For where two or three are gathered togetherOver at the Irish Savant, Anonymous remarks: "I respect anyone who lives a Christian life" but goes on to say that, in his experience, churchgoers don't live such a life. This, he seems to fear, is the rot that underlies the ongoing death of the West.
in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
But, in fact, the sinfulness of professed Christians is not the problem he supposes. Jesus, after all, supped with whores and tax collectors and found their company much preferable to that of holier-than-thou orthodox Jews.
The real problem for Christians today is that only the most simple-minded and uneducated can possibly believe the Bible. It's all a fairy tale, with some moral guidance thrown in. What's more, the big churches — Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican — are based on that Pauline mumbo-jumbo encapsulated in the Apostolic Creed, unrelated to anything Jesus is reported to have said during his lifetime.
|Caravaggio: the Nativity. Image source|
What we do know is that the Gospel accounts sure as Hell aren't gospel truth. They were written a generation or several after the death of Jesus by we know not whom with we know not what axes to grind. Further, to anyone with a modern mind and a clear head, all the stuff about angels, virgin birth, walking on water, the Resurrection and Ascension is obvious bunk, apparently derived from ancient Egyptian and Greek myths.
So Christianity is all crap, right?
Of course not.
Loaves and fishes: Mosaic floor, early Christian
basilica of Olous, Elounda, Crete, Greece,
Byzantine civilization, 6th century AD.
And the Nativity scene, made central to our perception of Christianity through the artistic genius of Saint Francis, is infinitely more charming than stories about a reindeer-hauled sled and a jolly old fella in red climbing down chimneys.
The essence of Christianity has to be seen in the works of the saints, Jesus who, we are told, sacrificed himself in obedience to what he believed to be the will of God, being the first.
More generally, Christianity amounts simply to the golden rule, the still small voice of conscience, the Kingdom of Heaven within. This is what underlies what is most admirable in the Western tradition of art, law, scholarship, and public service. It is what has allowed the best in the West to thrive and spread the benefit of their gifts to society as a whole. But it is this openness that constitutes the West's greatest vulnerability, now that it exists under the government of a treasonous elite. We are wide open to infiltration by organized, collectivist, groups propagating alien ideologies, from Political Correctness and the worship of billionaires to Communism and Islam.
Christians needs to forget arcane theological disputes of no moral significance and attend to the defense of their civilization. Concerning churches, music, art, myth or dogma, take it or leave it as suits your temperament.
CanSpeccy: Atheists for Christ
Frans de Waal: Moral behavior in animals