I often wonder why the Western world is declining. Many others would say the same thing. In fact, we would probably agree that our culture is deteriorating. The problem is, a lot of examples that would be brought up in a conversation are very superficial. Why superficial? Because some are too afraid to talk about the real problems plaguing our world. Not just afraid to talk, they will be in a state of denial and cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is defined as a mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a belief of a person clashes with new evidence perceived by that person. When confronted with facts that contradict personal beliefs, ideals, and values, people will find a way to resolve the contradiction in order to reduce their discomfort.As a culture, we cannot solve the problems unless we get to the bottom of it. Who? What? When? Where? Why? Sometimes these questions are very difficult to answer. Stopping a symptom will not solve the problem. Eliminating the cause will.
Modern day Western civilization has a tendency to be very weak, forgiving and accepting. The past century is living proof of that. If you can honestly look outside your window and tell yourself that everything is amazing, you are being very dishonest with yourself. I know people will point fingers and tell us what the main problem is, yet no one can change that. There is no physical way that these problems will be solved. It all becomes a talking point at the dinner table, television and other sources of communication. Of course these talking points turn into debates, which can get heated and emotional. At times it splits friendships, relationships and families a part. For what? The common denominator of these talking points stems from two major topics. Politics and religion.
I often wonder centuries before, if this would cause so much division in our ancestors’ lives? I highly doubt it. They focused on family and community, having their faith as their foundation. There was no television to huddle around, these families found ways of improving their life and doing activities together. Now a days you will rarely see this. Many families are broken, forced to work long hours to survive. Divorce rates are through the roof. Being a single parent is pretty much the norm now a days. It doesn’t seem like we are evolving in the proper direction right?
I mentioned before about the two major topics of politics and religion. Politics is a beast of a topic to discuss. You can write millions of pages on it. We can leave that up to those who enjoy politics to do. My major concern is religion. Now! I am concerned about religion. Immediately a good chunk of people will classify me as an atheist, agnostic or even an apologetic. I am neither of these.
I titled this article ‘A writing to the Judeo Christians’ for a reason. Loads of people will get confused by it, not knowing what it truly means. I shall summarize it with one word, ‘churchianity’. Basically every church that is denominational, non- denominational and Catholic. Further in this writing it will be quite clear what the main title is about. Some understand what it means, the best to you!
I would like to dive into various questions and comments about the ‘churchianity’ world. I know some will not like the topics because it tests their faith and belief. These questions are tough! Yet many are asking the same questions and never get a full honest answer.
Is It This Or Is It That? – Welcome To Churchianity
Like the majority of those who grew up in a church, you followed wherever your parent(s) went. Experiences growing up usually are positive, due to the fact you were a child and all you really wanted to do is be with your friends. You went to Sunday school. The teacher of your class would be a parent as well. The energy that you had was overwhelming. The teaching was very quick, basic and simple. I do not know if many children had the capability to take in the information. So, to keep the children focused, you would have to be proactive and have many visuals and activities to entertain. You probably remember seeing pictures of prophets, Adam and Eve with an apple, Noah’s boat, a cross and even a lion in the den. Getting the children to memorize Biblical verses was another task in hand. Why get the children to memorize verses? Is it being taught accurately? Do they know what context it is in?
When the main service starts, church goers get involved in singing and eventually the big message (sermon). A message that is unbearable for children, for they do not know what is really being said. The adults on the other hand listen very briefly. You can honestly state the congregation loses concentration and they do get restless. It is quite evident people do not care at this point and are bored. Why would many people get so bored and lose concentration? If you are too preach truth to the people, wouldn’t they want to constantly learn and listen more? Or is it that the preacher, priest, pastor (whatever title they are called) is filling in a void in the Sunday program? Most of the congregation just wants to go home and have lunch, watch sports and get on with their lives.
After a child grows into adolescence, they become more independent. They start to ask questions about other religions and other Christian denominations and sects. On a side note, a sect is not a bad thing. It is used to chastise and look down on people who do not follow or conform. The basic definition states a sect is a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong. As I stated in the introduction, this can cause rift and division amongst family and friends. “If you go to that group or church, you are a heretic!”
Sometimes parent(s) get nervous when their child(ren) get older and do not want to attend church. Parents believe that going to a church will solve problems and be an action that God wants. Knowing that, the parent(s) tend to find other alternatives that would motivate their child(ren) to stay in the church world. How do they attack this? Well they look for other churches that are more into modern things, like technologies, ministries, bigger venues etc. This is where big churchianity fits in. People will know these as mega churches. Usually evangelical but not entirely. There are definitely some denominational churches who will invest money to attract the younger crowd.
