General Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Is Persecution GOOD for the Church?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30877points) August 2nd, 2010

I recently heard a story of an American Missionary visiting the Christian Church in China. He was amazed at how they were persecuted for their faith. But when the Chinese Minister escorted the Americans back to the airport, he said to the American:
“We’ll be praying for you”.

This struck the American Missionary as odd. And he asked:
“Why pray for us? You’re the ones suffering persecution.”

The Chinese Minister replied:
“Yes. But we pray that American Christians know persecution as well. The American Church has become weak.”

The idea was that persecution had the affect of weeding out the fake Christians, leaving only the genuine Christians. I can see the point. Many so called American Christians do not live by the actual teachings of Christ. Rather they have become accustomed to passing self righteous judgment upon anyone who doesn’t think as they do. They drive big fancy gas guzzlers, and pay little regard to bringing hope and opportunity to those less fortunate. Many embrace the whole Name it and Claim it philosophy, somehow justifying that since they are Gods chosen ones, they He wants them to be wealthy.

Could a little persecution be good for the typical American Christian?

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85 Answers

Nullo's avatar

In many respects, it is. Not only does it weed out the fakes (as you said), but it also drives the real Christians to a stronger commitment. Generally, the Church actually tends to do best under persecution.

I recommend that you track down a copy of God’s Smuggler; the author makes some interesting observations on this very matter.

SeventhSense's avatar

No because it encourages success as measured in opposition and division, is self centered and persecution minded. The church like all systems must evolve. The gospel is still being written today.

Nullo's avatar

@SeventhSense That’s UCC doctrine that they throw in to justify doing whatever the heck that they want.

gorillapaws's avatar

It depends on what you mean by “good.” Persecution has a way of driving up membership—just look at how wonderful these wars in the middle-east have been for recruiting people into radical Islamic extremist groups. It also has a way of radicalizing it’s membership. Historically, a radical church has lead to some pretty horrific times such as witch-buring, the inquisition, native-american massacres, impeding science and medicine, etc.

So is persecution a good thing? Well if you measure good in the sense that membership may go up, and donations may go up, then yes. If you measure it in the sense that the agenda of the church tends to change, and become less about ministering to people’s spiritual needs and more about aggressively pursuing some kind of political agenda, then no it’s not.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
Patooey. It’s truth. And I don’t care who else said it.

SeventhSense's avatar

And so maybe it is bad for “the church”, but it may be good for “the Church”.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@gorillapaws

By good, I mean returning to the original essence of meaning behind the teachings of Christ. Humility, forgiveness, charity, etc…

Would not the Church, be better off with one true follower of The Way, than with millions of pseudo Christians?

lillycoyote's avatar

Were they actually “persecuted” or were they simply asked to leave the country? There’s a difference. And to answer your question, persecution isn’t good for anyone, not for the persecuted, not even for the persecutors.

johnnydohey's avatar

Live and let live.

Nullo's avatar

@SeventhSense I don’t really see how it can be truth. We’ve got the Gospel already, and its background, and its application. What more needs be said?
And why must the Church evolve?

@lillycoyote “Persecution” applies to a range of unjust treatment starting with legislation and ending with torture and execution.

Fenris's avatar

“returning to the original essence” = back to the good ol’ days. Reality doesn’t work that way.

The only way to unify any two people on anything is to take away their individuality. We form opinions, those opinions become interpretations, and interpretations become divisions. It’s how nature works; it’s entropy, and entropy is the axis of physics itself. The Christ-myth called for utopianism and an end to all instinct.

As for persecution itself, it’s an outside force against a system, and no system escapes degradation into weakness, decadence, convenience and abscess without outside pressure to keep the boundaries of the system well-defined, unquestioned, and rugged.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That’s why I’ve always said:

Satan = Deception = Entropy

And yes, utopia would require an end to instinct. Thoughtful consideration would thus trump animalistic desire. Not a bad goal for humans to pursue.

And reality could work that way, if there were more genuine people, Christians or not, who actually understood and followed The Way.

