The Official Winds eNewsletter
Copyright © September 2003
The Liberal Secularization of Christianity...
How Could We Have Let it Happen?....
~written from the common sense perspective of The Winds of the Soul~
by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.)
|Within the past 40 years, I have believe that Christianity has become increasingly more secular and liberal in its view, acting to strip away the simplicity and goodness of the Gospel message. We've watch what such a persuasion has done to our culture, but much of blame cannot be laid at the feet of the politicians, the lawyers, the Hollywood set, or the elite media.||
I have been busy this month putting the finishing touches on my new book, "The Winds of Forgiveness~ Heavens Healing Promises," which is soon to go to press. There are some insights in the first Chapter that I would like to share with you this month which I think address some timely issues of what's happening in the Christian Church, and how alarmed we should be.
Within the past 40 years, I believe that Christianity has become increasingly more secular and liberal in its view, acting to strip away the soundness, the simplicity and cohesiveness, and the goodness of the Gospel message. We've watched, often in disbelief, what such a "liberalizing" persuasion has done to our culture. But much of the blame cannot be laid at the feet of the politicians, the lawyers, the Hollywood set, or the elite media, no matter how tempting that would be...
Rather, I have to come to see that the blame rests squarely with Christendom itself, and by that I don't mean the Lord's Gospel, but rather the misinterpretation of His Word by many if not all of those denominations which purport to represent His Word.
Indeed, if "Christianity" today had held true to its convictions as Christians have done so in times past, our culture would never have allowed the shenanigans we've witnessed as of late, such as the misinterpretations of the U.S. Constitution and the fictitious inclusion of the phrase "separation of church and state," the Ten Commandments being stripped from public places, the teachings of the Bible and prayer being abolished from our schools, the changing of morality and values once thought sacred, even Christmas being renamed as a "Winter Holiday" on our school's calendar, etc., to name just a few of the insults weathered.
Copyright © 2003 Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.). All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction, without the prior express and specific written content of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
It would be a grand thing indeed if all man’s understanding of God could be first filtered through the real and experiential sieve of Divine Love so as to keep back the mistaken notions and fictions that have most assuredly come to damage the Truth of whom He is."
We've all seen this all happen, and no doubt more is to come. I cannot help but think, though, that as Christianity is the cultural basis of this country, the foundation of its laws, values and moral codes taken directly and non-apologetically from the Judeo-Christian model and Bible, one would think that if the people claiming to follow such teachings, those that profess themselves to be Christians, were found to have maintained a strength and resolve in these teachings and resolutions, then the cultural "falling away" in our society would not have occurred at all.
But it has. And could only have happened if the meaning of being a Christian today, and the Doctrine of the Lord which we supposedly follow, has become slowly diminished and trivialized by its ruling authorities, membership, congregations and churches. Like ancient Israel often found, they "missed the mark" more often than not. Sadly, so it is with us today. That doesn't mean that some still don't beat the drum..., but one wonders whose "beat" they're really following anymore, and whose drum it is we're really marching to...
In point of fact, I think we're all facing a wake-up call of significant proportion. That said, I now include a short segment from my upcoming book for your interest and cogitation, as again I believe the following excerpt is germane to the perplexing times we are in, and the spiritual decisions that we all face. I offer it with the hope that it will provide some comfort in the end...
"I believe that Christianity is not simply a philosophy or set of rules to live by, a hopeful yet harmless escapade of ideas and mindless practices as some critics would have us believe. Neither is it an armchair event that many Christians seem to fall prey to today, lessening the experiential awareness that comes from the Spirit.
Nor is it a practical series of works accumulated for the sake of reward, a blindly obedient path that takes the place of a real love and desire for the Divine of Heaven, for the shinning of the Light within us.
Rather, the way of Christianity is the quiet personal recognition and hearkening to the living power behind the breath of our own sentience, the Way of Life Eternal that can be witnessed only by knowing Jesus Christ by doing what He says, trying Him by our obedience to His Will."
