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Reform of Christianity ; the emerging church
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 061520189X, Hardcover)Reform of Christianity is based upon the following ideas: The local church communities in the United States are great assets. They act as community centers and teach charity and love, as well as helping the poor and weak. The impulse for these actions is derived from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. However, we pay a heavy price for the absurd and harmful doctrine that the churches also teach. They lead us to fundamentally wrong principles of conduct, and they project a view of the world that is so naive that in the long run our religion will be abandoned, as has happened in Europe. There was a man from Nazareth in Galilee, named Jesus, who walked the roads of Palestine about 2000 years ago. He was a great teacher and wise in the understanding of people and how they could be guided to live better lives. But he was not a god. The early Christians did not think he was a god. That was added by later generations, who wanted to have the world realize his greatness and the value of his teachings. Jesus taught us that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. He taught us to love God, which to him was a symbol of goodness and love. These were fundamental Jewish precepts, which he took from the Hebrew Bible. He did not teach that birth control was bad. He did not teach that abortion was bad. He did not teach that homosexual people were sinful. He did not teach that gay marriage should be forbidden. These are all wrong precepts that have been conceived by some people and human institutions that purport to follow his guidance. Jesus also did not teach that slavery was wrong. In the 2000 years since he lived, we have developed a higher standard of morality and find slavery to be very wicked. It is not surprising, however, that a man living in the Roman Empire 2000 years ago would not understand that slavery was wrong. Then it was universally accepted. Of course, if Jesus had been a god, we could presume that he would have known that slavery was wrong. We have adopted as the most important book for Christianity: the Bible. What is written in this book is at least 1700 years old and much goes back even further, as much as 3000 years. These ancient times were times of enormous ignorance. Our Bible was written entirely by Jews who lived in a very small country, which was much buffeted over the centuries by war and pestilence and movement of people. The writers were wise for their time and in some of what they wrote their understanding of human nature allowed them to give good advice. Much of the rest of what they wrote, however, is incorrect. The history in the Bible is full of errors, or even entirely fanciful, and their recommendations regarding such matters as food are often laughable. Therefore, when we read the Bible, we should analyze what is written as carefully as we analyze a modern book; in fact, more carefully because we know it was written in times of great ignorance. Our Christian scholars have learned much since Jesus lived and the Bible was written. Reform of Christianity discusses these bases for Christianity and suggests an approach to doctrine that could be believed today by a reasonable person. Such new doctrine could set the church on a firm foundation for a long future. We should not allow absurd doctrine to cause the whole Christian religion to be thrown overboard. That would destroy the local church communities, which are the most valuable legacy of Christianity.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:14 -0400)
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