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Christianity in crisis

The beginning of the end of the old Christianity has begun to increase its pace.  The high regard that people had for the Christian church over the last 2,000 years has begun to disintegrate at a increasingly rapid pace.

In the 20th century, the Billy Sundays, Billy Grahams, Oral Roberts, Jim Bakkers and Jimmy Swaggerts betrayed the church with their traveling salvation shows. They used all the tricks of public manipulation, advertising, mind control, etc to build gigantic fortunes based on the teaching of a man, Jesus, who had nothing at all.  The most obvious things are often the most hidden: like building fortunes on the philosophy of a man who owned nothing.

The Jim Bakkers, the most infamous tele-evangelists who got high on power and money and sex brought in hundreds of millions of dollars by maintaining a facade of Christian fundamentalism while secretly laughing at how foolish and ignorant and mindless were the millions of people who actually believed his charade. 

The tele-evangelist scandals were tough on Christians but the television channels are still full of 24/7 beg-a-thons for Jesus. The old Jim Bakker formula goes on with new demigods who are "real Christians".  What a sad joke is the whole tele-evangelist movement.

Then there is the second less tangible problem facing Christianity: the non-coming of the messiah at the beginning of the new millennium.  When the Christians could not produce the real Jesus, all the frenzy that was created as the twentieth century drew to a close was almost immediately shut down.  The final death throws of this "end of the world, apocalyptic vision, and coming of the Messiah" are playing out in the "Left Behind" series of books in which two guys have created another fortune out of a "doom and gloom" vision of the future.  What is going to happen when the last book in the series is written and reality again takes over?

God has never worked on human society with super human beings. Not Abraham.  Not Moses.  Not Buddha. Not Jesus.  So why do people believe that the next Jesus is going to appear as a superman and judge the wicked and condemn sinners to eternal hell?  Who is going to be left to go to heaven?

And don't forget that all the major religions of the world are expecting their own messiahs: each and every one.  But this messiah who is to come, if he embraces any particular religion, will be immediately rejected by all the other religions.  Doesn't this mean that there is to be a particular religion that is to rule the world in the end?  It means that there will be one world religion.  But which will it be.  How can the messiah be the messiah unless he is the messiah of all the people of all the religions of the entire world.  

This sort of thinking breaks down the elitist view that Christians, Jews, and Muslims have incorporated in their world view.  And when one lets go of his or her elitist religious views of the world, the world become a more tolerant and human place.

After the tele-evangelist, after the non-event of the second coming, we now have the Catholic church in crisis as it tries to justify in the name of Jesus the criminals it has employed as priests for over a thousand years.  I say criminals because that is exactly what people who molest children in this society are determined to be.  The Catholic church has now gotten down to the nitty gritty of paying out money.  And like all defendants who lose lawsuits, the Catholic church is diligently going about the business of avoiding paying the judgment.

In the meantime, no one is talking about filing criminal charges against all these sexual perverts.

I think it is interesting that no one has mentioned the fact that these priests were protected by the various cardinals because there can be little doubt that some of these cardinals are pedophiles themselves.  Or maybe they were more orientated to sexual favors from the opposite sex. When are the women going to come forward: the women who have been sexually abused?

Well don't worry about the women. The Old Testament says that women are subordinate to men because of the sins of Eve in the Garden of Eden. This is in part why the Catholic church does not allow women to become priests.  How many women have done penance on their knees and on their backs?

All throughout America, the churches of all stripes are losing members.  But have no fear, Christianity will survive.  Spirituality is not dead and never will be.  However, what is coming to an end is the perceived infallibility of these religious bureaucracies and their CEO's.   

The time is rapidly approaching when people will begin to understand that they can talk directly to God without the necessity of self proclaimed men of God as guides and gurus.  Preachers, priests and ministers are just men with all the failings of men of every other stripe.  Some are good and some are bad.  Some are really good and some are really evil.

When society begins to separate these religious bureaucracies from God, then society will become more tolerant.  Religious elitism has caused more pain and suffering than any other movement in the history of mankind.  And the time is coming when Christianity will begin to change as it returns to the Buddhist teachings of Christ.  

In the end, WorldPeace

John WorldPeace
August 6, 2002

Boston Archdiocese Says No Funds for Settlement

.c The Associated Press 

BOSTON (Aug. 6) - The chief financial officer for the Boston Archdiocese painted a dismal picture of the church's finances, saying the diocese does not have the money to pay for a multimillion-dollar sexual abuse settlement.

Chancellor David Smith testified Monday during a hearing to determine whether the settlement, worth $15 million to $30 million, is binding.

Smith said the archdiocese has fallen on hard financial times in recent months, using more than half of a $17.5 million line of credit to pay day-to-day operating expenses.

``We owe $9 million of that to the bank and they've said 'no more,''' Smith said.

Attorneys for the 86 alleged victims of defrocked priest John Geoghan are asking Judge Constance Sweeney to order the archdiocese to honor the agreement, which was announced in March.

In May, the archdiocese backed out of the deal after its finance council refused to fund it, saying it was too expensive in light of hundreds of other pending or expected abuse-related lawsuits.

Cardinal Bernard Law, testifying Friday, insisted he never considered the agreement a final deal because it required the signatures of both the victims and the archdiocese's finance committee. In a March statement, Law was quoted as saying he hoped the deal would bring closure to the victims.

The archdiocese announced in June that it planned to cut its budget by a third, eliminate 15 jobs and cut aid to parishes, schools and hospitals.

In other testimony Monday, a former top administrator for the archdiocese said he didn't sign the Geoghan settlement agreement because he did not consider it a final agreement.

Bishop Robert Banks of Green Bay, Wis., who served as vicar for administration for the archdiocese from 1984 to 1990, is one of Geoghan's former supervisors and is a defendant in the lawsuits.

Banks said he understood the settlement agreement to be a ``draft'' and ``very preliminary.''

Under cross-examination by Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer for the alleged victims, Banks acknowledged he hadn't read the agreement carefully.

The sexual abuse scandal erupted in January with revelations that church officials shuffled Geoghan from parish to parish despite knowing of allegations against him.