Friday, January 05, 2007

Over the years I have heard it asserted on numerous occasions that modern men and women reject Christianity and it's truth claims because of science,logic,and allegiance to human reason. While I am willing to concede some truth to this particular assertion I would like to suggest/propose that it is human experience in the end that makes it difficult for many folks to align and commit themselves to the various Christian institutions and it's numerous subcultures. Let me try to explain. Orthodox, mainstream Christianity in it's various forms asserts in it's creeds, doctrinal statements, dogmas, and it's teachings from the pulpit numerous things on a regular basis that has no relevancy or connection to reality or the experiences of the vast majority of modern day people. Stories of animals talking, virgin births, walking on water, people being swallowed by whales and living to tell the tale, and people coming back from the dead are what I am referring to. I am not suggesting that these stories do not have tremendous value, because I believe they do, but when these accounts are taken literally and dogmatically, as they are by the religious powers that be and a vast majority of it's followers than it creates a stumbling block for most folks who did not grow up in the subculture where they would have been indoctrinated from birth. Many Christian's assert that it is pride that prevent people from accepting these proposed self evident truths but, imo, these stories taken literally are a stumbling block because we have no personal experiences in which to compare them with. Some Christians might suggest that miracles still happen today and while I don't want to rule out the possibility that God can and does do miracles there appears from my vantage point a qualitative difference between the miracles and miraculous stories found in the Bible and what people report to experience in the modern world...and...that is one of the reasons why people who did not grow up in a Christian subculture have a difficult time committing themselves to a religious institution that I suspect seems out of date and out of step with reality and the experience of many folks in the modern world...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bilbo, I think the options are just so many, kind of overwhelming for plain old spiritual seekers who are just trying to figure out which one is "best" or "most correct." A lot of it still comes down to, do I have friends who worship and believe this way, and if I do, can I really convince myself that what they are saying is true? Once the social barriers are crossed and a person feels a motivation to fit in, I think our minds are capable of being persuaded to believe in a lot of otherwise "literally in-credible" things...

Bilbo said...

Dave,

Agreed...and I suspect there is more pressure to fit in with people who were raised in the subculture than with folks like me who did not. Although I was an active card carrying member of the Evangelical subculture for twenty five years I never made any allegiances with a particular a particular denomination or subculture group. I was always all over the map. I bounced from fundamentalist to carismatic to Reformed and eventually right out the door...

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