Anthony Gifford
Post Christian Author and Speaker
CHURCHES: A TIME TO DIE - HOPE FOR NEW LIFE

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Preview of CHURCHES: A TIME TO DIE – Hope For New Life

 

On the surface the book is a history of Christianity, starting from its roots in the teachings and life of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish reformer, teacher and prophet in the first century A.D. I do my best to quickly and accurately follow the movement he inspired, which ended in the Jewish rebellion against Rome in 70 A.D with the fall of Jerusalem. But since Paul had taken the radical understanding of Love outside of Judaism, to the Gentiles, the movement continued and grew in a new form, soon leaving the original Jewish understanding.  All of our New Testament was written by Gentiles and for Gentiles.

     That change was dwarfed two centuries later when the movement was appropriated by Rome itself, under Constantine the Great, and classical Christianity was born. It has changed little since that time.

           My contention is that churches (Christianity) now makes little or no sense to most people in our culture and is literally keeping people from growing in love and spirituality. (A supposed 'loving' God who insists that His one true Son is killed as a sacrifice for his other children, all because their ancestors broke a rule and ate an apple?) I also contend that the original teachings and life of Jesus of Nazareth are of love and are greatly needed in our lives today.

     The last part of the work is a look at the world today, the challenges, fears and hopes, with the assumption that a spirituality that is congruent with reality is needed in the crisis we face.  I share dreams and possibilities as to how the Way of Jesus could help in this.

     In reality, the book is a sharing of my life/faith journey. I was raised and trained in the church and was an ordained minister for over twenty years. Finally I left,  broken in the battle to change the emphasis of the church away from belief  to doing, to actually following the teachings and Way of Jesus. I know that doctrinally, Christianity makes no sense to most people and that Christian orthodoxy is responsible for much suffering and destruction of humanity and creation and is the source of two thousand years of anti-Semitism.

To me, history is important: understanding where we have been gives us courage and the ability to choose new paths. We can best dream with clarity if we know our past. Few people, “churched” or “un-churched” know the past of Christianity that has formed our culture, whether we agree with it or not. We are not used to talking about this stuff. In fact an important  rule of Christianity has been to prohibit reason and questioning. Our spirituality, past and present, is the 'elephant' in the room. However, we fail to talk about it at great peril. I offer this book in hopes that communication in these matters will be encouraged.

This is a very biased and personal work. I don't try to hide this fact in hope that others will be encouraged to respond so that I and others might learn. I offer this in openness and love, trusting that God, in whatever form we understand, will  be with us when we are sharing.

 

Thank you for allowing me to share with you.

Anthony Gifford

          

 

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