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  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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Is man only a blunder of God, or God only a blunder of man? - Nietzsche

The Christian churches and Christianity have nothing in common save in name: they are utterly hostile opposites. The churches are arrogance, violence, usurpation, rigidity, death; Christianity is humility, penitence, submissiveness, progress, life. - Leo Tolstoy

Christian Issues
Updated: 12/30/2020

Premise regarding Christianity:

Christendom is hopelessly infused–contaminated if you will–with ancient mythology and "traditional" thinking, structures, ceremonies, idolatry etc., that have nothing to do with the good news exposited and demonstrated by Yeshua. This unworthy baggage and unsound framework effectively precludes a reasonable consideration of the truth that he represented. See: IFISEEUS premise regarding Christianity

Religion as product

One of my friends, a businessman, once remarked to me that religion was absolutely the best business product.  Its production, promotion and enjoyment are protected by the U.S. Constitution, and if promoted smartly, the profits can be enormous. Several of the Christian radio-televangelists are multi-millionaires, with some worth upwards of fifty million dollars. The manufacturing costs are negligible, the packaging and warehousing costs are nil, the shipping or delivery costs are minuscule. Better yet, the proceeds usually come in the form of cash or check.
     If you are one of the credentialed purveyors–priest, pastor or evangelist–you can get but never have to extend credit; accounting costs are modest and virtually everything is either tax-exempt or deductible.  The only significant cost in the whole enterprise is promotion and it is only barely restricted in its scope or range of activities by the various governmental agencies.  Once the buyer is sold he needs the product on an ongoing basis, and more of it in emergencies. Still nicer is that you can convince a majority of the people that the more they have of it the better, yet the purveyor need not embrace as much of the product as he is urging his listeners to use.  And best of all in this climate of litigation there is no product liability in that if anything goes wrong in its use, regardless of whatever promotional claims were made, the product is never considered to be faulty. The buyer is always to blame!  Oh, I might add, the manufacturers and promoters are given special privilege, status and respect in our society, not to mention some cost discounts on many other products, services and amenities.

God Talk

Within this context of confusion and diversity, scam, false religion, the human condition, etc., why even talk about God?  Why run all the risks?  It really is a very dangerous thing to do.  People are very defensive when someone challenges their belief system. You take a chance of emotionally disturbing yourself and exercising someone else's latent anger.  When people talk about God or religion they often hurt other peoples feelings and threaten their psychological comfort level.  Some people have learned that they best get along with others if they do NOT talk about God and religious concerns. In polite society, it's déclassé!
     Why not be like some of these people who believe that everyone should just have their own ideas and try to be good,  loving, and get along?  After all, even close friends and family members can become disturbed and/or intensely angry.  Societies actually become violent over religious differences and nations tend to make war against each other in the name of these differences.

The lived reality of Christianity throughout history just is not appreciably different from what one finds in other major religions.  A strong case can be made, in fact, that the history of Christianity contains considerably more violence and destruction than that of most other major religions.  Kimball, Charles, When Religion Becomes Evil, Los Angeles, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 2002, p. 27.

Our idealism is for spiritual unity

In the context of all these negative things one possible reason as to why people continue to run the risk and so blatantly and forcefully talk about God and promulgate different ideas is that deep within us our idealism is crying out for spiritual unity.  We just naturally feel that other people should be and think like us in spiritual matters such as purpose and values.  This may be the reason why we DO talk about God.

Within the context of why we talk about God, a constructive reason as to why we SHOULD talk about God is based on the reality that a person's concept of God surely conditions a person's character.  The psyche of Man always takes on the character as that of the conceived God; it is a natural part of our nature that we model after and grow into that conception.  We literally become like whatever "God" we visualize and "worship".

Doctrine and Dogma Settled?

A most plausible premise is that NONE of the followers or disciples–certainly not the twelve–were "sealed in the truth" when Yeshua ascended. Apparently, not one of the twelve disciples understood nor followed Yeshua's most important instructions.

Most Christians wrongly think that the primary dogma and doctrinal issues of Christianity were settled long ago, with the differences being largely superficial. These issues consist of the Trinity, the dual nature of Yeshua being human and divine, the proper day of worship, nature of heaven, reality of hell, state of the dead, nature of angels, marriage, divorce, sex in heaven, Holy Spirit, inspiration and revelation, baptism, God as lawgiver, etc.

Probably the most widespread agreement is that the Bible is the word of God, but this too may be an egregiously wrong equation and it too, can be fundamentally challenged. It is far from being true that these primary issues are largely settled, for every one of these is often hotly contested within the ranks of Christendom. Practically each one of the various sects and denominations disagree with others over several of these, not to mention the primary splits between Christianity and Gnosticism, and within Christianity the major split between Catholicism and Protestantism.

