mclaren – the failed religion…

In the first centry, Christianity was an unknown religion. In the second, third and fourth centruries, Christianity was a misunderstood religion. After Constantine and the merging of Christianity and Empire, Christianity was at first a permissible religion, then a favored religion, and then the required religion. And it has continued to be the favored religion even in the protestant era, but something is new now, because for people like April, Christianity is, for the first time a failed religion. You know when you meet somebody and they’ve had five divorces… and you think, “You know… it probably wasn’t bad luck. There must be something…” I think when a person outside the faith, they think about us as a religion that’s had five divorces.

I was just in South Africa where the Christian community in South Africa invented something called Apartheid. And we had our own version here for a long time. First slavery, then segregation. If Christianity is so good, why didn’t it teach white people to love people of other colors? Any young woman who’s been to college and taken a women’s studies course is going to say “If Christianity is so good, why have Christians treated women like dirt for so long.” If Christianity is so good, why did Christian cultures create the industrial revolution that has brought us to the brink of environmental destruction? Why did we rape the earth? Why did we not appreciate God’s creation? And why is it that when people care about the environment today and try to make a difference, why do they find that Christians are against their efforts and make fun of them as tree huggers? Why is it that whenever there’s a war, Christians seem happy about it and are the first ones who want to go fight? Didn’t Jesus say something about peace? Why is it that rich Christians stay so far away from poor people?”

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