Thoughts on Christianity
About four years ago, I posted about the phenomenon within the home schooling forum that I am part of, ie, that of forum members crossing the Tiber and becoming Catholics.
Fours years on, and another startling situation is occurring. It seems to me that many people in my internet circles in the past year or so have deconverted – to put it simply, they have become atheists.
Back then, I was wondering whether Catholicism had any merit and whether I should therefore cross the Tiber, too. Now, I’m beginning to question the validity of the Christian faith, in particular the Evangelical variety. I’ve not yet considered embracing atheism (if embracing is the word I’m looking for), but it’s pretty darn close. Scary close.
For one thing, I’ve grown much too irritated with Evangelical Christianity lately. I’ve had to check myself and avoid making comments on social networks and other arenas (real life!) that could get me into trouble.
“Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.”
Bah, humbug. Lest I’m misunderstood, I used to tout this aphorism out with the best of them. Religion is defined as a list of rules and regulations, and (apparently) Christianity is about being in a loving relationship with God the Father through Jesus.
Funnily enough – in my experience anyway, your mileage may vary – the people who are most wont to spew out this trite axiom, are also the ones who are most likely to extoll the teachings of the Pearls, Jonathan Lindvall, Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips, and the like. If anything, these men’s teachings are nothing but rules and lists of do’s and don’ts!
And now, a word about this ‘relationship’. Within the evangelical community (in particular), much emphasis is placed on this personal relationship with God. What is more, there is also an emphasis on making a decision for Christ so that one can enter into a relationship with God.
What about people for whom forming relationships is a problem? People on the autistic spectrum come to mind. For them, relationships will always be a struggle. Sure, they can learn the rules (there’s that word again!) that go with social behaviour, but their responses will always be learned responses and (almost) never natural. How can they have a relationship with a god whom they have not seen if they can’t even have a real relationship with people whom they have seen? (I realise the spectrum is wide and therefore this is not going to apply across the board.)
Any relationship they have with ‘god’ will be little more than learned behaviour and following a set of prescribed rules and regulations. In other words, it will resemble the ‘religion’ that evangelicals are quick to condemn.
To Be Continued.