Since the Council of Nicea in the fourth century,
Christianity has been centered on belief in the miraculous
and an afterlife incorporating divine judgement on our lives.
But the findings of modern science and biblical scholarship
have shed grave doubts on the truth of such a belief.

We yearn for a church that will inspire the world
with beauty, compassion, justice, and a commitment to truth.

Such a church could change, would change, the world.
for the world now needs a message based on love,
on loving relationships between ourselves,
our community, and the world around us.


Religions have the problem of being human creations.
Humans for centuries have followed in a theistic, personal God
so as to gain control over the problems and behaviour of a scary life.
They have prayed to this God so that crops will grow or to heal disease.
They have created liturgies trying to manipulate this God,
to achieve protection and gain power over nature.

Again and again science has discredited such a God.
There is no proof of God beyond personal experience,
other than a sense of love from something much greater.
In such cases, these are experiences that cannot be named.
Whether one labels them of God makes no difference.

Instead of belief in a divine being, what is important
is that we live the love encountered in the experience of God.
To be a Christian is not about passing a litmus test of correct belief,
but is rather about living a loving life of passionate concern
for economic and social justice, creating a world at peace.

Religious leaders find it difficult to be honest with their members,
because most Christians don’t want their beliefs to be challenged.
The problem is that mainline churches are slowly emptying.
A Christianity centered around superstitious belief
is increasingly unsustainable in the future.

A good place to begin the change is with the Bible.
Most Christians have not read the Bible in a comprehensive way,
and as a result know little about what the Bible actually says.
They focus on the good parts and ignore difficult passages.
When the Bible is no longer seen as the literal word of God,
it can becomes a source of personal inspiration
rather than a blueprint for belief.

The Christian church must reinvent itself around a vision of love,
made incarnate through justice and compassion, as its focus.
This church must rid itself of all human created doctrine
in order to remain relevant in the age of science
and modern biblical scholarship.

The world needs such an organisation, a church,
in partnership with other groups with a similar vision
to provide the moral leadership required for a safe journey
into a very uncertain, very challenging, future.
The present church fails to fulfil that role.


From a summary of Gretta Vosper's book "With or without God".


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