This isn't going to be an easy or short blog, just sayin...
Someone innocently said I hate christianity today. It was an interesting comment and I had to stop and think. I went for a walk (my default processing mechanism) and pondered this, pulling together all my random thoughts, sifting through my reactions, looking at how I've grown and changed over the last few years.
I decided that it was a serious comment I couldn't take lightly, even if it wasn't intended that way.
If you've read my book you would understand my journey and why I have left it behind. I can still respect where people are at with it, and understand the comparative freedom and peace it brings to so many. Its just that I regard it as one of many stepping stones in our understanding of spirituality. It can be used or abused like any other belief system.
Do I hate it? I have to weigh up everything I know about it over the 40+ years of being deeply devoted to Jesus. I was a Jesus purist in many ways, and always strived to see the reality of Christ through the "religion", although miserably failing most of the time to see all my glaring inconsistencies and hypocrisies!
I think "hate" is the wrong word, or at least just one in a long list. I have to sift through the emotions I've experienced and would say that they cover disappointment, frustration, confusion, embarrassment and a sense of "what a fool I was". I'm repulsed by the control and manipulation of religious leaders - big and small. I loath the self righteousness of fundamentalism and biblical literalism. There is a lot of deep emotion there, and hate may well be among it all.
Perhaps frustration is the primary emotion. Frustration at the unwillingness of christians in general, to be willing to see beyond their mindset. It's that whole sense of "we've got the ultimate truth", christianity is the only way any human can be "saved", and the absolute devotion to bibliolatry - the worship of the bible as the complete and only source of truth and the revelation of God in its entirety.
There is an inherent sense of arrogance in christianity (although most religions are the same to various degrees) that is repulsive. But it hooks people in. It's that sense of belonging to an elite club - the "saved", the "righteous ones", those who have "made it" into the kingdom. It builds complex doctrines enforced by centuries of tradition and dogma, twisted by cultural, political and social paradigms that constantly aim to reinforce the exclusive nature of christendom and its superiority to all other religion (again, many other religions also have the same mentality!)
I've written other blogs about why I think christianity works as a belief system, but does that mean I endorse it? Would I tell people who are looking for spiritual meaning to look at christianity as a viable option? Probably not!
If you are currently embracing the christian paradigm, then I would say that's fine, just don't "park" there, in the sense that you need to keep asking questions, explore, dig deeper and recognise dogma for what it is. Yes, the psychology behind christianity can provide a lot of comfort and peace, and that has it's place. It's an easy religion to use as a psychological booster, especially with it's concepts of scapegoating, sacrifice, forgiveness etc.
But it also encourages us to stop there, without questioning. It demands that we refuse anything outside of it's own paradigms and constructs. It builds complex and punitive doctrines to keep people at at that level of spirituality.
I could go on but you're probably bored by now!
So yeah, umm, do I hate christianity? Mostly, I guess I do. Despite the benefits it may have hidden in its doctrines, I hate it's passion for dogma, it's exclusiveness, its bigotry and patronising expression of love. So in those terms I hate ALL religions! I just don't have the working knowledge of all the other ones to speak with any authority.
For those few christians who manage to weave deeper spiritual truths and real love into their beliefs, I say congratulations and "go for it", and be prepared to keep growing, no matter where it takes you! But you are a minority and will suffer (something about the narrow road, lol).
Our real nature, the reality of who we are, of what the universe is and how it all works is so much bigger and better than the little christian religion that its almost laughable. Not that I have much to offer, apart from a passion to search, question, explore and live with as much integrity as we can!