Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is happening to Christianity?

I believe we are living in a very crucial, yet exciting time in the history of mankind. 

There are all kinds of revolutions going on in the world,  from the very conspicuous Arab Spring which thrives on great media coverage to subtle, silent, yet powerful spiritual revolution among the new generation. I am encouraged and excited to see the renewed spiritual awareness and a greater sense of the need for freedom sweeping across the globe. I am encouraged by the courage and brevity of the young generation to come forward and question things which doesn't appeal to their heart. And the more and more people becoming less and less hesitant to stand firm in  (or reclaim) their freedom and say "No" to religious, political and social oppression.

There is something very telling about the huge popularity of the "Why I hate religion, but love Jesus" YouTube video. There is something refreshing about that video. It's both radical, yet sitting right with our heart. Truth, though it is sometimes disturbing in the light of our traditions, always sit right with our heart. 

When we hear the truth, we KNOW that it is the truth.

Is this a phenomena out of the new generation to seek and find what is actually real? Could it be seen as a damaging challenge to the religious establishment and how religion had been oppressing, controlling and manipulating people for centuries?

It reminds me of the great courage shown by men like Martin Luther (in 1500s), who vehemently opposed to conform to Catholic oppression and ignited the flame of Protestant revolution. 

It's been more than 500 years.

In this 500 years, traditions, unspoken rules and clever manipulation have been sneaked into Christianity. Fundamentalism took its root and became like a Pharisaical cult. It abused hundreds and thousands of people, snatched their freedom from their hands, and controlled them without kindness. 

Is it time to question it? Is it time to shake even the very foundation of institutional church and organized religion? Is the social media, and other powerful technological tools changing the game? Is the global spiritual climate changing rapidly? Is the bigotry of Christian fundamentalism and institutional Christianity coming to an end?

Is it a sign that people are coming out of their closet and authentically agreeing that they have a greater spiritual need and a deeper desire in their heart to connect with their Creator, which the institutions have failed to meet?

It is worth noticing, unlike the historical revolutions, which usually started by one or two courageous men/women, the modern revolutions are started and carried on by regular, ordinary people. Ordinary radicals, just like you and me!

After all, is it just that we are awakening to the simple, yet profound fact that Jesus did not really come to start another religion but to give us a relationship and friendship and He is whole-heatedly interested in each one of us individually with all of our flaws, not necessarily the little phony religious activities we do?


Matthew said...

Great post, Bino.

I'm inclined to the belief that the time of the Gentiles is close to an end because of the corruption. The corruption is not only legalism but also, and I am not talking in terms of politics, but liberalism as well.

We have two extremes that both seek to unhinge the minds of sincere believers. One is, of course, legalism. The other is a blatant disregard for scripture. I'm speaking of Universalism and other such teachings.

Both "parties" seek to remove faith as the channel through which God brings men to salvation. They are both guilty of cowardice. The legalist is so afraid of God's judgement, he closes his ears to Jesus' clear message of grace.

On the opposite side of the coin, the Universalist is so afraid of people condemning them as religious bigots that they make exceptions as far as scripture is concerned, and blame Christians, their own brothers and sisters, for everything negative going on in the world. While it is true that a large portion of Churches have misconstrued the Gospel, they, in their attempt to preserve grace, have distorted it into another message entirely, which is not even hinted at by Jesus or the Apostles.

I say this because I believe there is indeed a spiritual hunger that is growing, but people are allowing their strong cravings to lead them down any path they deem worthy of traveling, having a blatant disregard for scripture.

Perhaps this comment is out of context with your post, but I felt it worth noting.

Bino M. said...

Hi Matt,

You are right there is lot of junk out in the cyber world.

BTW, I wanted to ask you, have you given any serious studies on Universalism? I have been planning on doing some studies on it, just to see where they are coming from.

Matthew said...

Some may say that I have not studied it because I have not delved into their books or heard all of the arguments, though I have heard quite a few arguments, and they tend to begin with how educated they are in the original Greek language. They also tend to believe themselves to have a better understanding of what God *should* be like, if God is indeed love.

The irony of sinful men who suppress the truth and yet claim to know God is unbearable.

However, I have read the New Testament through and through and have heard countless sermons on scripture, read countless articles, a ton of books, and have spent hours upon hours thinking on God and his words written to us.

Based on that, I would deem it unnecessary to study it. If I know the truth, I'll know error when I see it.