Website owner: James Miller
I would group Christianity in America into three main divisions: 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 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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My views on Christianity in America
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