TRUE CHRISTIANS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
For many of us, the church we knew as children or as young adults is terribly weakened and in some cases almost non existence; and that church is one of the main line Protestant Churches. For me it was the Methodist Church. For others it is a Presbyterian Church or a Baptist Church or maybe Disciples of Christ Church. For some others it may be a Catholic Church that stressed feeding the poor and reaching out to others who were needy. Furthermore in regards to the big social issues of the day: war, the economy and the environment, we do not feel the presence of these churches and denominations like we did during say the Vietnam War or the civil rights movement of the 60’s. We see the church structures all over our cities called United Methodist Churches or the Presbyterian Churches. For the most part the buildings are still there with announcements out front telling us of the hour or hours of the Sunday services. But as we look further, we see the small crowds inside on an average Sunday morning and that is because a lot of us do not go the church any more either. We may have left for a number of reasons: as we read about our religion and spiritual traditions, some of the old dogmas of the church we attended just seemed out of date, the church did not meet our spiritual needs, it seemed to be going more conservative and that drove us out, or it seemed to be struggling too much on issues that seemed relative unimportant like gay ministers or for the Episcopalians women as priests. For you ex Catholics or inactive Catholics, the issues may be the whole issue on women’s rights and the whole series of issues including but not exclusively reproductive rights and/or the issue of sexuality and the priesthood, and what seems to be some of the negative results of the Roman Catholic policy in this regards.
This book is addressed to we who have left these churches for whatever reasons but who still want to call ourselves Christians when asked, and to the persons who still attend one of these churches and is uncomfortable with the overall direction of their individual denomination or church but feel a deep loyalty to the church.
The author addresses 12 dogmas that have crept onto the â€œbeliefsâ€ of most of the churches that he feels must go. The dogmas that may be Biblical but were probably not in the earliest Christian Church, often are not what Jesus preached and were rejected over the years by many Christians. Just one example is the role of women in the Church. These old dogmas must be â€œofficiallyâ€ stricken from rituals, hymns and confessions of faith for they do effect the way we look at the world whether we mean to or not.
Then the author gives extensive Old Testament and New Testament examples, quotes, that not only justify from a Biblical perspective the removal of the twelve dogmas but in a further chapter uses Old and New Testament Biblical passages to define what really is a â€œTrue Christianâ€ from a purely Biblical perspective. In Chapter VI the author suggests 12 new beliefs that just might be a starting place to replace some of the removed dogmas. In all the above chapters the author has quoted extensively from his research in the area of ancient and current theological trends.
Finally the author concludes by discussing in some depth the three issues facing this world that need the help of truly committed caring people, people who think the Christian Church should actually promote in people the caring for others and the earth. The issues are essentially: the need to rethink the economy in America and the world where the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, the issue of war and he need for peace with justice and the crisis of the environment. The author is convinced that there are many â€œChristianâ€ and non Christian spiritual people who can come together to tackle the immense problems facing this world today.