Most of the difficulty begins in not knowing the character of Jesus Christ, in not seeing how His every thought, word, and deed were founded in loving and wise intention to others, and His consistent affections and subsequent obedience towards His Father’s Will.
In order to understand the doctrine of Christ, we must have about us the same Spirit, embracing the same intentional design towards life that He does. We must learn to view things as He does, see things as He sees them, understand things as He understands them.
I would think that through time we would grow more willing to look for a loving and kind God in everything about us, and see His benevolence and justice in all that He does. It would be a grand thing indeed if all man’s understanding of God could be first filtered through the real and experiential sieve of Divine Love so as to keep back the mistaken notions and fictions that have most assuredly come to damage the Truth of whom He is."
|No wonder the world remains in unbelief, for modern Christendom has come to make its interpretation of His Gospel an obfuscation of the Truth, making His Message so confused and opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand, while rendering Him as someone liberally indistinct, weak, and ineffectual—an unpalatable, commercialized, Hollywood wanna-be superstar trivialized and groomed to appeal to the masses, an oddity that is wholly discordant to the Divine personage He is.||
"Yet sadly, I have found that "denominational" Christianity today has often worked to a large degree only to misrepresent and suppress the Truth and quiet of the joyous doctrine that was first given—parsing, defacing, and disfiguring the message’s true design, disproportioning its shape and intention, marring its beauty, maligning its intelligence and heartfelt priorities.
All such distortions have worked to make the original message less attractive and disappointing, succeeding only in impairing millions from becoming aware of the true character of God, souring the milk and turning them away from the fountain of all Peace.
So much of what is taught today is rudely false and precariously off the mark, yet found socially appropriate, acceptable, and Religiously Correct (RC) such that the true vitality and splendor of the Man of Galilee has become lost to us.
No wonder the world remains in unbelief, for modern Christendom has come to make its interpretation of His Gospel an obfuscation of the Truth, making His Message so confused and opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand, while rendering Him as someone liberally indistinct, weak, and ineffectual—an unpalatable, commercialized, Hollywood wanna-be superstar trivialized and groomed to appeal to the masses, an oddity that is wholly discordant to the Divine personage He is.
In allowing Him to be diminished so within our own minds and hearts, we have carelessly closed the door upon His entering, no longer proving capable of sharing in His vision, having lost the fullness of our desiring the Life that He promises. As a result we have become incrementally deaf and blind, suffering the attenuations of the Spirit within a mindless sedation while being none the wiser of our handicap.
Doubtless, many of us have forgotten the manner in which the necessities of the Gospel Message have come to be through the great condescension of God, and most particularly how Repentance and Forgiveness have come to be afforded us.
Our memories so dimmed, our view of these things has become more fancy than fact—more unbelievable even to those who profess the faith of Christianity as their own, rather than to those atheists and scoffers who stand to mock the train of those attempting to follow Him. We have long forgotten the merits of these Principles, believing that they, like a vaccine for an extinct disease, needn’t be trifled with any further.
So inoculated with our pride and estranged from the realities of our inner world, we feel ourselves beyond the need of the Physicians healing hand, never again examining the depths of humility, repentance, and Forgiveness so necessary for our spiritual welfare. So contented that He must surely be pleased with us as we are, we pride ourselves foolishly, vainly believing that we are the welcomed and cherished of Heaven.
"But truth be known, it’s often only today’s Christians who see themselves so acceptable and clean, feigning a purity that is not their own. To be sure, even the "heathen" are moved to distance themselves from the overpowering stench that arises from the "Christian Camp"—even these know when things are unclean.
I humbly concur with so many others over the ages who rightfully saw that the propagation of many mistaken ideas about God and the flagrant misrepresentations of His Words and doctrine are more the indubitable fault of those who would call ourselves Christians than those of the world, as some would have us believe.
