Evil is characterized by opposition. So opposition breeds more of itself.
Christianity has been around 2009 years give or take 30. Has it advanced us spiritually? In a sense, yes. The dissonance caused has, and even the message at the heart of the doctrine which had a hand in inspiring Islam. Though the big three (Muslim, Christianity, Judaism) despaired their fourth brother, the Yezidi faith (non Islamic Kurds) and their faith is very old. These faiths cross pollinated a lot stemming from the broader Semitic class of faiths.
The dissonance is that Christianity was a schism. Not even authorized by its leader. He spoke of no agenda to break from the synagogues, and his message and interpretation were seen as heretical. So in fact, his followers didn’t do as he said. It was the beginning of the death of a theocratic world. Jesus was a child of prophecy, born of the line of David and he bore the title Christ though never accepted the christening. Not unlike the Buddha who left his noble caste to become a mystic.
So Rome took up Christ’s message after a while, and helped offset the influence of spiritual leaders quite effectively making them more willing to accept the rule of Rome as a temporal authority. They became those who spoke for God, and this was a remarkably destabilizing force. That and taken on Socratic and Platonic philosophy, and coupling those doctrines with the Christian message, they established the unspoken morality we still use today.
They say Rome fell, but did it? It’s center fell. It became god whose circumference is nowhere and whose center is everywhere. Long live the Holy Roman Church! In a sense it transcended. The transcendent isn’t necessarily sacred, not in the way humanity defines that word. Just because it’s transcendent doesn’t mean it’s holy. All that glitters is not gold, of which the Roman Catholics seem quite fond.
How did they get so popular? Self sacrifice is a powerful message, and has been present in one form or another in many faiths. The stories parallel each other often. When they do, Christianity supplanted the native story. Absorbed it becoming truly Catholic which means universal.
I am thinking we should abstain from bashing the institution a bit and look at doctrine. The Torah is a code of law believed to be divinely inspired and applies to Christians also. The traditions differ though. The Torah doesn’t differ much from the code of Hammurabi, another Semitic culture.
Why do you think Christianity is a disturbing topic for so many? It is a sacred cow. This is also why so many leave that faith in such dramatic ways. They endure until they break, then go radical or replace it with something else. If their faith were strong then a falsehood should give no offence. If their life was bettered, then they should not be willing to compromise it for a difference of opinion with another. Obstinacy. Wisdom. Pragmatism. Perseverance. Strategy. Teamwork. They are all parts of a human faculty, in and of itself a strength, but misunderstood and misused. We see that all the time.
If you don’t believe in faith, then you have faith that faith is a vice, do you not? It’s a construct, a tool, a behaviour, of which we are the product. We are creatures of habit. When you undertake an action you have faith it stands a chance of succeeding. You don’t actually know.
So let’s look at the doctrines, compassion articulated in many ways and all originally meant, but few actually followed. They weren’t the first to conceptualize minds as being foreign to this reality, they just elaborated on it perhaps excessively. Someone can be very nice while being at the core not. I don’t like that form of being nice, but it is what made Christian doctrine such an empire builder.
In America we have a group calling themselves the Nation of Islam. They adhere to the Koran as much as the American Christians adhere to the Bible, which seems very little. They are more concerned with their enemies and each other than their faith, which is a life they could be living if they weren’t so obsessed with those not of their faith. Those groups were so busy hating each other that they didn’t have time to practice their own faith. We see their actions, and project them onto all Muslims. It isn’t right. We have the radical religious right in the States as a political party. They are little better than any radical Islamic sect. We don’t all disrespect or fear Muslims, there are mosques even in America that are full of law abiding citizens who only seek to practice their faith. Regrettably they are held under suspicion.
Atheism is very popular and generally very extreme. One could say it is a faith? They are right in that we should look at our own understanding, but they dismiss faiths as not doing this. Judaism does, Buddhism does, so does Islam.
You must embrace your faith and not be forcibly wrestled into it. More importantly, reason out why you are in it.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.