Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns


Many of us grew up in a kind of watered-down version of Christianity. While our parents and our religion teachers may have done their best to raise us as good Christians, others offered us a less orthodox version of our faith that was easier to handle, because it called into question what our Bible and Tradition taught us. While our teachers were explaining to us the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, others were telling us that the consecrated bread and wine were merely symbols. While we were learning about the exorcism of demons by Jesus, others told us that these people were simply mentally ill. While we read and listened to the miracles in the Bible and other miracles throughout history, others were telling us that miracles were either made up stories to prove Jesus was God, or that they were fairy-stories. While we were taught that the scripture writers of the New Testament were Apostles of Jesus or at least people who knew the Apostles, others were telling us that most of the New Testament was at best historical fiction. While we were learning that happiness and fulfillment were the end result of living the words of Jesus, others were telling us that the words of Jesus resulted in shame, guilt, and ignorance. Their mantra seems to be that modern men and women are much more intelligent than those who lived two thousand years ago. They think people back then were ignorant, stupid, and easily manipulated and indoctrinated. We know better now. “You can’t fool me!”
So, at best, we get a watered-down version of Christianity. The Birth and Resurrection, and miracle accounts are just feel-good stories. They didn’t really happen. The parables and teachings of Jesus are like Aesop’s Fables. They teach us how we ought to behave in a perfect world, but are mere suggestions. While the Bible and Church teaching are good for most of the people, they only work for some. “I’m too smart to fall for that. I have a degree in religious and psychological studies!”
I wonder how, St. Peter, and St. Paul would react to these pagan egotistical thinkers. It is awfully easy to put our own spin on the writings of the early writers of the New Testament. We can make them mean anything we want to, who is there to tell us we are wrong or misinformed? It is easy to be critical of these writers, since they are not here to defend their writing. If I explain the Bible in terms of my own experience, then I am adapting the Bible to suit me, rather than conforming my thoughts and behavior to the Bible. The result is that our growth toward holiness is stunted. My growth in holiness requires that I lose myself, my ego, to become more like Jesus. Not use Jesus to excuse or explain my behavior. Holiness means that I unite myself with Jesus and his teaching, not mold Jesus and his teaching to suit me. Perhaps our mantra ought to be, “I don’t have to be me, I have to be His. I don’t have to do it my way, I have to do it His way.”
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you, be gracious to you and give you his peace.”

One Reply to “May I Walk with You? WATERED DOWN CHRISTIANITY

  1. “They think people back then were ignorant, stupid, and easily manipulated and indoctrinated“

    They were. And It’s not changed much lol

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