In so far as our errant superstitions and prideful falsehoods withstand correction and repentance, these disfigurements remain a bottleneck and stumbling block; an ensign of disrepute from which others anxiously and apprehensively keep their distance."
|In so far as our errant superstitions and prideful falsehoods withstand correction and repentance, these disfigurements remain a bottleneck and stumbling block; an ensign of disrepute from which others anxiously and apprehensively keep their distance.||
"Is it any wonder that many have been led to view Christianity as an often shrill, failed, and sycophantic diatribe, something grotesque and dry to the heart, dull and lifeless to the Spirit, a dirge to Life itself?
Indeed, just like the ancient scribes and Pharisees who egocentrically counted themselves worthy of Heaven but abjured their need of repentance, many of today’s so-called active and modern Christians are often smugly self-satisfied as well, erroneously believing that they are God’s favored example to men.
But like their "fathers" before them, they are salt that has lost its savor, refusing to enter the doorway in which they pompously and pretentiously stand, blocking the way from others while arrogantly shutting up the Kingdom of Heaven against men.
The author Dr. George MacDonald, through the particular voice of one of his fictional characters, a Curate in the Church of England in his splendid novel, "Thomas Wingfold" (1876), strikes to the heart of the matter, most emphatically and boldly stating:"
"The waves of infidelity are coming in and with a strong wind and a flowing tide. Who is to blame? God it cannot be, and for unbelievers, they are as they were. It is the Christians who are to blame. I do not mean those who are called Christians, but those who call and count themselves Christians.
I tell you, and speak to each one of whom it is true, that you hold and present such a withered, starved, miserable, death’s-head ideas of Christianity; that you are yourself such poverty-stricken believers, if believers you are at all; that the notion you present to the world as your ideal is so common-place, so false to the grand, gracious, mighty-hearted Jesus—that you are the cause why the truth hangs its head in patience, and rides not forth on the white horse, conquering and to conquer. You dull its luster in the eyes of men; you deform its fair proportions; you represent not that which it is, but that which it is not, yet call yourselves by its name; you are not the salt of the earth, but a salt that has lost its savour, for ye seek all things else first, and to that seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness shall never be added.
Until you repent and believe afresh, believe in a nobler Christ, namely the Christ reveled by himself, and not the muffled form of something vaguely human and certainly not all divine, which the false interpretations of men have substituted for him, you will be as, I repeat you are, the main reason why faith is so scanty in the earth, and the enemy comes in like a flood. For the sake of the progress of the truth, and that into nobler minds than yours, it were better if you joined the ranks of the enemy, and declared what I fear with many of you is the fact, that you believe not at all."
|It may not be pleasant to look at, but we are witness within our own time that even the most fundamental of Christian tenets, previously revered as being immutable and wholly non-negotiable, have since become diluted and expendable with barely a protest.||
"But whether in some sense you believe or not, the fact remains, that, while you are not those Christians who obey the word of the master, doing the things he says to them, you are of those Christians, if you will be called by the name, to whom he will say, ’I never knew you: go forth into the outer darkness.’ Then at least will the church be rid of you, and the honest doubter will have room to breathe the divine air of the presence of Jesus.
But, oh, what unspeakable bliss of heart and soul and mind and sense remains for him who like St. Paul is crucified with Christ, who lives no more from his own self, but is inspired and informed and possessed with the same faith towards the Father in which Jesus lived and wrought the will of the Father! If the words attributed to Jesus are indeed the words of him whom Jesus declared himself, then truly is the fate of mankind a glorious one,—and that, first and last, because men have a God supremely grand, all-perfect in God-head; for that is, and that alone can be the absolute bliss of the created."
Dr. George MacDonald, "Thomas Wingfold, Curate" (1876)
"Do we think these words too harsh? I think not... In fact, to this I say, "Amen, and amen!"
How often have our mistaken notions and prejudices obscured the view of the Truth? How many times has our dull and lifeless "faith" been the means to turn others away from the Truth? How regularly have our own poverties of belief "deformed the Gospel’s fair proportions?
It may not be pleasant to look at, but we are witness within our own time that even the most fundamental of Christian tenets, previously revered as being immutable and wholly non-negotiable, have since become diluted and expendable with barely a protest.
