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”?