Just how relevant are Christian views — beyond the golden rules common to all religions — in today’s Western world. It seems to me that many, many people have moved on, or evolved, in their spirituality to the point that they no longer adhere to Bible-thumping church beliefs they view as exclusionary. They no longer fear the “wrath” of God; they don’t see God as a deity, but more as a loving cosmic Energy that fills the heavens and the Earth. They do not or may not believe the Bible is the word of God at all, but is instead the views of men claiming to speak for God, but who were, in fact, speaking for themselves. They may see the Bible as simply one more spiritual text, and they put it on the shelves in their libraries beside other such texts as the Bhagavad’Gita (a beautiful book).
We know that it is next to impossible to convince some Christians that any book other than the Bible has spiritual relevance, and that any views besides their own have merit. But perhaps that very narrow-mindedness and exclusionary behaviour by those Christians is what is driving so many people away from their churches. After all, even the master Jesus said you can judge a tree by its fruits. So, when those fruits are bitter, people stop eating. It’s Karma 101.
I think we are seeing a shift away from the fundamentalist Christianity of old. And those Christian institutions clinging to the old school of thought that espouses its Bible-thumping views of “God’s boundaries” are facing extinction. Not Christianity as a whole, mind you. Many Christian institutions have moved forward. One only needs to read The Heartland Proclamation to see that. But will the rest of Christianity move forward, too?
That’s the title of an op-ed in the Montreal Gazette over the weekend. Jillian Page writes: