HOW CHRISTIANITY IS BEING WEAKENED IN AMERICA
Sometimes it seems that the evil and godless people in our society know more about Christianity than Christians themselves know. There is an old adage that in order to destroy your enemy, you must know your enemy; know: how they think, what they depend on, what is important to them, what they fear, what disturbs them, and what psychological values uphold their culture. In other words, an enemy of Christianity must know what makes a Christian tick. In America, the godless and those of the darkness have progressively undermined the foundation upon which Christianity has been built.
They learned that if the underlying values which support a society were confused and diminished, the cultural foundation would be weakened and collapse. We Americans, unbeknownst to us, have been willing participants in the destruction of the values which are the underpinning of our Christian faith. In our enthusiasm to develop the post-modern world following WWII, Americans embraced new technologies, materialism and the comfort of modern conveniences.
For the most part, we became enamored with the rapid development, novelty, and expansion of the external world, while at the same time, failing to recognize how drastically separated we were becoming from our internal spiritual roots. While Christians attended church across the country, in the cities and newly developing suburbs, external reality prevailed and the emphasis quietly shifted from being spiritually fed in church to a concern for which was the most prominent and socially popular church to attend.
This trend has continued into the present with mega-churches competing with one another and church services looking more like musical festivals attempting to enthrall and entertain as a way to attract worshippers and money. External realities have thoroughly and completely prevailed over the internal reality, to the point that suspicions are aroused within modern Christendom at the mention of contemplation, introspection or meditation upon the Christian mysteries.
Is it any surprise that the offspring of these modern day church-goers have their heads and hearts buried deeply into the virtual world? The orientation of the young minds of America’s future citizens is totally lost and buried in the external world of technology, pop culture, social media and wokeness; this orientation includes the following: continuous, non-stop communication with their peers in virtual reality; deep concerns regarding their celebrity-status popularity; a lack of sensitivity and respect for the living beings around them; an ongoing development of anxieties, insecurities, and unfounded fears; an erosion or absence of personal values and moral principles; a lack of any kind of internal conviction; and a desensitized, relativistic and confused decision-making process.
This presently accepted life-style of our young people contains absolutely NO internal cognitive reality: no understanding of introspection or self-reflection; no realization of the importance of a value-based character; no recognition of personal responsibility or integrity; no realization of a spiritual self or soul; no sense of duty or honor to God and country; and no internal respect for the sacredness of life.
Without a doubt, this is the most ego-driven, self-absorbed and clueless generation with regard to life ever to emerge on American soil. The materialistic, amoral, valueless culture and society in this country, which many Americans are accepting, is what is destroying Christianity. This way of life is undermining and destroying the value system and the principles upon which this nation and Christianity were founded. Our enemy is very satisfied!
Many Christians in America, like a reflection of society, tend to be naïve, self-indulgent, pampered and easily manipulated because they have never had to stand up against anything threatening! No one in this country has been persecuted or murdered for their religious beliefs so far; no one in the country has been threatened with incarceration for being a Christian; and no Christian in America has been thrown in the lion’s den or been chased down in an Inquisition. No Christian in America has had to stand up for their Christian beliefs, and as a result, many of today’s Christians have a hard time articulating what it is they really stand for as a person of faith.
Unfortunately and ironically, it is the peace, prosperity, comfort and ease of living in this country which encourages personal weakness through the self-indulgent tendencies we humans are prone to. If Christians do not wake up, stand up and take action beginning with ourselves and our families, we are going to lose our country, families, children, way of life, and our faith. Our enemy knows more about destroying our way of life than we know about protecting and maintaining it.
Some of the enemies Christians are fighting are secular and godless Americans; and their plan of attack on our culture, country, political system, and religion is simple – undermine the importance of values and morals through relativism in the media and pop culture so young people no longer know the difference between right and wrong; eliminate family traditions by alienating and separating the family unit through individually-operated technological devices; subvert and divert our country through lies, misinformation and oppression so the next generation no longer understands or values our Constitution and Bill of Rights. This is not to mention the physical reality or real world threats from enemies who are evil, violent, and heartless like, Islamic jihadists, drug cartels, gangs, criminals, thugs and the insane, folks who would slit our throats in a heartbeat if we give them the chance!
Christian Americans have found themselves at a disadvantage as a result of the vitriol coming from a degenerating society, and they are on the defensive. The enemy is proving to be more effective in their attack than Christians are in maintaining and preserving their way of life and their Constitutional Republic. In battle terminology, Christians have been routed and scattered.
Fortunately, there are many people who have awakened and are preparing for difficult times ahead. Many people are advocating for a spiritual awakening among Christians, one which calls for discovering our common ground rather than focusing on petty divisions and sectarianism. By remaining divided, Christendom faces the threat of failure; but united in the living truth of Jesus Christ, we will surely prevail.
Dogma, Doctrine, & Denominations
As we all know, there are many different levels of understanding and forms of worship within Christianity, such as: the homespun fundamentalists who believe in a literal interpretation of the bible, the orthodox churches, the mega “open to all” gatherings, the small and intimate home-study groups, and the spiritual Christians whose knowledge of Christ comes from within. This diversity is evident when it is recognized that the tens of thousands of individual churches in our country each have their own unique approach to understanding the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Like people, all churches are different because of the unique makeup of their congregations; their explanations of the biblical teachings are different in an attempt to serve the needs of their local parishioners. The preachers, pastors and ministers are able to utilize and teach the life of Jesus Christ as a remedy for what ails and what uplifts their particular congregations.
