Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

VALUE OF RELIGION

It can’t be denied that Christianity as identified with the Church of England is in decline. It worries me to be part of an organisation that fails to adapt when there are so many arguments in its favour.

My starting point is that you can’t ever KNOW what lies beyond this life in any scientific sense. I don’t believe in “Revealed religion” in the sense that it prohibits human enquiry. So absolute statements must be disregarded and every religions must be viewed as a human creation which has been built up by human wisdom over a long period. Maybe there is a God and he did reveal things, but we can’t take it for granted. We must assume that every religion is the best that can be done by a certain human tradition. There is nothing wrong with that. Speculation and enquiry and searching are a commendable activity. And each tradition has been built up by people who had the knowledge and values and wisdom of their own time. So it is daft to say that the tenets of a faith are TRUE in a literal sense. One question to be asked about a religion is “What does it mean?” Another is “Can it be useful?” A third is “Has it consistency?” It seems to me that Christianity rates high in terms of internal, intellectual consistency and that we should examine the message offered rather than the temporal language in which it was communicated at some historical moment.It really does not matter whether Jesus Christ actually fed five thousand people on a few loaves and fish. It does not even matter if he “rose again”. It won’t harm you if you believe it, nor if you don’t. It is far more important to believe that no man can avoid doing wrong but that God (if he exists) has figured out a way to reconcile justice and mercy.It makes sense of repentance and redress and resolution and offers love as the motivator for improvement. So Christianity can do a great deal for the individual life. The bible stories should be examined as carriers of messages about living.

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