SeventhSense's avatar

China is involved in preserving one ideology in exclusion of all others and will violently suppress any movement or thought that it deems a challenge. Christianity is no more significant than any other. The right of people to freely express themselves is paramount to any free society and this is what should be protected at all costs. The message is secondary. The right to express it is key.
@Nullo
Everything must evolve.

johnnydohey's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, satan needs to exist first for there to be deception = entropy. :)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

”...according to the constitution, citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief.

@johnnydohey I do not promote them as tautologically dependent. I suggest the terms as absolute synonymous. Misunderstood, but synonymous nonetheless.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes and Mao is god.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’ve always been confused about that. Is he considered god as in Lord and Master over a nation, or is he a self proclaimed God, similar to the ancient Pharoah’s.

Do people actually worship him?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Well yes, if you accept my proposition, it can be observed and measured with the mathematics of Information Theory. But if you insist upon chaining Satan to the traditional biblical misinterpretation, then no. It’s just a story.

Like I said, the term has been misunderstood. Ancient man didn’t possess the lexicon, science, or mathematics necessary to describe the so called Satanic element in terms of modernity. But all one need do is compare the current science to the ancient depictions and it becomes quite obvious.

Not only is Satan = Deception = Entropy, but God = Truth = Information.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

But that’s another topic. What about persecution? Does persecution benefit the Church in any way?

johnnydohey's avatar

Violence is a good motivator to instill order, therefore, yes.

Nullo's avatar

The effects of persecution are similar to those of packing a snowball.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@SeventhSense “Everything must evolve.”

Only codified agents evolve. Everything else simply changes. Rocks change. Life evolves.

Fenris's avatar

ENTROPY IS THE LAWS OF PHYSICS, NOT A MORAL CONSTRUCT!!!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@johnnydohey

OK agreed. But the violence of persecution that the Chinese gov places upon the Christian only instills order to those who would abandon the Church. How is that good for the Church.

@Fenris

OK if you say so.

johnnydohey's avatar

Entropy (noun) = deterioration

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Deterioration of the intended signal. Noise on the line. It prevents Truth from being fully expressed from one person to the next.

johnnydohey's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies wrote, “But the violence of persecution that the Chinese gov places upon the Christian only instills order to those who would abandon the Church. How is that good for the Church.”

Isn’t that implied that those that do not abandon the church behave accordingly, and those that abandon the church need a reality check?

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies wrote, “Deterioration of the intended signal. Noise on the line. It prevents Truth from being fully expressed from one person to the next.”

I would have to see the full mathematical explanation first.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I would think it meant that those who don’t abandon the Church would continue to suffer persecution for their beliefs. Therefor, the way I see it, the Church would be stronger, because it is more unified in it’s foundational beliefs. Maybe I’m seeing it wrong.

johnnydohey's avatar

Why would those within the church be prosecuted for their beliefs? Clearly, if they are being prosecuted, then they are not practicing the beliefs accordingly. It is those who abandon the church, yet retain the title as christian, are not beneficial for the church, and need to be kept in check.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why? Well you’d have to ask the Chinese gov that question. They are the persecutors.

I don’t know why.

bed time for me… good night

johnnydohey's avatar

I am telling you why (logically). I wrote, “Clearly, if they are being prosecuted, then they are not practicing the beliefs accordingly.” What would be the rationale to punish someone when he/she does everything right? I don’t see another possibility, except, maybe that the gov takes pleasure in abusing others without a valid reason.

laureth's avatar

I’ve heard recently that we non-Christian Americans already persecute the Church horribly. When we step up and say it is not OK to prosletyze those who do not want to be prosletyzed, when we say no, it is not OK to legislate a religious agenda into the law of the land, when we point out the lie about America being “a Christian country founded on Christianity,” and when we do any number of things that limit the Church’s ability to engage in political speech, we are really persecuting Christians.

Maybe if they knew what it was really like to be persecuted, they’d remember their roots and how important it is to be good to others, blessed are the meek, and all that… but I digress.

johnnydohey's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, there is nothing wrong with the church fore those who are devoted to the church teachings already keep it in good shape. Is the church worried that those fake Christians make a bad name for the religious Christians? Is that why the church has to get involved in other people’s business(persecution)? If that’s the case, then it’s wrong because that will never work. All ethnicity commit crime. Should each ethnicity prosecute their own to protect the innocent? Well it can work, as I said in my earlier comment, violence is a good motivator to instill order. @laureth and those like her, are still using words rather then violence, that’s why she isn’t getting through to anyone.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@laureth I completely agree.

