Christianity is under constant attack these days in the secular society. This is true in North America, Europe, and in Oceania. (As well, there are persecutions of Christians in other lands due to religious, sectarian, and ideological antagonisms and hatred.) But, the Christian principles are not at fault here. Abuses committed by Christians, both in the past and in the present, are an indictment of those individuals, who although professing to be Christian, failed to live out the Christian principles in their lives.
Today, so many folks parse Scripture passages, and take these often out of proper context so as to make Scripture say anything that they want it to say. Consider that at last count there were approximately 33,000 denominations, really permutations, within Christendom. It is amazing how many ways the teachings of Christ can be sliced and diced, so to speak.
There is so much spiritual and moral confusion these days within Christianity. A person can shop around for a church that will give him or her whatever he/she wants. But, how about stressing the needed message that Christians, those persons claiming to be such, need to strive to live an authentic Christian life? Let us walk the walk and not merely talk the talk. What if Christians, despite doctrinal differences among the thousands of permutations noted above, could share a unity of purpose? What if Christians could get on the same page? If that could ever happen, Christianity or Christian unity could be a very powerful force in the world, and hopefully for good.
All that said, we now consider organized religion and human beings from a hard headed, realistic perspective. Mankind has in large measure failed to live up to the religious ideals and precepts. (I dare say this is true for most of the followers of most organized religions, both western and eastern religions.) People have largely failed, except in rare individuals (saints), to make the internal change that is required, that is necessary. One has to let go of the egoistic mindset that most people think and act from. And, of course, we are all born with this mindset. One must start thinking how to give more, rather than how to take more in their daily lives.
But, it must be said here that organized religions have in some ways failed man. Human run institutions are prone to abuse and missteps. Do not think that the members of a priesthood – whether they call themselves rabbis, imams, priests, reverends, ministers, abbots (as in Buddhism), monks, Brahmans, etc. – are immune from seeking the pleasure of power, or the temptations that a privileged position gives them. It strikes me that much in the various organized religions is, or more accurately, has been made up. Too many religious leaders seek to add their spin to important spiritual and moral teachings.
People do need spiritual and moral guidance, and the aid and support of being part of a religious community. Most folks need the structure of organized religion. But, viewing the history of organized religions, it has been a mixed bag, so to speak. There can be no denying that.
A final point to consider here is what the late Vedic scholar, translator, interpreter, author, and religious teacher (guru), Srila Prabhupada (died 1977), noted in his many books more than a few times. He counseled his readers that the true test, or measure of the authenticity of a religion is how successful (read: effective) it is in teaching people how to love God.
totally random, unrelated thoughts today
We all know by now that large groups of people “engaging in humanitarian self-help efforts” after a natural or man made disaster can be/is a euphemism for looting.
Some tea bag wisdom here, quoted from a the paper tag attached to a tea bag:
“Be who you wanna be, not who they choose to see.” – unknown
Our feature image is from Istanbul in March, 2019, and is offered by courtesy of a relative, who traveled there.
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