Do You Recognize Your Religion?

The religion I know today looks nothing like the religion I knew in my youth, not even close to that religion’s infancy. Here lies the problem and main argument between Atheists, Agnostics and the religious. The skeptics are looking at the religion out of the Bible and asking why would you serve a god who condones genocide? Or butchering of your people? Judges 19:25

The Christian of today is looking at the companionship of who they view as God today and the fellowship of their church or temple members. They see love.

So what does Christianity really mean? Most will quote God is Love. Beloved, let us love one another. John 16:7,8. But that’s a knee jerk reaction. Or maybe it’s like the person you know really well. Or the guy who delivers your pizza. Who is Joe? Well he’s the pizza guy. What if you saw him in a suit and tie coming out of the bank with his briefcase? Would you recognize your pizza guy? Is it not possible that our religion has changed over the years? well you know it has.

A little bit of history:

The Christianity we know today is mostly because of the reformation of the 1500’s. The world before Martin Luther (not Martin Luther King, Junior) looked very different. In the 1400’s the Bible was in Latin. No one but the elite and scholarly knew Latin. You wouldn’t be able to quote any scripture. Our knowledge would be based on hearsay. We wouldn’t recognize our own Christianity, because the people then believed a strange mixture of superstition and religion. It would be difficult for us to live that life. It’s likely we would want to stand on the rooftops and try to teach them the truth. And I say the TRUTH lightly, because no one really has the truth, truly.

The time from Jesus until Martin Luther’s reformation, the belief system changed and morphed and contorted into an extremely arrogant dogma. To the point that Martin Luther practically did an imitation of Jesus and the money changers in the temple. He declared salvation could not be purchased and forgiveness of sins wasn’t for sale. The Christianity I knew growing up was of the Martin Luther variety.

Does our knowledge, our beliefs today come from hearsay or from our own reading? When you look at an actor, and compare him or her to the roles they play in movies, the real actor, if you met them on the street may be similar, but would I even like Jared Leto or Ian Somerhalder if I met them in real life? I don’t know. I have a mental place marker in my head that I attribute to them. When someone mentions their name or the role they play on TV, my mind sorts through the various data collected, cha-ching…there he is. Picture queued, yes I know who Ian Somerhalder is.

It’s much different if you meet them in person. Think of Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. They play parts in movies. A very wide variety of personalities for sure, but that’s not who they are. Thanks to exposes and internet access, you’ve seen more than you probably want to of the real persons. The illusion was much more glamorous.

Is Christianity that way? Maybe it’s like my hair color. Get closer to the roots and you just might see the truth. Of course that’s the problem. I don’t know if we can ever truly know the roots of Christianity. I know, I hear the arguments, Jesus is Christianity. But can we totally know who someone is by just reading in a book about them? And how right is that book if it was written 50 to 100 years after his death?

If the argument only lies in that bit, I could probably drop it.

I think the God in our history is schizophrenic. Read Judges 19: 25 again. Does that mesh with the God of love? Is this the same god that Paul talked of? I’m not saying that any of it is true or false. My real point or question is about what I have called Christianity. Is the religion I knew in my youth, the one I called Christianity, the one that is written in the Bible? If I include all the scriptures from the old testament and the new testament and read them without the rose-colored glasses of my upbringing, I think not. Which has left me with a conundrum. Was I not a true Christian as in 33 AD follower of Jesus? Or did Christianity morph even though it is not allowed to do so?


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