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"Is Christianity Helpful Anymore?"

Started by Sandra Craft, January 25, 2021, 12:03:31 AM

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Sandra Craft

Two years old, and I may have posted it before, but still an interesting read for a different perspective from the inside about Xtianity: Is Christianity Helpful Anymore?

Quote from: the article
I find myself in two battles lately. I am simultaneously fighting both with and for my faith tradition; some days working passionately to convince disillusioned people to stay there, and other days telling them to run, like it's Godzilla about to squash them, because I know how much destruction it is causing, the way it is preying upon vulnerable people, the corrupt power it wields against the already marginalized.

Given this, I find myself asking a question that I'd like to ask of similarly frustrated followers of Jesus: "Is Christianity helpful anymore?"

Not is it true or real or provable or noble—but is it helpful? Is it leaving a net effect that is redemptive? As we seek to be agents of compassion in the world, and as we interact with people who more and more don't know the Jesus story—only the story they experience through Franklin Graham and Alt-Right Proud Boys and bathroom bills and Muslim bans—is claiming this faith now a liability?

Is the name Christian now so inextricably entwined with misogyny, bigotry, and homophobia that it cannot be untangled?
Now that it has been so politicized and weaponized by a political party for its own gain, can we ever hope to redeem it?
Have we lost the battle for the name of Jesus—with the wall builders and the homophobes and the white supremacists?
The answers don't seem encouraging.
Sandy

  

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."  Sarah Louise Delany

Ecurb Noselrub

It's sort of like asking "is marriage helpful anymore?".  It's not the institution as an abstract entity that is helpful (or not), or that even matters.  The question is if it's helpful or useful to an individual.  I continue to find inspiration and meaning from Jesus, but I'm not all that concerned about  what happens to the institution. Likewise, I continue to find meaning and inspiration in my relationship with my wife, but don't really care how "marriage" is doing.  It all comes down to the individual.


Sandra Craft

Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on January 25, 2021, 02:06:20 AM
It's sort of like asking "is marriage helpful anymore?".  It's not the institution as an abstract entity that is helpful (or not), or that even matters.  The question is if it's helpful or useful to an individual.

This was my first thought as well.  I know a number individuals for whom Xtianity is not merely helpful but an immeasurably important part of their lives.  Most of these people have never tried to convert me or, as far as I know, supported laws that violate the separation clause and are among the best people I know.  And given that, I do wonder if Xtianity in general were practiced as they practice it, would it actually be helpful as an institution?
Sandy

  

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."  Sarah Louise Delany

Ecurb Noselrub

Well, irrespective of whether you believe in its basic tenets or not, if Christians actually put "love thy neighbor" into practice, with the actual acts of unconditional kindness, giving, and non-judgmental support of the poor or afflicted, of course it could be helpful.  But it gets so wrapped up in politics and social morality that it misses most of those opportunities.

Randy

I think Xianity is too broad a term. There are so many sects that preach so many things from the same holy book that they'll argue about it. The most likeable I found are the ones who don't go to church and just follow the "love thy neighbor" tenant. They seem to be pretty acceptable. I'd say in their case if it brings some kind of meaning to their life then it is helpful. I don't think it is necessary and that it's more of a crutch.

My second mother-in-law was I guess evangelical. There were pictures of Jesus and crosses scattered about. At first she was horrified that her daughter married an atheist. She later grew to like me but still wanted my conversion. She was also a staunch Republican and would try to influence me that way. I guess she mixed the two.

I'm probably wrong and will be called out. I'm just expressing what little I've observed.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

Davin

A large amount of people are "misusing" Christianity. I get that, they're clearly not following the teachings of Jesus Christ. Does Christianity itself have a means to correcting this problem? Christianity has been defended and argued for with so many invalid and irrational arguments that it now has no legs to stand on if people use the same logic to twist it into something dark, evil, and dangerous. This isn't even anything new for Christianity, it has been used time and time again as an oppressive ideology. When a thing only helps a minority of random people and hurts a majority of people, it's time to drop it.

Along with the majority of Christians that "misuse" Christianity, there are a small minority of people that are also abusing the belief system for personal gain by taking from people that should not be wasting money on nothing. This has happened over and over again. In this way, Christianity is causing more suffering than good. It's not helpful.

My problems with Christianity are really with religions in general. They teach and use bad logic to get people to believe, then those people see those kinds of fallacies as not only acceptable, but often worthy of praise. Then we get millions of people trained into thinking that fallacies are acceptable and good, which leads to having a large population ripe for being taken advantage of. Then those people vote and behave in ways not good for society or even themselves.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Old Seer

There's a website that deals with this whole matter. It's a boring read so one must have some patience. It,s not conventional thinking so it'll take time to reach understanding. :-)  https://sites.google.com/site/oldseers
The only thing possible the world needs saving from are the ones running it.
Oh lord, save us from those wanting to save us.
I'm not a Theist
https://sites.google.com/site/oldseers

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: Davin on January 26, 2021, 05:32:46 PM
A large amount of people are "misusing" Christianity. I get that, they're clearly not following the teachings of Jesus Christ. Does Christianity itself have a means to correcting this problem? Christianity has been defended and argued for with so many invalid and irrational arguments that it now has no legs to stand on if people use the same logic to twist it into something dark, evil, and dangerous. This isn't even anything new for Christianity, it has been used time and time again as an oppressive ideology. When a thing only helps a minority of random people and hurts a majority of people, it's time to drop it.

Along with the majority of Christians that "misuse" Christianity, there are a small minority of people that are also abusing the belief system for personal gain by taking from people that should not be wasting money on nothing. This has happened over and over again. In this way, Christianity is causing more suffering than good. It's not helpful.

My problems with Christianity are really with religions in general. They teach and use bad logic to get people to believe, then those people see those kinds of fallacies as not only acceptable, but often worthy of praise. Then we get millions of people trained into thinking that fallacies are acceptable and good, which leads to having a large population ripe for being taken advantage of. Then those people vote and behave in ways not good for society or even themselves.

I agree with this. Especially the part about twisting religious ideologies into something dangerous and often oppressive. Christianity may have some potential for good, but it has a whole lot of potential for bad, making it a flawed system that is way too slow to update itself as civilisation advances. Theistic religions in general seem to be lagging behind and are not at the forefront of progressive ideas and change. 
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Dark Lightning

Well, it's really about control, and change generally reduces the level of control that an organization has.

Randy

I tend to agree with Davin's train of thought. Christianity, heck religions in general, is based on fabricated stories. While it may be helpful in the short term, in the long term I think it does more harm than good. Life is short and to spend it worrying about what Sky Daddy might think about some action the believer might take or praying instead of doing something, I think in the long term it's a bad system.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson
"Some people focus on the destination. Atheists focus on the journey." -- Barry Goldberg

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: Dark Lightning on January 27, 2021, 12:56:44 AM
Well, it's really about control, and change generally reduces the level of control that an organization has.

Exactly.
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Icarus

Here is an article that loosely fits this thread.  It is a defense of atheism  expounded by a philosopher from way back in time.   A sensible  read if you have the inclination. Of course we already knew this premiss as our own.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/how-a-huguenot-philosopher-realised-that-atheists-could-be-virtuous?utm_source=pocket-newtab 

No one