Saturday, January 07, 2006

False Religions

I know the title would suggest that I am going to talk about Scientology, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses, but I'm not. I'm going to talk about 'Christians,' particularly those in America who seem to have the idea that they can make up their own religion. Granted, most of my data is coming from people who are on the whole 'unchurched.' It's more prevalent than you think. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself, go somewhere, anywhere, a coffee shop, a laundromat, a waiting room and just ask people what their take on "the whole thing" (meaning life in general) is. Then, get more specific and ask, "what do you believe about God?" You'll be surprised what you get. The more you ask, the more surprised you'll be.
Of course I thought about it, and I even came up with a couple of factors that I think make Americans more prone to 'make up their own religion.' That is, essentially, what they're doing, because it's part orthodoxy, part new-age spirituality, it's part pop-psychology, etc. Thrown together, it's a unique and ecclectic mix that governs their life, or in many cases, simply gives them justification for doing what they want.
"God's cool with my lifestyle."
"I think, basically, as long as you're nice to others, it will come back to you."
"I believe in the power of positive thinking."
"I don't believe in sin. I say as long as it isn't hurting anyone, it shouldn't matter."
If they would just assent that this hodge-podge isn't Christianity, that would be fine, and I'd not be so up in a bundle, but they don't; they assert that they are in fact, still Christian-more or less. I think three factors make America the perfect environment for hodge-podgism.
One, individualism. Two, pragmatism. Three, pluralism.
I'll follow up on this later.


At 10:17 PM, Blogger Troy said...

Ignorance is so painful to see. Looking forward to your follow-up post on this.


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