If It's Just A Symbol, to Hell With It
State of the Union: Can you “reinvent” Christianity?
Perry Bacon writes in the Washington Post that, while he considers himself agnostic,
Many Americans, including me, were once part of churches that were essential parts of our lives. It’s strange to me that America, particularly its left-leaning cohort, is abandoning this institution, as opposed to reinventing to align with our 2023 values.
Can you “reinvent” Christianity? I do not think so, at least as long as Christ is involved.
Christ in the Gospels insists upon being the single most important thing in a person’s life. You cannot have “just a bit” of Him.
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He tells people to hate their fathers and mothers in comparison to their love for Him. He tells them to hate their own lives for His sake. He demands to be given priority above any and all competing considerations—wives, children, friends, passions, dreams, hopes, and earthly life itself. If Jesus of Nazareth was the person He claimed to be, you can’t escape those demands. If He was not, why on earth would you sign up for them anyway?
When a Protestant suggested to Flannery O’Connor that the Eucharist was a symbol of Jesus’ body, she responded, “If it’s just a symbol, to hell with it.”
That is true of religion in general and of Christianity in particular. It is only worthwhile if it is true, and if it is true, it is the only thing that is worthwhile.