Saturday, December 20, 2008

The New Syncretism

Apparently, a vast majority of American Christians view other religions as equally salvific. It would seem then that we could thereby reduce the moniker "American Christians" to 'Americans'.

So, many Americans feel that there are many paths to salvation, even though those same Americans claim Christianity as their religion of choice.

"Sixty-five percent of all Christians say there are multiple paths to eternal life, ultimately rejecting the exclusivity of Christ teaching, according to the latest survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life."

Let's let this article slant in an unnecessary direction now, shall we?

"Even among white evangelical Protestants, 72 percent of those who say many religions can lead to eternal life name at least one non-Christian religion, such as Judaism or Islam or no religion at all, that can lead to salvation."

My goodness. Even white evangelical Protestants? How is that a defining feature of the overall 65% surveyed? Why is it important that they're white? Is Christianity somehow different for white people? What are the assumptions that go behind isolating a certain demographic of evangelical Christians? And why does it matter if the total percentage of Christians surveyed is a clear enough indication that Christians in America don't believe like some of us may have thought they did?

The rest of the article is pretty black and white. But mostly white. It's a very strange article, even if it does present some telling figures.

14 comments:

suneal said...

I touched my warm-fuzzy pussy cat the other day and had the feeling aliens invading the planet will also go to heaven. Who needs that outdated, antiquated book called the Bible? Just a thorn in the flesh I tell you. No worries, no one either reads it or takes it too seriously.

Christopher said...

Yes, well. Perhaps the aliens you're referring to are actually God. If so, then the Bible is out-moded in its attempts to make salvation the sole providence of Christ. Hence there are many ways. Which one would you like to take Suneal?

suneal said...

I'll take John Travolta's at that point, because the whole notion is as bad as his infamous movie, "Battlefield Earth."

Also, I realize there is then a plot complication, because Jesus said to know Him and the Father is eternal life, so the question becomes one of either there are many paths to heaven or many paths to God. It is not the same question. But the Triune God of the Bible, barring being a liar, which He is absolutely not, is so far removed from every god displayed in all other religions or cults such as John Travolta's.

The next question beomes, "now that your particular path got you in, how do you deal with a God so particular about the manner and the lengths to which He has gone to give you eternal life, namely sacrificing His Son?"

justsomename said...

I find the usage of the word "saved" interesting in this article. What do people think that word means?
I wonder what response white american evangelicals would have given if asked if there is more than one religion that would help a person break the endless cycle of death and rebirth and transcend to a state of narvana?
Or by saved, do people just mean in a baseball sense, like safe. As in, is christianity the only running path to the cosmic home plate of existence?

Craig said...

Merry Christmas!
Did all of Suneal's posts disappear?

That's disappointing.

suneal said...

Personally, I don't think so Craig.

Craig said...

You don't think it's disappointing?

Is this about that intellectual thing that you posted the other day? Have you gone anti-blog?

I don't know. I like blogging. It's fun. Something to do...

suneal said...

No I don't think it disappointing. That is a matter of perspective for the individual. I find blogging probably in the end more disappointing than not. I think my life is better when I don't pronounce my complaints that essentially make no difference.

No one gave me a good answer to my complaints against techno life. So I seek merely to live more "face to face." And by the way, cell phone images, etc, is not a substitute for that.

Merry Christmas Craig.

Craig said...

Well, I hadn't really had time to process it.
I blog when I feel like it because I like it, but each to his own.
I'm guessing then that you were one of those kids who would spend hours building a snow fort and then knock it down right away and laugh. I was the type to leave it there until the sun had completely melted it or someone else had knocked it down.

Christopher said...

Back to your corners, boys. You're not even in your fighting trunks, and yet you're throwing jabs at each other. If you're not going to follow the rules of the game, don't fight. :)

Craig said...

I didn't know that I was throwing jabs...

justsomename said...

I always end up looking like I'm fighting with people, but that's just the way that I talk.

Christopher said...

Craig,

Be welcome here. I was just adding a teaser-note.

suneal said...

If this is a fight, we all need to watch "Fight Club" and then get to it!