Until today I had never heard of Accelerated Christian Education. Now I have and I feel diminished by the experience.
The source was this article on the BBC, about a system of schooling that must surely qualify for the Millstone Around the Neck and Drowned in the Depth of the Sea Award. Please, please, please, please, please will Christians get over the them-or-us mentality that allows them to accept uncritically (or grudgingly defend, or even just tolerate because, well, you know, bits of it are okay) anything that has the word “Christian” in it. It isn’t: by which I mean, the Christ after whom it is named would be rubbing his eyes and gaping with disbelief that anyone can not only be teaching this rubbish but doing so in his name. That’s when the eyes weren’t flooded with tears, because he made everything so simple and some idiots following him had to go and make it so complicated.
So let me just dash off a few of the things I regard as quite fundamental in my view of Christianity, inspired by the article and by browsing the Leaving Fundamentalism blog that is cited [warning: the guy’s story is heartbreaking; you can only cheer that he made it out sane]. Each of these is the product of many years’ thought and, might I add, scriptural study, by a man* who believes without reservation that Jesus Christ is the virgin-born physically resurrected Son of God who died for our sins. I will not only be glad to debate about these by personal correspondence but will support with scripture. Had I time then I would write a book, but this is my lunch hour. So:
- Believing in evolution and an Earth that is billions of years old enhances God’s glory, not diminishes. Creationism is not only an insult to human intelligence but it does God down. The God – the Jesus – I believe in is so much bigger and better.
- There may be a Hell, and the people who go there may well have rejected Jesus, but that is a statement of values, not magic. To say “I accept or reject Jesus” means to accept or reject the values and the outlook and the worldview of Jesus, whether or not you believe in (or have even heard of) the Messiah / Jewish prophet / beardy weirdy of that name who lived a long time ago. Meanwhile, no one gets into Heaven because they said the magic words or “did good” – it is entirely down to God’s grace (though I grant there may be an overlap in the two sets that could lead to a false impression of causality). And as only God can know the state of someone’s heart, no one – no one – gets to pronounce who is going / has gone to Hell based on outward appearance or statements of belief.
- Same sex marriage? Knock yourself out.
- Masturbation? Well, God gave you hands ….
- Smoking? Alcohol? The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.
Rant over. For now …
* i.e. me, in case there’s still any confusion.