Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Oprah-fication of Religion

Posted by Teresa at 12:02 PM
This Canadian news article really breaks my heart to little pieces:
That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ
Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls
of Toronto's West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian
churches across the country.

But at West Hill on the faith's holiest day, it will be done with a
huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from
what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”

Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an
expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but
not Jesus, contrary to Christianity's central tenet about the return
to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.
Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance
in West Hill's Sunday service liturgy.
Again, this goes to my continuing theme of how moral relativism is affecting
our society. It's now in our religion. It's the absolute Oprah-fication of faith.
Believe whatever you want. Don't offend others. Thus, if saying Jesus
Christ is offensive to some take it out, even in churches! How ridiculous is that?

And to think for centuries in Western cultures people have fought and suffered
for religious freedoms just so our modern churches like the one featured in the
article can be free to tell their parishioners, "Um, yeah, believe what you wish."
Today, still, there's Christian persecution all over the world, where believers
are not allowed to say the name of Jesus Christ and this Reverend Vosper who
lives in a free society excludes Jesus from Easter. Unbelievable and absolutely
backwards.

Here's another quote from the article:
Other Christian clergy and theologians have talked about the
need to dramatically reform the doctrines of a faith that, with
the exception of its vibrancy in the United States, has lost huge
numbers of adherents throughout the Western world it once
dominated as Christendom. In Canada, where 75 per cent
of the
population self-identifies as Christian, only about
16 per cent
attend weekly service.
Why would someone attend a church service at Toronto's West Hill United Church
when all they have to do is sit down of for an hour of Oprah and get the same
empty philosophical rhetoric? Contrary to what Reverend Vosper believes people
want truth:



Empty society, empty theology.

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