Is the Christian Message Lost?

In Emerson’s The Divinity School Address there are many claims that Christianity is lost. Just hearing that a religion has lost touch with its true meaning may sound ridiculous, but if you give it some though it may not sound so far fetched. For an example: the Bible is taught through different interpretations, so there are many views, or understandings, of what the Bible means and in result the main teaches of the Bible are lost; there those who preach passages of the Bible, but do not live by the Bible; Church is historically a place of worship, but now we hear more and more of churches being like big concerts where people attend to be entertained. With all this, it is extremely easy for the true meaning of the Bible to get lost, twisted, and misrepresented.

Within the Roman Catholic Church there is a hierarchy, you have the pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, and the list goes on. Each one of these people have a different interpretation of the Bible, so when they speak of the Bible you basically get a different story. As one who is wanting to attend mass, when you are listening to someone of authority speak about a passage with their interpretation, you believe it. Unfortunately, there are those who have this authority and take advantage of people and brainwash them into believing they are the Messiah. For an example, this is what Jim Jones did as he began his own church, The Peoples Temple. He brained washed his followers and made them believe that his interpretations of the Bible were correct.

Those who preach the Bible always tweak the passages to their advantage. We saw this example when we read Fredrick Douglas, as it was stated that the more religious a master was the more violent they were, and the masters justified their violent actions by using the Bible. Christianity’s teachings are to live by what the Bible tells us, not to contradict the Bible with its follower’s actions, but as more believers are preaching one thing and doing another the true concept of religion fades away. Unfortunately, it is easier to say than do, and due to this there is no one person who can live strictly by the way of the Bible.


Churches are supposed to be a safe haven where you can listen to the truth of the Bible and where you can pray and be prayed for, but now it has been turned into a huge business where church leaders are making millions. There are more of these “mega churches” where thousands attend, and millions view on television, and it seems like a huge concert. These types of churches completely lose touch with their followers, there are no one and one prayers, there are no personal relations with the church higher-ups and those coming to church for guidance, when compared to community churches. It is like if people get bored at home, or the neighborhood church, and attend these mega churches to stay entertained with religion. Religion is not to be made to entertain, it is made to guide the way of life.

Now, this is just touching the surface of how Christianity has changed over the years, but with the examples of different interpretations being preached and churches being turned into businesses it is easy to see the truth in what Emerson was expressing.  I hope my examples make you think of other examples that support or disagree with Emerson’s view on Christianity. If you are a believer of the Christian religion, or even if you are not, and you have given this thought, try answering this question, “Is true Christianity lost”?

About ricquelln

Major- Political Science Arizona State University
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3 Responses to Is the Christian Message Lost?

  1. trose91 says:

    Great post.

    I do believe that Christianity is lost. My family is very religious and when I compare the Christianity to how I was taught and the way that things are actually done I am confused. In this last year with the presidential debate going on there have been so many candidate whom have used their religion to justify there ways of thinking (especially those on the more conservative side). I stop and ask myself if they are actually even Christians or if they only use Christianity to appeal to the masses. I’ve attached one of my favorite video clips about religion and politics by Martin Luther King, I hope you enjoy. Once again, great post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. zschilling says:

    Its really a sticky situation when it comes to ones religious affiliations. What defines a christian? Or a muslim? Can you still be a christian if your pray everyday but do not attend church? Or are you still a christian if you commit adultery out of wedlock? Many may claim they are christian whether they pray, and attend church regularly or not. But to pull in voters politicians will affilate themselves with a religion regardless of how devoted they are to that partcular religion. For example, Donald Trump says he a christian but doesent pray everyday. Some may view Trump a christian or not a christian. Depending on the criteria which you base your religous affilation on

  3. jtoombs51 says:

    The danger with the modern conception of Christianity is the willingness of the masses of people willing to simply submit to the authority of those preaching the message of the Bible to them. Now, I can only formulate a full opinion of the doctrine of Christianity due to its prominence within the United States, so it may seem as if I am attempting to unfairly criticize Christianity. But, overall, the current crisis is the lack of ability to participate in free thought without the confirmation of beliefs by another person. How can one truly understand the message of God and Christ that is so central to the Bible, and Christianity in general, if they cannot take the time to simply meditate on it themselves? How can one truly understand how to live his/her life in a fulfilling way unless they take the time to understand what their purpose is?

    These questions reach to something much deeper regarding the Christian doctrine, and the ways in which it is preached by all schools of Christian thought. This is not a new phenomenon, clearly. Emerson spoke of this more than one century ago, yet his words seem so painfully relevant. This problem is born out of the hierarchical structures of churches that, essentially, force followers to submit to the authority of individuals in a position of power.

    All in all, this is a fascinating problem that does not get discussed nearly enough. Great post!

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