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Why Many People Reject Christianity
 

According to the City University of New York's comprehensive American religious identification survey, the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians has actually fallen in recent years, from 86 percent in
1990 to 77 percent in 2001. The survey found that the largest
growth, in both absolute and percentage terms, was among those who
don't subscribe to any religion. Their numbers more than doubled,
from 14.3 million in 1990, when they constituted 8 percent of the
population, to 29.4 million in 2001, when they made up 14 percent.

 There are many reasons people reject Christianity, not the least of which is the judgmentalism of many Christians. But I want to address a couple of other reasons from letters I recently received.

 FIRST: "It just makes NO sense to me whatsoever that Christianity is a patriarchal religion.  Or perhaps I should say that aspect of it makes no sense...  I always tell people that when they can show me a male who can procreate on his own, then I'll consider patriarchal religions (absolutely NO offense taken) -- just that this seems to make people think." - Anonymous

 RESPONSE: Actually, few realize it but the Holy Spirit is in the feminine gender and perfectly embodies feminine virtues (the comforter) While Jesus embodies the truth. Properly understood, Christianity is the most gender valued religion I know of, but few understand that. Even theologians don't get it.

 ANOTHER LETTER: In reading so much Jungian material of late, it seems Jesus was actually mitigating the shadow of "God"...  On our behalf & perhaps that's what the unconditional, divine love I felt wrapped in was all about - compassion for the very predicament -- the "human condition" as I call it...  Shrugs...  (Would love to hear your thoughts on this)

 RESPONSE: That's an interesting take on His death. My views of the atonement also differ from mainstream theological thought. I hope to write a theology someday explaining it all. It's all really quite beautiful when properly understood. Let's see if I can say this briefly. Death came because of sin. Before their was sin there was no death. Jesus had to die to conquer death. The reason He could do that is because He is sinless; hence the grave couldn't hold Him. But by dying, he could free all who had died before Him from the curse of death. He also was able through the resurrection to release the Holy Spirit, which enabled Him to conquer sin and death, and make the Spirit available to anyone who would receive it.  Remember, it's a New Testament. A testament tells you what the heirs receive when the beloved dies. Through Christ we become joint heirs in His Father's kingdom. He died to give it to us and rose again to help us enjoy spending it, to give us an abundant life.

 ANOTHER: I just recently ran across a questioner in Bible class (Homeless Shelter) who discovered one of the mistakes/inconsistencies/errors or whatever one wants to call it when studying the Bible. This, of course, is not the first
time but I am never sure the best way to handle the discourse. How do you deal with your students when they first realize that the Bible is not perfect but has errors in the writing?  I am trying to teach the students not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater."  What I basically say is that remember it was written by man with the inspiration of God and man in his writings makes mistakes.  I try to show them that the overall picture is what matters, little details such as who really was at Jesus' tomb when it
was opened are not important in light of the resurrection etc.

In God's Love,
Walt

Hi Walt,

I think you're on the right track. In my experience, most people who make a big deal out of such apparent inconsistencies are not usually sincerely seeking truth; they just want an out to absolve them of any responsibility to live by the truth. I ask them to show me in the Bible where they see inconsistencies and hand them a Bible. They never can. I ask them to explain why such things matter to them. They seldom have a good answer. I then tell them one thing that makes me trust the Bible is that it's the only religious and historical document that so many try to discredit. It also has more substantiation behind it than any other religious or historical document by far. Concerning differences in the gospels I mention the fact that if there were 4 witnesses on 4 different street corners who all saw the same accident they would each have a different take on it because they all saw it from a different perspective, like the blind men and the elephant. But sincere seekers usually grapple with weightier concerns. I've never met someone who was obsessed over such spiritual trivia that was truly interested in the Truth.  The fact is that the Bible is what theologian’s call, autopistic, which means self-authenticating. You learn its truth when you obey it. You also, earn by disobeying. "We don't break God's law, it breaks us." It's significant to me that such questions come from the homeless. How they are living isn't working. If they accept responsibility for that, they can change. If they don't all our efforts to reach them are usually futile.

