This post is because of a comment that made me think about the evolution of the church, among other things. Hopefully I can keep it shorter to avoid tl:dr but that's not too likely.
First off, I shall define a few things. The church is not a building, but a group of people. The church building is the "temple". This is what they are in the bible. The building is a temple, the church is the people. Of course nobody calls a church building a temple these days, and consider church a building, but whatever.
The first real adoption of Christianity was somewhere around 230ad(I watched a Discovery channel thing on this) by some empire, possibly Roman, that made Christianity their religion and built church buildings for the people to go to. The Christian religion is the perfect religion to have your people conform too. I'm not actually familiar with other religions, but the teachings of Jesus basically says to follow the governments laws and basically to be non-aggressive(ie: Just do what your leaders tell you). Couple that with the fact that religion is easy to twist and misinterpret, especially if it's in a language only the church leaders can read, it's a great way to convince people to do or be whatever you want. Having a church building just makes more sense to help spread your messages and control.
Over the centuries, Christianity was used to convince the masses to action. If you look at the history, it's how and why the crusades happened, its why inquisitions occurred even though they would be completely against the teachings of the bible and were used to force conformity to Christianity. They spread Christianity in order to spread control. Eventually, even though I really am not familiar with history, the Catholic church became one of the most powerful entities and remains fairly prominent in the world. The majority of people do not even question the Catholic church and follow it blindly from centuries of control and conformity to their form of Christianity. I think the U.S., thanks to a democratic government(which we no longer have but call it that anyway) and freedom's that they originally gave people, created the downfall of Christianity within the U.S. and up-rise of a society ran by greed. I almost want to go as far to consider society it's own religion, Societism(I'm guessing something is already written about this idea, I'm just not aware of it...).
As the church loses its appeal to modern science and knowledge, it's really changed its methods drastically to gather followers. This applies almost entirely to the U.S. because in Europe they don't care because they get paid regardless if people show up to their church buildings or not thanks to government enforced tithing. Originally, they used their political power and were able to force people into Christianity. With the freedom's in the US along with the pursuit of happiness(read: money and power) Christianity isn't very appealing considering it opposes money and power. But if you read the first two parts to my posts about the Church, that is the result; A business that uses cult tactics to gain a following in order to obtain money and power.
Another thought and something else I looked into, is that if you do take away the church buildings, and meet in houses(see: house church), you take away the money and power that drives leaders to twist and manipulate people. Upon researching this, I found that some prominent names in the current Christian Church oppose the concept because of a number of reasons. Mostly because there is nobody to enforce control. (see Critisim on this wiki)
Actually, I don't think the church changed much for about 1700 to 1800 years...it really only used that time to spread and achieve power.ReplyDelete
In the very early days being a "Christian" meant you were opposed to an idol of the emperor in your temple (Roman law made it mandatory) and certainly a cult that insisted on only one god was "Christian."ReplyDelete
There were other "Christians" before Paul created the Jesus cult; which eventually took over the title and role of opposition. Nero burned "Christians" and fed them to lions it is true but he also burned followers of Jesus. Becoming a follower of Jesus (i.e. becoming a "Christian") therefore meant opposing the emperor. The whole Christian movement was a revolution against fascism, unfortunately though, it created a worse imaginary sky tyrant obsessed with thought crimes that the world has been paying for ever since.
Following Jesus was a powerful revolt because of its monotheist stance and was quickly adopted by "Christians." I think it's hard for the modern mind to grasp just how entwined religion and politics were back then. Certainly few scholars seem to be able to keep their facts straight - for whatever reason.
The imagined existence of god has always been the justification for human claims to power. Without gods no one can justify their power, not even in a democracy, which is why atheists are so demonized by dogmatists.
Anyway, I enjoy your blog.
religion is a necessary evil... while some may exploit it, others do great things because they think they're going to some lava-infested pit for eternity...ReplyDelete
I think the Christian church is going to have to follow orthodox judaism to survive as a minority religion. Christian will be obliged to wear silly hats or something to propagate the meme.ReplyDelete