Furthermore, Christendom is divided into conservative versus liberal strains, orthodox and unorthodox, fundamentalists and dispensationalists, and other factions that cross denominational boundaries.

"The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible." - Mark Twain

Another aspect of context for the Christian is the one concerning the state of Christendom, its growth, its tenor, and its numbers. Christianity is losing its relevance in the mind of modern educated man. Church attendance is down sharply for both Catholics and Protestants in general in the western, educated world, and only in the third world where ignorance and superstition reign is it growing. And what is growing there is a version of Christianity that is very unpalatable to the enlightened mind.

With about 200 separate denominations looking down their noses at each other, with some of the old, mainline entities having undergone splits, does anyone think that this state of things is what Yeshua had in mind? After two thousand years of confusion, major doctrines and dogmas going in and out of vogue, not to mention the major split between Catholicism and Protestantism as to the foundation for authority, not to mention the looming and troubling foundational disparity between the Northern hemisphere and Southern hemisphere brands of Christianity, does anyone really think that Christendom has it about right? That Christendom is on the verge of going somewhere or doing something significant?

But Christ could certainly not have established the Church.
That is, the institution we now call by that name, for nothing
resembling our present conception of the Church -- with its
sacraments, its hierarchy, and especially its claim to infall-
ibility --is to be found in Christ's words or in the conception
of the men of his time."
- Leo Tolstoy

See: Religious Diversity

The decline of Christian denomination members in America

From a peak of over 17% around 1991, protestant denomination–excluding Southern Baptist Convention and United Methodist Church–population declined to about 12% in 2019, while Southern Baptist Convention population declined from around 10% in the 1980's to about 5% in 2019. United Methodist Church membership declined in population of about 8% in the mid-1980's to about 4% in 2019. Just since 2005 the membership of Southern Baptist Convention declined from 16.3 million to less than 15 million according to it own Annual Church Profile. Baptisms dropped from 321,000 in 2007 to 246,000 in 2018.

At the Pew Research Center, studies tracking America’s religious landscape found that although religious beliefs and practice have been declining at a rapid pace for people of all ages, the drop-off has been most pronounced among people ages 23 to 38. In 2019, roughly two-thirds attend worship services “a few times a year” or less, and 4 in 10 say they seldom or never go. A decade ago, it was more than half and only 3 in 10, respectively. - https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/lifestyle-buzz/opinion-why-millennials-are-skipping-church-and-not-going-back/ar-AAJrRW6?li=BBnb7Kz

Literally multitudes of decent men and women have left the Christian denominations after having raised legitimate questions and concerns, after challenging aspects of the existing dogma, often after having tried to inaugurate needed changes and reforms, only to be told to work within the system and that the relevant truth cannot be solely in the domain of a single person. Can we not see that these denominations and their churches resist reforms more vigorously than does the United States Congress, more vigorously than they pursue unity!?

Eros and Thanatos context

One further point of context is that we are still being pushed around in the back by Thanatos, the avoidance of death, and still being pulled around by our noses by Eros, the seeking of fulfillment. The human condition, characterized by the utter failure in both of these enterprises, reigns supreme with no end in sight.

Enlightened Self Interest

Enlightened self interest is NOT selfishness. They are not the same, because the key is that selfishness is UNENLIGHTENED, demoralizing, short-sighted and unethical. We are made to operate from enlightened self interest, because clearly even God operates that way. To say the least, Christendom does not generally make this distinction clear to its followers, and many Christian leaders and spokesmen urge violation of the principle.

Below is a link to one of the strongest and most negative articles on the foundations of Christianity. However, whatever truth or falsity may be in it, this article does NOT destroy the authenticity of the Gospel of John nor the Gospel of Thomas nor the message of Yeshua in these two Gospels.

 The Forged Origins of the New Testament

The religious superstition is encouraged by means of the
institution of churches, processions, monuments, festivities...
The so-called clergy stupefy the masses...They befog the people
and keep them in an eternal condition of stupefaction.
- Tolstoy

Christianity and Sin

Of the world's major religions, we can easily consider Christianity as the best, not because it has a different fundamental paradigm of "God", but because it has a measure of Jesus entwined or infused within it. Otherwise, If you understand that Yeshua defined sin as having and culturing a wrong, negative concept of God, the Christendom wallows in sin in its dogma and doctrine, its music and liturgy, its literature and its rites and ceremonies. It may try to strike a balance between the violent dictator and the loving "Jesus" but this is a schizophrenic and unholy combination, and there is no sign of reform on the paradigm level.

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