Monday, May 7, 2012

Don't Always Buy What Christians Are Selling

"By excluding so many people from theological exploration, we increase the theological ignorance in our society, making people especially vulnerable to bad theology and unscrupulous purveyors of self-serving religion. A woman who lost her young child to leukemia was told it was because of unconfessed sin in her life. Because the woman was theologically uneducated, and the person pronouncing judgment buttressed his declaration with scriptures, she believed the pronouncement to be true and plunged into an abyss of guilt where she suffered for many years before seeking counselling. Others give money to the church they can't spare to unprincipled hucksters who promise God's wealth and favor in return. Still others persist in abusive relationships believing it is God's will. On a far too regular basis, millions of people suffer the venomous effects of ill-conceived religion. That so relatively few people test theological assertions with reason, science, and logic is a testament to religion's ability to both seduce and silence its adherents. It is no wonder more and more thoughtful people are finding atheism an attractive choice.

For too many years Christianity has been more about constraint and less about liberation. Bound by dated creeds, traditions and doctrines, the Christianity of the past has held too many of its disciples back, not carried them forward."

~ Philip Gulley "The Evolution of Faith: How God Is Creating A Better Christianity" (2012)