Deeply troubling to me in particular is the fact that much of our misunderstanding has been the result of mindlessly "dumbing-down" and liberalizing basic Christian doctrine by the hands of others who should have known better, who have mingled the doctrines of men with that of God, especially from those within the organizations and political power centers of denominational Christianity itself.
The troubling liberalization of the laws of moral and sexual conduct is a case in point—to the degree, for instance, of allowing even such abominations as homosexuality to become safely harbored, acceptable, and made kosher within the vestiges of Church walls.
Under the mistaken guise of "Religiously Correct (RC) Tolerance" sold to us by the Kum-By-Ya generation, homosexuality has become something that is simply an alternative life style in some dominations of Christianity, mirroring the depravity of discernment and understanding from the culture from which it springs.
Now, under the explanation of secular unification and "harmonization," some so-called Christian denominations even allow self-professed homosexuals to hold positions of office within their clergy, whereas others have been operating under the quiet dictate of "don’t tell—no harm" for years."
Parenthetically, let us again remind ourselves that this doesn’t mean that prejudice against the homosexual community of any sort should be tolerated, or that homosexuals should be forced to wear a "scarlet letter," or further and wrongly suffer the inequities of others.
Truly, they are unwittingly disadvantaged enough because of their own problems, and remaining in denial of them doesn’t help them any further..., and none of us should think to cast stones. That we should extend love and support towards the sinner, no matter the sin, is without argument—for we are all sinners."
|If such perversions as these have become acceptable, what else has become defiled? Couched comfortably within such a mindset, the Christian Church has largely proven capable of entertaining any number of pollutions without objection, while continuing to refuse responsibility for the dilution and contamination of His Message.||
"But that should never mean we consequently accommodate, normalize, or even elevate our sins for the sake of inclusiveness. Extending hospitality and understanding should never actively invite bad manners to abide within our homes. That’s just common sense.
Like all other psychological and spiritual dysfunction, I firmly believe that Homosexuality can be compassionately treated by those who genuinely seek treatment, and who genuinely wish to unravel the telling labyrinth of Frustration Complexes within them.
And like all other psychological and spiritual problems, to deny the realities of such problems, or redefine them in order to make them socially or personally more palatable, has always led to more problems, no matter the nature of the problem itself. Such is certainly not the model of mental and spiritual health that we should leave the next generation, and is most certainly not of His Will.
If such perversions as these have become acceptable, what else has become defiled? Couched comfortably within such a mindset, the Christian Church has largely proven capable of entertaining any number of pollutions without objection, while continuing to refuse responsibility for the dilution and contamination of His Message.
In the face of such gross profanities now being held up as appropriate, just think as to how some of the "smaller" aspects of the Law have been distorted without anyone being the wiser.
So, if religious leaders have now proven so very capable of providing contrary, corrupt, and reckless direction, we should be wary of any further self-professed apodictic claims and pronouncements, as well as to now thoroughly challenge their earlier proclamations.
Indeed, the same religious pundits and elitists who would have us trust them to lead us correctly in understanding this most essential of doctrines, have fallen away from the Truth and seemingly stumbled into a briar of inconsistencies of their own narcissistic making.
Quite clearly, many are liable in allowing all sorts of twisted and distorted doctrines to surreptitiously enter the Christian domain masquerading as His Doctrine but which steer us towards certain destruction.
Accordingly, we must be cautious in what we allow ourselves to be taught as the Truth, preferring that His Spirit to always be present in the teaching while defending against the inevitable incursions enforced by the arm of flesh, being careful not to take the doctrines of man for the Word of God.
Amongst other misleading teachings for which many will surely be held responsible and more immediately germane to the topic at hand, we have also been sold an understanding of Forgiveness which has been spiritually gutted of the very things we need for its success—a stripped-down, flimflam version that has wrongly evolved into something that is "unconditional," and without the need of personal repentance, or the specificity of understanding our own sins..., all in order to be "inclusive" and socially acceptable.
