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.
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
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.