@johnnydohey You have an interesting way of looking at things.

MeinTeil's avatar

If the Jewish people were’nt being persecuted what would they do with their time?

johnnydohey's avatar

@MeinTeil, what do you they do with their time now?

johnnydohey's avatar

@MeinTeil, what do they do with their time now? *** typo sorry.

SeventhSense's avatar

@johnnydohey
I think you may be misunderstanding. It’s not that the Christian Church(whatever that term may be) is doing some in house persecution. The question is, “Does affliction from outside of the church make the church stronger.”

For example: The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was violently and personally attacked for his thoroughly “Christian” and righteous cause for equality for people of color (1). Ultimately he died for his beliefs but his passive resistance according to Gandhi and Christ’s message(2) was enormously successful. And like Gandhi’s, became more powerful with every bomb, dog, fire hose and rock thrown. This very simple, yet enormously courageous and brave approach by a leader simply highlighted the inhumanity of prejudice.
So the battle can be won in two ways:
1. The opposition leaders realize that their violent oppression will only strengthen the movement and decide to accept the validity of this organization, institution, message or whatever. If this is the case great, mission accomplished
2. The opposition leaders violently oppose and are seen as monsters setting upon innocent people. This creates a groundswell of support and is very bad PR. Eventually through pressure of the people they accede.

Violence is a very bad and primitive method to promote order and is always eventually overthrown. It highlights the weakness of a position. If one has to hit someone with a rock or a bullet to prove a point it only proves that their position is seriously lacking authority. It is the most primitive aspect of man which looks to this as a solution.

1.43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

2. 38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’g 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Book of Matthew Chapter 5

johnnydohey's avatar

@SeventhSense, well then let me ask you, how long have people been practicing non-violent prosecution against the church and why is this method still not yielding results?

@SeventhSense wrote, “Violence is a very bad and primitive method to promote order and is always eventually overthrown.”

So any revolution is considered primitive? Wouldn’t America not exist today if it didn’t revolt against the british?

SeventhSense's avatar

well then let me ask you, how long have people been practicing non-violent prosecution(sic) against the church and why is this method still not yielding results?
Well it doesn’t yield results for the persecutor except temporary but it strengthens the movement. The only answer to why is primitive human nature.

I never said that no violence or aggression is justified. A revolution is not meant to promote order but overthrow oppression so violence is justified. It is almost always the end result of oppressive control.

Nullo's avatar

@Fenris You would be surprised at how often the laws of physics – or their underlying concepts – branch out of physics. Entropy – decay – applies to social systems all the time, which is why we have no more Rome. I expect that moral constructs are no less immune.

johnnydohey's avatar

@SeventhSense, “Well it doesn’t yield results for the persecutor except temporary but it strengthens the movement. The only answer to why is primitive human nature.”

I don’t see the movement being strenghened, I see it being weakend. Your answer is primitive human nature? Well, how do you expect to reason with primitive human nature? That’s like reasoning with a monkey to act in a prestige manner. This is where violence comes in.

@SeventhSense wrote, “I never said that no violence or aggression is justified. A revolution is not meant to promote order but overthrow oppression so violence is justified. It is almost always the end result of oppressive control.”

Contradictory you are? You mention Ghandi and Luther, yet now violence against oppresion is justified? A revolution instills proper order as the people that revolt feel there is no order to begin with.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo @SeventhSense I go to UCC services sometimes, I like them a lot – they’re committed to social justice and actually do what they preach.
@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Mother Theresa (who is not a favorite of mine, whatsoever) always spoke of how suffering is good (children included) and, of course, I disagree with her but there have been many people (throughout history) who are into suffering and martyrdom (self-flagellation, etc.) – I appreciate some of that philosophy, it’s an interesting way to experience life but I don’t like it pushed on others or wished upon others.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Johnny

I don’t know why you keep insisting upon substituting the word “prosecution” for what the OP was asking about, which is “persecution”. It needlessly confuses the issue and muddles the concept.

