Thursday, 28 July 2011

Dying Embers

We live in a unique time for many reasons. One of them is that we are actually watching the death of an entire religion, something that, not so long back would have been unthinkable. Whilst Islam continues to bloat outwards it's older Judaic country cousin withers and rots away with a whimper rather than a bang.
Visit the majority of Churches in the UK, irrespective of denomination, and you'll notice that there's a real shortage of young people. Of course you get fair numbers of pre teens taken along by believing parents, but contrast this with the number of actual teenagers and one begins to see that Christianity is being slowly starved to death. As every year passes it moves ever nearer the fringes, its message increasingly drowned out as society rumbles on. Like an old car by the roadside, bonnet up and engine steaming whilst everybody else drives past. It is adrift, outdated, and fit only for the graveyards of mythology. As I reflect on this I have some mixed feelings. Many positives came from my years of faith, yet aside from the friendships all else rings hollow when one recognizes that its claims are built on evidence that does not even merit the label threadbare. So what keeps the faithful faithful? This to me remains a fascinating question, and there's no single answer. For those born and raised in it cultural conditioning is the glue that binds, whilst for others I expect there is a combination of fear of death, fear of eternal damnation, and further anxiety facing up to a universe that knows nothing of our existence and cares even less. Whilst many claim fanciful experiences and miraculous revelation we can coolly dismiss this, for the simple reason that every other major faith claims identical or superior experiences. If I grant the wonders of Christian revelation I am required to do likewise for Islam, Hinduism, and all the other faiths swilling around the globe. Far easier to eye each of them with equal doubt, smiling politely as people tell me how "They just know" or how "I can't disprove it".
Religion for me is the ultimate expression of white sound, a dreary background noise which we can and are doing nicely without. For those believers serving the community, or helping the poor, or simply trying to be better mammals I need ask only the following; Should you learn tomorrow that the heavens were categorically empty would you cease any of the above? And if yes why? And what would that say about your motives in the first place? One of my favorite mantra's is that we should seek goodness for the sake of goodness alone. Don't do good because it says so in a book, or you were instructed from a pulpit, or you think you've heard a voice from on high. Seek good and do good simply because it is good in and of itself. And guess what; if you do awaken tomorrow without an ounce of faith, the sun will still rise, the world will still be awesome, and those you love and cherish will still be there. You've lost only a phantom, an imaginary friend that might have kept you on the straight and narrow. Dear Christian believer, you are so much better than the doctrines you've been deceived into. Stand up, stand tall, and leap into the cool showers of reality and reason. Truth is beautiful because it doesn't seek to flatter or decieve. Embrace it, and leave the embers of myth to flicker out.

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