The reason there are so many different Christian churches in America, each with their own denomination, dogma, doctrine and local culture, is because there are so many diverse and unique individuals. The reality is that each one of us is uniquely different, with varying: experiences, temperaments, sensitivities, intellect, motivation, problems, and insights. When all of these unique characteristics in people are considered in the context of religion, it is unimaginable to think that we could have any kind of common understanding regarding the teachings of Christ.
It is absolutely miraculous that there is as much common understanding, good will and shared faith among folks as there is. The only reason we are able to find common ground is because of the selfless love and multi-faceted life of Jesus Christ, a life which was expressed on many different levels: as a friend and brother, as a savior, as a healer, as a teacher, and as a spiritual being who manifested the fullness of the divine-human nature.
He established a Way of Life and a body of teachings grounded in selfless love which were intended to guide us toward personal transformation, spiritual liberation and the regeneration of our souls. Jesus Christ gave us numerous examples that we too had a divine-human nature and unlimited potential; He said, “Love ye one another AS I have loved you; these things I do so shall you do; and be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Many Christians today want to experience the internal oneness and unity with Christ which He has revealed to us and He desires for us to experience. Unfortunately, Christendom often appears to be a legalistic, institutional system based on church attendance, the historical Jesus, fixed beliefs, and future salvation rather than present moment spiritual experience of Christ. Consequently, most of today’s Christian institutions shun and reject any internal, esoteric or spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ primarily because their ministers have no knowledge or experience regarding Christian mysticism or meditation. Spiritual knowledge and meditation experience have been cast aside in favor of socially acceptable behavior.
Sadly, what is socially accepted within Christendom, USA is a diverse variety of exoteric dogmatic beliefs within the differing denominations; and these beliefs are often staunchly held and stubbornly espoused by these believers. Although these folks have a strong faith and good intentions, nevertheless, these rigidly held beliefs are at times hard to understand because of their extreme divergence from the central theme of selfless love embodied in Jesus Christ: some are fire and brimstone condemnation leaving no room for the spirit of truth and love; some are unwelcome and assertive evangelism; some are based on one’s emotional enthusiasm; some are distorted with cultural norms and social justice jargon; some are radical, militant and unforgiving in their proclamation of the truth.
Worst of all, many are very defensive if their beliefs are criticized or questioned, as if God’s truth is being questioned; but beliefs are not truth, they are simply a person’s opinion or conviction about something without any proof or positive knowledge that these beliefs are true. This is not the fulfillment of Christianity as envisioned by Jesus Christ! Neither is this discussion intended to be an indictment or judgment of the varying beliefs which good and faithful people hold. Beliefs are important and act as stepping stones to greater understanding.
What this discussion dramatizes and is attempting to elucidate is that Christianity today, if it is NOT flourishing, it is because many Christians, for the most part, are at the least, self-absorbed and at the worst, completely misdirected. In other words, when some churches replace spiritual instruction with too much emphasis on external social issues rather than on spiritual awakening, worrying more about the sexual and social orientation of the church than its spiritual orientation, the result is the diminishment of Christ’s message before the forces of popular culture.
This has the direct consequence of ensuring that many followers will attend church based on its social status in a community while others will attend because they are bored and want to be entertained. The social messaging coming out of this kind of environment diminishes the spirit of the church and the real rigors of spiritual life. Thus, it gets little respect from non-Christians. Christianity is being attacked because it appears divided, weak, and self-absorbed.
As a result of legalism, habitual and ceremonial ritualism, mediocre and repetitive sermons, today’s Christianity seems to have lost some of its light and inspiration. This is welcome news to the enemies of Christianity; we are making their job easy! Sadly, it will be a simple matter going forward – if today’s Christians continue to remain stuck and divided in this lukewarm universe, we are going to lose.
Even in the darkest of times there is always a ray of light to guide us on our way. God does not always shield us from difficult times, but He never abandons us in our painful struggles or personal challenges. He does push and nudge us at times toward greater awareness, understanding, and personal strength in hopes that we will continue to grow and expand our knowledge of Life, Light, and Truth. At this time in the world, we Christians are like the butterfly in the cocoon struggling to break out and discover a new spiritual freedom and a higher reality.
This can be accomplished by making an effort to understand and clarify exactly why you are a Christian: by honestly determining if you are following the Way of Life as prescribed by Jesus Christ; by recognizing whether you are approaching God on your terms or moving toward God on His terms; by learning to definitively articulate (to yourself) your beliefs about God and about who you are so you will know where you stand as a Christian, as an American, and as a person.
Beliefs are important; they lead us to higher knowledge. Beliefs are mental concepts which through examination, thought, study and contemplation can be transformed into internal knowing. The same holds true when feeling renewed through the forgiveness of one’s sins; this is an experience which is internal knowing. Feeling the presence of God within is internal knowing. Feeling joy in your heart for life is internal knowing. Understanding who you are and what you stand for is internal knowing. Internal knowing is something no one can ever take away from you. There is a whole universe of internal knowledge that is within each one of us regarding the teachings and reality of Jesus Christ and it can be known!
If God made me, and God made you,
And God is love, and you are too;
Then, between us only breath and air,
A distance crossed by simple prayer.
Thus, I pray you over the mountain,
To sit with me beside the fountain,
And by the true light of heaven above,
We’ll shine like the ripples, reflecting love.
Then, our hearts will be so clear and fair,
We’ll float away like a breath of air.
Then, we’ll disappear into the light,
And we’ll live forever in God’s own sight.