They are not one and the same. PROSEcution is a legal term which might (or might not be ) partly involved in PERSEcution. But, all things considered it would be the mildest part of the picture by far.

The link provided by the OP is descriptive of something far more akin to torture than to a legal proceeding.

www.dictionary.com

mammal's avatar

The trouble with Christians, of the American variety, is that they identify with a sect that is no longer marginalised, in fact it is they who doeth the marginalisation. i sometimes wonder, if people were really authentic in there determination to follow Christ’s teaching whether they would still belong to a persecuted minority cult.

johnnydohey's avatar

@Buttonstc, Whoa, i didn’t even notice. Seems like my subconsciousness is at work here. I only said it once though? I meant to say non-violent persecution*

Buttonstc's avatar

@RealEyes

You’re on the mark with that observation.

It’s certainly not an unknown concept to the Christian church. Historically, it can be summed up with the term, “Rice Christians”. Are you familiar with it ?

That which costs little is sometimes little regarded. Selah…..

SeventhSense's avatar

@johnnydohey
Yes the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain doo wa diddy diddy dum diddy doo.

johnnydohey's avatar

@SeventhSense wrote, “Yes the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain doo wa diddy diddy dum diddy doo.”

I don’t get it?

lillycoyote's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies O.K. well., yup, that pretty much qualifies as persecution; I can’t argue there.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ve been thinking about this question at yoga and I wonder if persecution of one self really makes one a better Christian – it is, ironically, an indulgent practice because you can self-mutilate all you want, you can remove yourself all you want but that still gives agency. I don’t know what persecution by a third party will achieve other than fear and pride (also sinful) in one’s suffering and religion.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
There is a long history of it in the Christian church though and it has been a source of pride since Stephen the first martyr.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense That’s what I don’t get – where does this pride get people? Is this what makes people better Christians?

SeventhSense's avatar

Well I see what you mean but it’s really seen as a selfless sacrifice in service to their king. It’s the opposite of the world’s wisdom: “The last shall be first”
The world has always killed the prophets and always will so to die as their leader did without fault is a great honor.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense Feeling honor and pride is self-serving, don’t you think?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
Well you say that like it’s a bad thing. Beats shame and dishonor.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That’s not the purpose. Jesus told people to rejoice when they suffered in his name, not for their cause. Suffering in Jesus name is next to Godliness… so the story goes.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Jesus warned against suffering for prides sake. He told us to pray in private, keep our suffering to ourselves, and not walk about publicly flogging ourselves to get attention.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense Yeah, but is shame and dishonor what we have if one religious group isn’t being persecuted?

SeventhSense's avatar

Peter was ashamed to be crucified as Jesus insisting he be crucified upside down saying he was not worthy to be killed in the same way. always the dramatic Apostle:)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

odd to hear something in the bible that I didn’t know about. thanks for that

SeventhSense's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
Likewise, I had a zen teacher who exclaimed that some people walk around with their enlightenment as dog shit on the tip of their nose.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir
This is a good book by Chogyam Trungpa on this subject. It’s very fine line between true discipleship and self absorption, fanatacism and it almost always must be in working with a practiced teacher.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Simone

You do point out an interesting dichotomy. And I suppose that if one were naturally a masochist that could worsen the tendency toward pride.

But the self flagellation referenced carries with it much more danger in that direction.

Being consistently persecuted by outside entities is a far less attractive proposition for the prideful since it is generally constant, unremitting and totally beyond their control.

Those who endure that for the long haul generally do it from a deep seated necessity to take a stand for what they believe to be truth.

It isn’t necessarily always religion which drives that either.

Think of Nathan Hale who said ” I regret that I have but one life to give for my country”.

Or consider the young man willing to stand up to the tanks imminently rolling over him in Tiannenmen Square.

They were motivated simply by truth.

