the spiritual essence of Christian beliefs and are instead taught the folk art version. There is history in this: for centuries the mass of people were unschooled, and it takes a certain amount of schooling to understand abstractions. True, deep Christianity is filled with abstractions.
I am not a guru, and I certainly am not a saint. I am, however, someone who has studied Christianity for about forty years. What I will be presenting in these pages will be an interpretation of Christianity that you may not have heard of, but is based on drawing together of 2000 years of deep thinking, meditation, and yes, prayer, from some very smart and saintly people.
I’m sure that many people will disagree; it’s nice to know that western civilization — and the Christianity that is it based on — allows you to do that. To the extent that the conversation remains civil and well-informed, I am happy to post your comments. I will even be happy to have someone write a “guest blog post” if they wish.
I invite you to explore the nature of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit with me.