 

Blessings,

Ken

 

 

Ken Unger is President of OnlyGodsFinest.com and founder of TransformationIncorporated.com, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at The Ultimate Breakthrough "

Quotes

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

 

Martin Luther said, "If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point."

 

                                         END TIMES

 

RSPONSE: One of the most important issues facing the church is largely ignored by mot pastors today. I'm referring to the New World Order and trends towards a one world government. We're so busy twisting the scriptures to convince ourselves that Jesus will return and take us home before the tribulation that we can't see how hot the water is being turned up all around us. This next letter touches on that.

 

                                 READERS RESPOND


I cannot help but laugh at all the hoopla today about it being 6 6 6- the sign of the devil.  What a crock of....   You are probably laughing too.  As a student of history I have read about these kinds of things forever in the records.  The "End Times" is always just about here.  Even Jesus repeatedly said this generation shall not pass and He would be here again (e.g. Matthew 24: 32-34). Nostradamus predicted it would all come to a head in 1999.  Nope.  Whole societies like the Economites in America were built upon this "End Times” when their founder, Father Rapp died and Jesus had not come again, the society fell apart leaving a legacy of great collective wealth and buildings (mid 1800’s).  Ken, you are young enough to remember Hal Lindsey and his Late Great Planet Earth.  He was convinced the "End Times" would be 1988 since Israel had reemerged in 1948 and a Biblical generation was 40 years.  Now we have the Left Behind series, which have made the authors rich beyond imagination and many Christians, believe the same junk.  As B. T. Barnum said about suckers...Oh well, wish that I had thought of it first and started the series.

Your friend,
Walt, Cleveland 

 

RESPONSE: I agree, the 666 stuff was ludicrous. Those numbers refer to a person, not a date. It all started with billboards hyping a new Omen film.  The passage you mentioned in Matthew 24, however, is not an error on Jesus' part. In verse 29, Jesus clearly says these things occur after the great tribulation, which incidentally exposes the flawed logic in the pre-trib rapture mind set of the Dispensationalists who wrote LEFT BEHIND. (They're part of a fringe group of fundamentalists who believe that God is not the same yesterday today and forever. They try to explain away the supernatural using 'dispensations' of time that they have contrived from the Bible.) Jesus clearly returns after the tribulation for the elect, not for Jews who are 'left behind'. To think otherwise requires a weird distortion of the plain and simple meaning of the gospels.

 

The imagery of a fig tree used in verse 32-34 is thought by most to be a reference to Israel, since that is a symbol used in ancient times to represent Israel. Dating the end times is always dicey, and reflects a mistaken view of God's sovereignty. Today, we can certainly see that events are lining up with scripture perhaps more accurately than at any time in history. Many signs uniquely point to the possibility of His eminent return in our lifetime. However, past generations also felt that way. This is part of the genius of biblical eschatology. The end always seems near. Those who truly know Him will live as if he could come today. After all, any of us could die today. But the larger issue is that living His way is what's truly in our own best interests anyhow. Once you know that why would you live contrary to His will?

 

Thanks for writing. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments.

 

Blessings,

Ken

 

To ELABORATE FURTHER:

Contrary to the pre-tribulation theory that began to be expounded in the US in the 19th century, the Bible clearly teaches that a terrible tribulation unlike any the world has known will come upon the earth and that unless God "shorten the days" no one would be saved. For the elect's sake, He wills shorten those days (Mark 13:19-20).

 

Jesus went on to say that "after the tribulation," (Vs. 24) we will see Him return (vs. 24) and only then will He send his angels to "gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven" (Vs. 27). 

 

Matthew 24 warns us not to be deceived (vs.4), then reiterates very similar warnings (cf. vss. 3-31).

 

 

Ken Unger is President of OnlyGodsFinest.com and founder of TransformationIncorporated.com, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "
 
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