And pride is cold comfort when theyre lowering you into the ground. There has to be greater motivation than mere pride to enable one to face possible martyrdom for a cause. That’s kind of the acid test it would seem?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Buttonstc I suppose it doesn’t matter if you’re dead but I resent people speaking to their ancestors many times removed suffering as if it was their own.

Buttonstc's avatar

@RE @7th

That part about Peter is historically anecdotal but not present in the Bible, per se.

But interesting nonetheless.

I’m not sure if that has been independently verified by a historian such as Josephus or others or just a legend propogated by the RCC to enhance his legacy even further.

After all, they needed as strong a case as possible to proclaim him as the first Pope and the whole unbroken line of succession deal :)

I’m going to do some further checking on that.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Simone

Well I can definitely agree with that principle.

Were you referencing something in particular ? Just curious.

SeventhSense's avatar

There is nothing greater than dying for something one believes in without hurting others.
“Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends”
~Jesus
@Buttonstc
Yes it’s not in the bible. This cross is based upon it though. Satanists are peeved now

Nullo's avatar

I think that you lot are confusing pride with confidence, which shares an apartment with cockiness.

Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, asks (rhetorically), “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
C. S. Lewis, elaborating on the concept, likened death to the waiting room at the train station, which seems pretty apt. If you’re confident that you’re moving on to a better place, then death – even a horrible death – is merely an inconvenience, and that mostly for the people who have to clean up after you.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Buttonstc In a weird way I was both thinking of young Jews coming back from their quickie birthright trips and black youth in the city.
@Nullo – then what point is there in persecution if even death isn’t such a big deal?

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Exactly. :D
As noted above, it will chase most of us into the shadowy margins, or even out of the Faith entirely. Beyond that, I suppose that it gives the persecutors a sense of accomplishment. And if you go the scorched-earth route, you’ll eventually not have any more troublesome Christians running around. This hasn’t proved very effective past the local level.

@mammal Don’t be fooled: there is some low-level anti-Christian persecution going on in the United States. Nothing like in China, but it’s there. It’s mostly limited to ridicule, really.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Simone

You have the most interesting and original take on things sometimes :)

I’m glad I asked as that would have been the two unlikliest to spring to mind.

But now that you mentioned it, I can definitely see where you’re coming from :). GA

LostInParadise's avatar

If religious belief requires persecution to sustain itself, then it shows an interesting contrast between belief and truth. Nobody would argue, for example, that the theory of evolution depends on its critics for its survival.

SeventhSense's avatar

@LostInParadise
Yes but human nature is not logical or else we would have eliminated war, starvation and implemented universal health care as well.
Furthermore I don’t think religion requires persecution, persecution simply highlights man’s base nature.
And science does not need persecution but it certainly needs constant challenge to refine its truths.

Nullo's avatar

@LostInParadise I don’t think that anybody has stated that Christianity requires persecution to sustain itself. However, it is said that hardship builds character.

LostInParadise's avatar

Here is my cynical take on it. Religious belief requires a leap of faith. This leads to constant questioning of whether the leap is justified. Having villains external to the faith provides a unifying force to hold it together.

As for science, there is constant challenge within the ranks. There is glory in being able to disprove one theory and replace it with another. Some people pointed to the cold fusion debacle as a sign of weakness in science. On the contrary, the immediate questioning and debunking of the stated results shows how resilient it is and how well it can purge missteps.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I get your point @LostInParadise. And that is indeed one of the main perceived differences in Science and Religion. Science typically rewards those who find flaws with the current establishment. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. That is the face value.

Religion typically ostracizes those who change the faith… i.e. Martin Luther.

However, Science is not without its own dogmas and threatened establishments. It is not uncommon for the recognized establishment to persecute the new discoveries and theories. I specifically speak of Barbara McClintock. Her discoveries in the 50’s noted that genes were controlled agents, and non random at all. This flew in the face of every Scientist which had built their careers upon the premise of random mutations. When your department is seeking funding and grants for next years budget, and life long reputations are at stake, it’s not so easy to allow new discoveries to topple your kingdom. McClintock was demonized for two decades for her discoveries. Being a woman didn’t help the matter either. She was forced underground with her work. But ultimately, the establishment could not deny what she had been promoting all along, and she was awarded the Nobel Prize.

