Website owner:  James Miller

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My views on Christianity in America

   I would group Christianity in America into three main 
     1.  Roman Catholic  
     2.  Liberal Protestant 
     3.  Conservative Protestant   
   In addition there are some cults such as the Jehovah's 
   Witnesses and the Mormons.  I immediately reject the cults and 
   my feelings on the three main groups are as follows:

  Roman Catholic.  I feel Roman Catholicism bears little 
   resemblance to the Christianity that I find in the New 
   Testament.  I believe it has gotten way off course.  It 
   contains all kinds of beliefs, ideas and practices that I find 
   no support for in the New Testament and that I find very disturbing. 
   Examples:  Mariology, the body of belief and dogma relating to 
   the Virgin Mary.  The veneration of statues and images. The 
   practice of praying to saints.  Ideas about purgatory.  Practice of 
   "confession".  Nude art sanctioned. Emphasis placed on various 
   rites.  I think there is a great abstruse rationalization for 
   ideas and practices that I think are incompatible with Christianity. 
   It appears to me to be a blending of paganism with Christianity.
   I don't feel that Roman Catholicism is close to my conception of 
   true Christianity in dogma, spirit or outlook. It is too oriented 
   toward rite and ritual. The personal relationship of the 
   Catholic appears to be with the Virgin Mary and/or with one or
   more of a host of Catholic saints rather than with God.  I
   find no precedent for this in either the Old or New Testament.
   The authority of the Roman Catholic church appears to be its own
   long-evolved dogma and tradition instead of the Bible. Moreover, 
   the religion puts the authority of the priest between man and God.  
   I distrust this arrangement.  (I find the assumptions underlying 
   this arrangement unacceptable. I would not accept the idea of 
   the spiritual infalibility of any man or organization.  I distrust 
   both organizations and men.)     

  Liberal Protestant.  The liberal Protestants have lost their 
   way.  They have lost their faith in the reliability and 
   trustworthiness of the Bible and, as a consequence, have 
   strayed far from its teachings, attitudes and outlooks.  They 
   interpret everything as they wish and ignore what they don't 
   like.  They have drifted into secular humanism. They ought not 
   call themselves Christian.  They have strayed too far from the 
   Bible to be called Christian.

  Conservative Protestant.  I feel conservative Protestantism has 
   also gotten way off course.  Although they believe in the 
   reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible they have become 
   misled by a theology based on a body of scripture that 
   emphasizes salvation by faith and not by works while ignoring 
   another body of scripture that teaches that only the upright, 
   only those who practice and follow God's way, will go to 
   heaven.  As a consequence, while I would emphasize the 
   importance of practice and obedience, of upright living, they 
   spend all their time thanking God that they are saved and never 
   talk of obedience.  They believe one can become saved through 
   some act, rite, or religious experience, they all preach some 
   recipe or formula for becoming saved, and after that it is all, 
   "Thank God, I am saved!  Hallelujah!  Thank God, I am saved!".  
   They have been through the required rite or ritual and after 
   that, in their mind, they are saved, they are Christians. 
   I believe they are guilty of a great deal of self-deception, 
   self-delusion.   I think they become mesmerized, brainwashed, 
   deceived by oft repeated, glib, nice sounding slogans, 
   phrases and assertions.  While I would represent Christianity 
   as a hard, narrow way characterized by a love of God that 
   necessitates rejection of the world and its outlooks and values 
   and by principled, chaste, upright living (with all the 
   seriousness, self-control, self-denial, self-discipline, 
   temperance, etc. that such living implies), for them it is an 
   easy way of getting saved and then singing about how happy they 
   are that they have been saved and are going to heaven (and of 
   witnessing to others about how simple and easy it all is).  
   They dogmatically insist that salvation is a free gift, that 
   you can't earn it, that all one need do is claim it, that we 
   are all simply sinners saved by grace.  Their dogma does away 
   with the importance of upright living as far as salvation is 
   concerned.  Upright living becomes something separate and 
   apart.  Its connection to salvation is ambiguous, nebulous. 

   May 2009

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