TORN-Wilderness Cry-Hilary L Hunt MD

IMG_0360 (1)TORN-When I hear the worn torn’ I instantly experience a momentary “sinking feeling” in my chest; it matters not in what sense the word is being used. The word torn seemingly always expresses an idea of disruption of wholeness. That in itself creates a feeling of dismay and sadness. I suspect, in my case and likely most peoples cases, that reaction is based on a subconscious attitude about the descriptive meaning and implications of the word instilled in us at an early age. Generally, the reaction of sadness is justified. Some examples come to mind: it tore the family apart; the wind tore the roof off their house; recently, I saw photograph of two neutron stars colliding and being torn into pieces like a crumbling snowball (the event happened 13 billion years ago years ago shortly after the Big Bang): the temple curtain supposedly was rent (torn) into at the moment of Jesus’ death. Just a few examples—. That brings me to a subject near and dear to my heart, the gradual and most certain eventual demise (tearing apart) of Christianity. Many, maybe most, of you may shriek in horror at such a suggestion. However, if you were conversant with current and past events in Christian history, you may not be so horrified. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, as of the year 2014, there were 33,000 Christian denominations in the world; each claiming to be the correct one; an astonishing number and growing. One has to only casually observe and notice a new church springing up “on every street corner”. The associated problem is simple; religion is a divider; I’m right and you’re wrong. Why do you suppose that is. I firmly believe the reason lies in the fact that no one, not even His apostles, knew who Jesus really was. As a result, when he died , all sorts of conflicting ideas arose in an attempt to satisfy preconceived ideas. As time went on, warring religious factions forced Constantine, emperor of Rome, to convene a council of the most numerous groups at Nicaea. He commissioned them to formulate one, singular church which became the official state religion; dissidents had two choices, beheading or exile. However, as human nature goes, the heretics survived, and were forcefully put down by government forces dictated by the church. Fast forward to Martin Luther; he had the “gall” to point out the abuses of the church. By breaking away from the main church, he set the stage for any and all to formulate their own ideas and form a new church. These new churches were predicated on individual interpretation of a book already so corrupted that no one could say with certainty what Jesus said or did. So now we have televangelists, megachurches, papists and the like hammering each word of that book, holding their listeners spellbound and captive; and for what reason? Power, Money , and Control. The one thing Jesus supposedly told us that makes sense is seldom ever mentioned; that being His two simple dicta to love our God with our all and love our neighbor as ourselves. Those commands are designed to unite us. Religion divides us. We are becoming so fragmented (torn apart), that soon each person who attempts to maintain some form of Christianity will be a religion unto himself. Likely, what will happen is what we are seeing now; church attendance is in steady decline. Why? Because the message is becoming less and less meaningful. The one meaningful message, love of God and neighbor is too simple; there’s no money, power, nor control to be extracted by that message. Sad indeed.

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