There was a recent article by Anne Iredale in Looking For Clues. In the article,'Jesus Christ-The Man, The Message' Anne, as a self confessed atheist, seems to ask more questions than she answers. That was the idea I suppose, to provoke thought and maybe comment. However, it is interesting, in reading the article, to find a real lack of understanding of Christianity and what it is all about.
This is nothing new. No one can really understand Christianity unless they themselves are a Christian and even then, there is a long learning curve which generally takes the rest of ones life to really get the hang of all of it. It is fairly easy to understand every other religion and what they are about but there is something about Christianity that makes it a little esoteric.
Just the fact that there are hundreds of different styles of Christianity represented by the multitudes of churches that are about can confuse most people especially those of the uninitiated. Most lump The Catholic church in with Christianity which is technically true but not really. How is this. Well, when we look at the history of the church we find that as the earliest form of Christianity, the Catholic church was a mixture of Judaism and Christianity. The word catholic just means universal so it is really the universal church of Rome. The Judaism is where all the incense and funny robes come from.
This early church went off the rails as a lot of churches tend to do, and so the reformation of the church came into being. We now have all the offshoots of our modern church which has it's roots in the reformation. A recent reformation was the birth and rise of the pentecostal churches which are proving to be very popular still.
All this of course only goes to confuse the non-believer and convince him that it is all a pile of hogwash. I mean speaking in tongues and healing cancers etc. can really put the pressure on one's belief system. Back to all the answers that were left hanging in the article by Anne. We have all heard of the born again thing that many Christians talk about. What is it and why is it central to the whole thing. Where do you think that the term Christian came from. If you look at it logically it is Christ in or within or Christian as one word.
So the early church recognized something was happening here. This was a real experience and certainly made a difference to a person when it happened. So, because the change was usually obvious in a person, you were classified a Christian when you had experienced it. So to be born again meant that you had enlisted the power of God himself to get you through each day. Christianity can never be understood by anyone completely until they have experience this phenomenon.
What about all the other religions out there. There are many and some have huge followings. However, I will probably shock a few here and say that many of them are not really religions but only cults. Any major religion will have cults hanging off it and they attract lots of followers. We all know of the well known cults who knock on our doors every week but what if I said that some consider Islam nothing more than a huge cult. All cults start with a base religion like Christianity and then replace Jesus with one of their own profits and writings. Before long they have a huge following like Islam. Because it is so big now we call it a religion but it is the same as all other cults and all it's followers are basically deceived.
Now if you are into Christianity long enough you will learn some of the inside teachings and slowly get to have an understanding of how it all comes together. One interesting teaching is that we have a power of good and evil and that the evil power is basically in control of things here on earth for a while. While the power of good, or God desires us all to be on his side, we can't get there till after that born again thing. The main way that this power of evil prevents people from getting to that born again thing is put cults together. While many people are locked up in a cult system with completely different teachings, there is no way they are going to find this born again thing and that is the sole purpose of the power of evil, keeping us from the power of good or God.
There are many other ways of course and they can be seen by the general deterioration of our society. Much of this is due to either the power of this evil or lack of interest in the other power, the good one. We can see by Ann's article that she represents many as can be seen by the books and films she quoted. It is quite easy to see also that society is slipping down the tubes as so many have done before. Remember that every society to date has collapsed due to moral decay. Can you see the pattern.