The present burnout in Christianity is the result of many factors.
One, the fundamentalists, the literalists have been waiting in high gear for the end of the world for forty years now and two thousand years before that. I can remember before cable TV there was a Saturday night gospel show on a UHF channel called “The King is Coming”. Of course to a raised Catholic, somebody reading the book of revelation, it was an education of sorts. It must have made money because it has had a lot of imitators since.
The fundamentalists are a breed of people in the rural areas and on the sidelines of modern society in the big cities. With television you can transport their isolationist bubble into the minds of people in the cities. This whole hate of success and love of the end of the world scenario is something best left to psychologists. But after forty years, fatigue has set in because the last book of the bible is so vague. God and Jesus are just not cooperating in the end of the world obsession for the losers and the world haters of fundamentalism.
World hating and deferring on important life decisions like climate change are an institutionalized arm of fundamentalism not really found in any bible but don’t try and tell that to any fundamentalist.
So too fatigue for the RCs with their promises of change in Vatican II stalled for four decades over their command to have their morals as part of law of the land in the abortion issue. The abortion issue started when birth control, born of science and a need for it in a crowded polluted age, got stuck in neutral amidst gritty local politics.
While the RC faithful have been waiting for the lifting of celibacy and a golden age in faith, the fat corrupt bishops just keep selling off property one lawsuit at a time. The hierarchy of the RC church worships the golden idol of their own hierarchy and will do so until the last piece of property has been sold.
The mainstream Prots have cash and old buildings but if you look at the British or European version of entitled religious and official and semi-official government status, the Prots have not gone very far on their own since Martin Luther. The RCs may have come up with their own hundreds of pages of boilerplate belief in the Council of Trent, the Prots have their own version of boilerplate faith as well.
The main reason for so many years of study in any seminary is memorization and the PC way to talk about the bible and or God and or Jesus. God and Jesus are merely stage props in the talk the talk and the walk the walk of mainstream religion.
Sad to say, there would appear to be no unified Christian message to the world two thousand years after Jesus.
The smug science and industry successful west has atrophied over the ages. Islam, while not a superior belief system has the energy at the moment. The energy is born of hate and conflict of it bumping up against the godless capitalist west as exemplified in the metaphoric movie Avatar. Which leads to a brief reaction to that movie as a coded message of redemption for the whole human race in this decayed age of materialism and blind adherence to the centuries old boilerplate beliefs of both Christendom and Islam.
If you are half way religious you see a religious theme in Avatar. If you are from the second or third world you see a brutally unfair military that wants to destroy everything not American. Nature is the enemy because it is not certified as an acceptable PC religious experience. If you are a godless capitalist, greed is the important factor. Avatar plays on many levels.
Boilerplate religionists want to waste time on words. It has to quack like a duck and be labeled like a duck before it is a duck. No wonder the old religion is dying if you need a patent from the government before you can begin to have any heart felt communication with the divine through nature or even through yourself.
Which brings me to the future of any religious beliefs. We have come to a strange fork in the road. In the age of the Internet, individual reaction to the split second interface with knowledge, images, political and social concepts flash around the planet faster and more often than heartbeats.
Control of the Internet is coming in it being taxed, fees added, and censored. In the meanwhile new ideas as revolutionary as the 95 Theses or the science of a printing press as it was in it’s day five hundred years ago are occurring all around us in virtual time and presence – even if we are not aware of these milli-second, millimeter paradigm changes into our new global culture.
Global interface consensus is the future eyes, ears, and perception of a future human race. That race has piggybacked over many cultures and many belief systems to this point in time. It would all seem to be part of a creative force in the universe and in compliance with a concept of evolution as a positive force of the Creator.
How the world sees itself and functions for the next five hundred years, the outline of thoughts and protocols are being formed in these early years of the 21st century of a global common era.
Look forward. Be positive. Be creative. Act with love for one’s local and global neighbor. Think. Be wise. Be fruitful.
Let social justice rule and multiply.
Pax – Mundo - Humanitas ! (Peace – Global – Humanity)