Trust in Western governments has fallen to an all-time low, with an almost unbelievable two percent of Americans now saying that they trust their federal government to do what is right “just about always.” And “most of the time” doesn’t do much better as a choice, garnering the votes of only fifteen percent of Americans. Sadly, too, this level of cynical mistrust of our national governments is increasingly true of all Western governments. Our religions aren’t faring much better, with thirty percent of American adults now identifying as having no religion at all. And in fact, faithful religious practice is now falling dramatically worldwide. This massive new lack of trust in what used to be our two most trusted institutions is alarming! We at Seek Reality Online have been focusing primarily on Christianity, and mostly in the United States, but even in countries with diverse religions, such as India and Israel, religious practice is declining at a rapid rate.
We know what is wrong with Christianity, and why the religion now is dying so fast. The Roman Emperor Constantine seized Jesus’s thriving secular spiritual movement in the year 213 CE, and he transformed it into a fear-based religion that he could use as a ruthless means of human control. Constantine used the threat of a nonexistent fiery hell to keep his Roman Christians in line, and to such an extent that the fire-and-brimstone stench of sulfur still lingers over his now-dominant version of Christianity to this day. To give you a few examples:
- Calvinism includes predestination. Not only does Calvinism feature a fiery hell, but many Calvinist Christians are born predestined to go to hell when they die. No matter how good you are during your lifetime on earth, if you are a Calvinist Christian, you might be predestined for hell, and there is nothing that you can do in life to change your fate.
- Unbaptized Catholic infants go to hell. Catholicism condemns many of its followers to hell for sinning during their lifetimes, which is creepy enough. But even worse is the fact that until recently, even unbaptized Catholic infants were sent to hell to roast alive for all eternity. Those poor semi-roasted infants were even actually allowed to come up from hell for a moment to see the beloved baptized-before-death babies playing in a sunlit heaven before they were thrown back down into hell to continue to roast alive forevermore.
- Some Christian theologians insist that Jesus taught more about hell than anyone else ever has. They say this because they know nothing about the afterlife, and they mistake Jesus’s words about the Outer Darkness for His having talked about hell. The Outer Darkness is the lowest afterlife level, and we might put ourselves there just briefly if we cannot forgive ourselves during our post-death life review. In fact, a fiery hell does not actually exist, but Constantine inserted some mentions of hell into the latter parts of some of the Gospels during the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 CE as the first Christian Bible was being assembled. Jesus even tells us straight out in the Gospels that neither He nor God ever judges anyone (see JN 5:22-23 and JN 12:47).
Instilling in Christians a fear of God and of Jesus is Roman Christianity’s most unpardonable crime. Fear is the opposite of love, so you cannot ever learn to love what you fear! As a result, Roman Christianity is now dying a fully justified and well-deserved death. But Jesus has lately given us extraordinary evidence of His having lived, and been precisely the extraordinary Being sent by God that we long have imagined Him to be. We will talk about that next week.