While the younger crowd who make up of youth and young adults fill up the mega churches, this is depleting the population and future generations from the smaller churches. If you do not have many butts in the seat, who will pay the bills and salaries?
A good question in regards to the traditional churches, why have so many people left? A lot of these churches have good morals and ethics. Yes I know there are a handful still out there but not as many as there used to be. Have the past few generations of parents and even church goers failed? Why is there an epidemic shift? Why did the older generations keep their children in the more traditional church and the modern generations leave?
Feel Goodisms and Emotional Spirits
As stated previously, how the sermon or message is kind of boring. You find the modern churches have this sense of keeping the people in the seats. They do this with motivational speeches, screaming and even being emotional. Adding to this, the many ministries that keep the church goers interactive and connected to their church.
The environment and atmosphere is very charged. Church goers are always seen flailing their arms and cocking their heads back singing at the top of their lungs. Music is extremely loud. A lot of people will start crying and some will be smiling. In all honesty, it is a different tactic then the more traditional churches. Yet some traditional churches are adopting this form of ‘worship’.
What about the sermon or message? Typically it is about Christ loving you but the main objective is to find Him. Almost like finding your love, soul mate and partner. My question is, how do you know if you found Him? Is there one hundred percent proof that He is there inside of you? It seems that this process can take a long time. Kind of like reaching for that bar that keeps getting higher and higher. Then beside you, others say they found Him. Ones who have found Him tend to use an event in life that has changed them in a certain degree or another. The evolution of churchianity has definitely changed.
There are also times when some will not connect with what is being preached. Regardless of the church you attend. So, people tend to ‘search’ for another church. The question is asked if you have found a right church for yourself? Usually people will attend multiple churches to find the right fit. After attending a church that some have been searching for. One usually answers that they found the right fit. Most of the time you hear the searcher state they can now connect with the main teaching. I wonder how they connect with a message or sermon? Is it because one enjoys the emotion? The accuracy of the teaching? Have you ever heard someone state they enjoyed it because the message or sermon was connected with historical events and witnesses? Personally, I have yet to find someone who can tell me the context and historicity of a certain message. How about you? It is based on the presentation; verbally and visually. Adding a sprinkle of Greek, the pastor will state Kyrios or Kurios, thus making the presentation very scholarly.
Rise Of The Religious Zealots
A zealot is defined as a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals. In this case, it is religious. What makes a zealot so fanatically religious? It almost seems like the zealots tend to have a god like complex. No matter what is presented to them, the presenter is usually called uneducated and uninformed. Like a child, that was stated before. Memorizing verses seems to be the norm. The more the zealots memorize scripture, the more ‘holier than thou’ they get. In some cases the zealots believe everything that they are told is accurate, that there is no other truth that will trump what they know. They take a life event that has changed them, so they use it as a catalyst to implement their religion. Talk about being self- righteous right?
You find these types of people in all walks of life. In some cases they seem to be very influential in presenting their case. Due to the fact they can memorize scripture, it can be impressive to many. Because they can quote scripture they believe to have all the right and proper answers. Yet, if you ask them to cross reference or give a rough historical time and date, they get stumped and veer back into a frenzy. You see this in individuals and on the street, with these street preachers and churches running around with signs.
A major paralyzing tactic that is used by these zealots, is they tend to look down on you if you disagree. You see this time in and out. Threats of you going to hell, being deceived, not giving ‘x’ amount of time reading scripture and you needing spiritual help is the norm. They are like clowns. Entertaining. Unless you hold the same view point and interpretation, you will not be allowed into their circus. Just because a clown takes the job seriously and puts a lot of effort into it, doesn’t mean it is the right path. But this is part of the churchian world. When you present a respectful fact to them, for example: Do you know who the Galations or Galatae were? You give them the answer, yet they will immediately will be intimidated that you have some knowledge that they do not have. The answer they usually give is, ‘they were Gentiles, what difference does it make?’ Well, it should matter for you to understand the proper context of everything.
One has to wonder if these types of people were many in the past. It doesn’t really serve a strong purpose, especially when families and community were very close knit and solid. Of course you get that one oddball, yet it seems very epidemic (yes this word again) today.
…to be continued