Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Is Christianity "evil"?

Define "evil" Jim...
There are lots of definitions we could probably agree with, but I choose something simple:

Evil is the lack of, or non-application of love.

So, why do I think ALL religion is evil?

For that I'd have to define love, and again, to keep it simple:

Love is the unconditional acceptance of a person's unique worth (including our own), without judgement or conditions.

ALL religions fail on the definition of love. Many blatantly, such as fundamentalist Islam and Christianity. But many on a far more subtle level, such as the rest of christianity. I'll stick to Christianity because it's the religion I'm very well versed in.

By it's very nature - it's foundational doctrines that define the essence of christian beliefs - Christianity is judgemental and conditional. Consider the following:
  • Everyone is unacceptable to God from birth (yes some are changing their theology around this)
  • God cannot accept anyone without them having "faith" in Jesus
  • Non-christians are rejected by God
  • When you become a christian you must change to be acceptable to God (this is still implied even in the most liberal doctrines)
  • Christians can extend loving actions and attitudes to un-saved people, but they are still excluded from God simply by being human.
  • Christians are told to judge others, to separate themselves from the ungodly (this is changing in more liberal circles)
  • They "love" others with the sole purpose of getting them "saved"
I could go on.

This is not love. In fact it's the opposite, it's evil. Even by the bible's own definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, most christians don't have a clue what love really is.

I know there are many of my christian friends who do genuinely feel empathy and compassion without judgement for a lot of people, but when I think of myself and so many others, we always had an agenda. We didn't love people simply because they were human beings worthy of love. That agenda was deeply ingrained and coloured every thought and action.

Christianity is starting to evolve thank God (irony intended). Many are recognising this glaring paradox and adjusting their theology and doctrines. But that in itself raises bigger questions about the foundations of the faith in the first place.

So back to my premise...

Christians aren't evil people, but the foundational doctrines and theology are! The bible is not a book of love, despite the odd gem. It's a book of conditions and control, of subtle and blatant abuse, of ancient cultural bigotry and primitive uneducated mindsets, lacking the combined wisdom of 2000 years of moral/social/philosophical evolution.

We are now, as a species, far more moral than the God of the bible. Christianity keeps trying to pull us back to that ancient mindset, creating the exact opposite of what this world needs to grow.

But I understand the attraction of Christianity. I really do! I'm not dissing the people, I'm encouraging us to open our eyes to the lies we are deceiving ourselves with. Perhaps we need to see that our beliefs may have served a primitive bunch of Jews, but that they are utterly irrelevant now, to the point of being destructive and yes, evil.

Having said all that, I'm not saying Christians are evil people. But I am saying their whole foundation for love is screwed.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Self worth and Jesus

A central tenet of christian doctrine is the belief that we are intrinsically bad/evil and that only through Jesus can any sense of self worth be attained.

This is strengthened by persistent teachings that say things like "all of Him, none of me", "I can do nothing without Jesus", "I'm just a worthless sinner saved by grace" and countless other expression all based on various interpretation of scripture.

Self worth however, is exactly that - the worth of our "selves". What is our core identity (our essence/spirit/heart - all that we are) actually worth?

Is it doomed, from the moment of our conception, to be thwarted in every attempt at living loved, with honesty and compassion, to be a source of light and love to all around us?

Is our self worth a thing to be despised and utterly rejected, to be replaced in some magical way by the "worthiness" of another, which alone will make us acceptable to our God?

I know there are many doctrines that explain the indwelling of Christ and how he makes us one with him as our spirits are remade in his likeness etc. There are thousands of books written and sermons preached on this.

But all avoid the most fundamental issue - that however we hide it in nice and loving sounding doctrines - our deepest self, the "me" that we were created with that makes up all that we are - is worthless crap until Jesus takes over our hearts and makes us like him.

In a way, this works. Simply because if we accept that we are totally corrupted and screwed up, as is evident by the way we think and live, then believing that a "perfect being" can live inside us and solve this problem by us sacrificing every thought and desire we have to that being, then yeah, we will change, especially as we believe that being is loving and gracious and only wants the best for us.

But at a deeper level this is the ultimate abuse of humanity. It destroys our hearts and souls in a way that is so subtle that we actually think its healthy.

What if the real problem is simply that our own self worth is damaged by the lies we are taught from birth?

What if the examples of constant lovelessness as we grow reinforce the idea that we are so flawed that our only hope is by abandoning the little we have and allowing another being to live vicariously through us?

But what if the flame of our self worth were to be encouraged, brought to life and allowed to be everything it was created to be, simply for its own value?

What if we actually believed that we are beautiful, lovingly made, infinitely valuable, just because we are human? Imagine billions of people honouring each other's unique worth, respecting each other out of their own unique self-worth, living from a place of perfect and complete self love - a love that can do nothing other than embrace the love that we are all made of.

What if the religion we try to use to feel worth something, is doing the exact opposite and is slowly and thoroughly killing us off as individuals and as a species?

Yes, I know many people have been "saved" from lives of misery and abuse through christianity. But what if its nothing more than a cover up - a poor substitute for real life and living powerfully and wholly ourselves, full of love and life?

Personally, I've found this to be the case. By accepting who I am at the core of my being and allowing myself to unconditionally love that "me", I have become more loving, more patient, more compassionate, more filled with peace and joy, and far more capable of giving love to others than any amount of self-sacrifice to Christ could ever bring. Pride and arrogance fall away, rather than grow - the exact opposite of what Christianity told me would happen!

Live loved!