Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How Did We Get Here?

We saw that secular society sees all religions as basically the same. That the differences are superficial. It is really quite a silly notion. So why do so many people accept it? A lot of it flows from doctrinal indifference within Christianity. When you ask a Christian about his church what does he say? Typically they talk about the superficial stuff. The preaching, the music, the kids programs, the fellowship. People almost never focus on doctrine. If they go to a non-denominational church they might not even know much about the doctrines the pastors believe. Often churches try and steer clear of anything that might cause controversy. Just focus on Jesus and never mind the details. But what do they mean by that? They typically don't mean just focus on the cross. They typically mean a warm fuzzy loving Jesus.

But if you go there then it does not matter if you are Reformed or Pentecostal or Anglican or Catholic. It is all basically the same mush underneath. Even atheists are capable of the same mushiness. People say it is because we are all approaching the same God. That is not really it. We are all going nowhere. If you don't go deep into your faith then the content of you faith does not matter. All traditions end up in the same spot but it is not God. It is self. We start out with human impulses to love and to worship and we never get beyond that.

But why do we avoid depth and opt for mere Christianity? Because we lack truth and we lack unity. You can try and contemplate the depths of God's truth but the deeper you go the fewer people you will have with you and the less certain you will be about whether you have made a serious error or not. The exception to this is Catholicism but protestants and even many Catholics don't embrace the Church as the source of truth and unity. So many Christians end up with basically a man-made religion that secularists can dismiss because it really is pretty superficial.

There are exceptions. Some people are undeterred by the lack of certainty and end up getting many things right. But they remain exceptions precisely because they lack the unity that would make them something else. Only the Catholic church is united enough around a faith with enough content to not fit into the secularist model. Even then the secular person will not see it because there are so many weak Catholics. It makes it easy to dismiss them all rather than deal with the orthodox core.

So Christians have created this secular beast by running away from their faith. They have created a mass of contradictory faiths that make it easy to dismiss all the differences. It seems like the smart thing to do. It even seems fair because you are treating all the faiths equally. You are not picking one right one. So freedom of religion means disrespecting all religion equally. Even those who still practice their faith can be seen to disrespect their own religion because they buy into this fairness idea. Who knows what is really true? Even Catholics talk that way.

The good news is God has given us the grace to be able to unite around one truth. The hard part is we all have to abandon our pet doctrines and unite around God's truth. It is easier to just shrug and say "Who knows?" But it is better that there is a truth in this world worth living for and worth dying for. We just need to discard all the forms of Christianity that come from the works of man and embrace the one that comes from the grace of God.

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