It has always concerned me that something so critical to our life‘s spiritual understanding, as the tenets of Forgiveness most assuredly are, has been so sloppily and precariously protected in the past, allowed to deteriorate before our eyes with nary a protest.
Yet, although having been misled by those in authority has certainly contributed to our current ignorance about Forgiveness, the most important reason of our falling away has more to do with us personally than with another, and cannot be blamed on others alone. Here’s how I see it....
When Jesus first walked the earth, He was met by a ruling religious hierarchy in the Hebrew nation that did not receive Him, which although believed in the coming of a Messiah, did not recognize Him as the One prophesied to come. They subsequently found His Word affronting and challenging.
Even the majority of the people remained mixed and unsettled in their opinion of Him—many thinking Jesus of Nazareth to be a false prophet, believing that the real Messiah would be the One who would overthrow their civil enemies and deliver them into a Golden Age of national peace and prosperity—never imagining that the deliverance intended by God was to be, more importantly, one that involved the salvation from their own sins.
Instead of the Man of Sorrows, they looked for the pomp and circumstance of a conquering War Hero as David of old, for the immediate overthrowing of their Roman Governors, Tax Collectors, and Legions within their midst."
|In a way, they couldn’t think outside the box, beyond the confines of the pigeon-holing caused by their heartless and hopeless thinking that their recorded history alone was the be-all and end-all of God’s revelations to them—not just a preparatory lesson for a wayward people, but a destination for God’s chosen people, the latter being immediately more flattering.||
"So it was that only few received Him, for they could not see what their hearts had already become blind to, could not recognize the Messiah even though He, the very Son of God, walked in their midst.
Like their forefathers who because of harden-hearts were led through the wilderness by Moses instead of immediately gaining the blessings of the Promised Land, they too had since lost the capacity to be as they once were—as little children who believed inherently in the ways of Goodness and embraced His Spirit.
It seems that in spite of the Godly instructions available from Moses, and then from Christ Himself, they still could not hear, would not hear, preferring the worn diatribe embedded in their people’s history, reveled in and made inviolate by their ruling Elders, to the dawning of a new day with a better message.
As it was in the period of Moses’ time, the children of Israel could not think beyond the words of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, despite the fact that they would come to experience the Lord Himself in the deserts of Sinai after their deliverance from Egypt.
So it was, too, in the time of Christ that the children of Israel could not accept anything more than that of their cherished written records, which now included the Mosaic Law, refusing anything more evolved and inspired, even though again, it came directly from the Lord’s mouth.
In a very real sense, they faced the very same difficulties we have in front of us today, namely, an entrenched socio-religious hierarchy steeped in the swill of their own self-importance and letter-of-the-law mentality that subsequently drifted them off mark.
Entrapped by the lingering lies of their fathers and those who killed he prophets before them, they were unable to loose themselves from the prison cells of their own dark delusions; unable to hear with their ears or understand with their hearts.
In a way, they couldn’t think outside the box, beyond the confines of the pigeon-holing caused by their heartless and hopeless thinking that their recorded history alone was the be-all and end-all of God’s revelations to them—not just a preparatory lesson for a wayward people, but a destination for God’s chosen people, the latter being immediately more flattering.
I submit, so is it with us today. We too have lost our way but flatter ourselves otherwise. Yet, we have possibly done worse—retrogressing, changing and remaking the Gospel of Christ back into a facsimile of the Law of Moses.
But surely, the Lord has always known of the short-sightedness and pridefulness of men, as well as the plethora of religious denominations which would arise piously claiming to teach His Gospel but only succeed in embittering the message.
So knowing of the inevitable failings, false teachings, and misrepresentations that would occur, He would never rely, much less entrust, the proclamation of His Truth to be solely empowered within the hands of "religious authorities," to be doled out according to their mistaken whim and pleasure.
Rather, despite the circuitous misdirections that have surely taken place under their purview, we are ever more responsible for what we spiritually ingest and assimilate than most of us would like to admit—made responsible by that portion of His Spirit which was given to each of us so very long ago....