In her words:
“Over the years I have found that it is difficult if not impossible to bring to consciousness of another person the nature of his tacit assumptions when, by some special experiences, I have been made aware of them. This became painfully evident to me in my attempts during the 1950s to convince geneticists that the action of genes had to be and was controlled. It is now equally painful to recognize the fixity of assumptions that many persons hold on the nature of controlling elements in maize and the manners of their operation. One must await the right time for conceptual change.”

Science is not without its dogmatic establishments and persecuted thinkers.

In the case of religion, although it is supposedly founded upon perceived and unwavering absolute truths, dogma is also a force to reckon with. Fortunately, Theology picks up where dogmatic Religion leaves off. Like Science, it is the duty and purpose of Theology to constantly question the ancient writ, to pull the meaning out one accurately translated word at a time. To put it in context with the cultural issues of the ancient day, and debate what relevance it has to modernity. Religion can and often does get out of hand, as you say, relying upon an ignorant faith to guide its followers. But it is not without its critical thinkers from Theology, and perhaps even more so from those pursuing the Philosophies, who’s job it is to see how it relates to the very Science which would otherwise reject it.

SeventhSense's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
Well put. Scientific heretics are still burnt at the stake.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I agree that science and religion are both human institutions but the reason why I lean towards science is because it adjusts (perhaps, slowly sometimes) to new facts and religion doesn’t (as much) when given new facts – aka, very bad at evolving.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I couldn’t agree more. I can’t stand religion. I believe it is pure evil incarnate. Christ, Krishna, Jehovah, Buddha… none of them suggested starting religions. They all suggested a Way of Life, not physical mandates. They were all concerned with life and death of the Spirit, not physical life and death.

The Bhagavad Gita clearly illustrates numerous paths for attaining Spiritual enlightenment. It clearly states that Brahman is not in the idol. Yet Hinduism worships the idols nonetheless. Then Catholics say “See! They’re Idol Worshipers!” Then they pray to statues of Mary and their little necklaces to help them find their car keys. Don’t get me started with how Americans have bastardized Eastern teachings. It’s all a sham to sell the next Sham Wow.

Christ rebukes the churches that were set up in the book of Revelation. Not one generation had passed before what… (twelve separate churches is it?) had already begun to butcher his teachings. It’s all a farce.

But let’s not deny the modern Consumerism Science adhoc. What? You want funding? Show me your most outlandish headlines, and we’ll give you funding. It’s getting worse Simone, not better. We live in an era where any flighty opinion is now claimed as a genuine hypothesis. Assumptions rule the day, and theory upon theory is built like a house of cards bigger than the banking crisis financed bad loan on top of bad loan. That Scientific house of cards will crumble just as easily. And I propose it will do more damage than the banking collapse did. Institutions will be shown as foolish and dogmatic. People will kill to keep their secrets hidden and their faulty research alive.

Go back to the roots of the theories, and the original teachings of the spiritual masters. There is much more unity there than the big lie reveals. Darwin never mentioned random mutation in Origin of Species. He would be ashamed to see that tag on his research. He mentioned an unknown as of yet undiscovered mechanism that natural selection must act upon. The race to find that mechanism was won with the coining of “random mutation”. That wasn’t discovered… It was invented. It’s a way of saying “We don’t have a fucking clue, but we’ll get lots of grant money if we make you think we do.” They may as well have called it “Singularity”. Nice visual. But it doesn’t mean a damned thing. Science is great at giving non answers. And Science is famous for just wanting 1 free miracle, then we can explain everything from there thank you very much.

gshogren's avatar

Persecution is NOT necessarily good for the church, as a study of the Bible and history show. Take a look at Turkey: for centuries it was THE main theological and missionary center; since 1500 the church is less than .01%. Tunisia – again, a major Christian center, now .01% – these are now the two least Christian nations on earth. Other Christian centers that were wiped out by persecution: Japan; North Korea (yes, the one in the news!); Albania. The church greatly declined in Soviet Russia.

By the way, I absolutely agree about American greed and consumerism, all justified under the banner of free enterprise.

We should pray for purification, and let God figure out how best to accomplish it.

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