In fact, I am of the opinion that the suspension of our God-given freedoms by allowing others to think for us, as encouraged by the growing number of more liberal Christian pundits among us, has been the very impetus by which untoward teachings and abominations previously defined by the Lord Himself have infiltrated the whole of Christianity today."
About the Author: Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in private clinical practice and medical research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. An expert in a number of fields including Forensic/Criminal Psychology, Child and Family/Relationship Psychology, and Neuropsychology. He has also served as an expert scientific advisor, product innovator and formulator, and professional consultant to the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.
"Indeed, as I will more thoroughly explore in later chapters, it is my belief that the authority of His Word was first entrusted to each of us individually, actually given to live within us from our birth.
Contrary to the deceptive attempts of overbearing priestcrafts and pastorships which seem to work to usurp such authority from us, it is still to His Spirit that we should first turn for guidance and instruction, where the conviction of His Spirit may be found unhampered and unimpaired by the over-reaching teachings of men, to guide us personally and individually when seeking an understanding and clarification of His Word and Doctrine.
Therefore, it is not to men that we should turn to and trust, but to His Spirit that was given to us from our beginning. It is there, within us, where the purity of His Word has been protected, and may still be found and confirmed.
This simple but all inclusive instruction as to how to find our way back to Heaven and to Him, has been repeatedly mentioned under the veil of the Old Testament, and more openly and robustly resonated within the New Testament where He proclaimed that in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven, we must become again as a little child, be converted by such influence, and thereinafter believe in Him.
So saying, while putting aside the many disappointing performances of denominational Christianity, I believe that our common predicament in being adrift in Christianity and, most particularly, not knowing the means and the way to Forgiveness is wholly the cause of one thing.
Namely, that we are no longer in connection with those parts of us that previously knew Him and revered His Guidance, specifically the children we used to be, i.e., the little child He has commanded us to become again—those parts of us long since forgotten and disparaged, which have known about Forgiveness all along.
Apart from this vital connection with Heaven functioning online within our awareness, resonating its instructions and wherewithal through the impressions of the Spirit, we are blind to the Principles of Heaven and shutout from the understanding of Forgiveness that will work within us. Without this living and breathing Spiritual awareness within us, we remain at a loss as how to gain or bequeath Forgiveness.
Whatever is outside these feelings within us, is outside our awareness—and whatever is out of sight, remains out of our mind’s consciousness. What we cannot feel, in this regard, we cannot know. Most simply, when we became estranged from the children we used to be, so did we expatriate ourselves from the infinite knowledge base of Heaven. Try as we might, these are consequences that cannot be denied. The ways of Forgiveness became lost to us thereafter.
No substitute, no recipe, no "how-to-course," could make up for this loss. No quick-fix scenario or other techniques could ever make repair. By its very nature, Forgiveness requires an active connection with Heaven, involving the children we used to be restored and alive within us. That’s why all the other counterfeit methods we’ve spoken about earlier always led us to failure, because all of them ignored the critical values of the children we used to be and the connections they alone maintained with Heaven.
This is a link that we cannot afford to be without, especially concerning the matters of Forgiveness. Without these little ones restored within us, Forgiveness is impossible to embrace, confusing to understand, and inconsistent in its every application. Attempting Forgiveness without them is kind of like trying to make bread without flour, or candy without sugar. It just can’t be done.
No matter the gyrations that we put ourselves through thereafter, without the children we used to be our efforts will completely fail. Without them, we are left to our own imaginings; free to entertain all the false strategies and promises that we and others can invent..., and all the subsequent discouragement, pain, and sorrow that come with them. Knowing the children we used to be is essential if we are ever to make sense out of the path to Forgiveness. The consequences of attempting to live without them are immeasurably harmful to the purposes of Life."
Excerpt taken from the "Winds of Forgiveness~Heaven's Healing Promises," Chapter One, by Dr Gregory C.D. Young, Copyright 2003.
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