Churchians assume Christianity and morality are one and the same. Worse still, people tend to degenerate further into the idea that morality equals feel-goods for other people. The 'be nice' brigade, if you will, many of whom cannot appear to understand the limits of 'be nice,' like if you actually did want a healthy society, church, community, etc...- there's the inordinate desire to be nice, and then there's that one guy or two telling you your dreams are disappearing down a demographic black hole.
Churchians tend to live as if they could know the mind of God, as if God is actually very much like that guy painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel:
Churchians tend to believe the feminization of the Church is actually a good thing.
Okay, so what is the big bad problem? The problem is that most people in Church are Churchians and/or have such leanings. They become cheerleaders for their side, not capable of providing any guidance to the larger society. Intelligent people, in this society, flounder. Here is an example I found in Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces:
Jesus, for example, can be regarded as a man who by dint of austerities and meditation attained wisdom; or on the other hand, one may believe that a god descended and took upon himself the enactment of a human career. The first veiw would lead one to imitate the master literally, in order to break through, in the same way as he, to the transcendant, redemptive experience. But the second states that the hero is rather a symbol to be contemplated than an example to be literally followed. The divine being is a revelation of the omnipotent Self, which dwells within us all. The contemplation of the life thus should be undertaken as a meditation on one's own immanent divinity, not as a prelude to precise imitation, the lesson being, not "Do thus and be good," but "Know this and be God."
I had thought it was going to be an interesting book, but it turned sour quickly, for this guy was into Freud, but I thumb through and found this nonsense. The problem with this garbage is that I can just see a relatively intelligent man inherently knowing the struggle, but when looking at Christ, sees only Churchians, none of whom appear interested in the struggle.
The pearl in our undervalued land lies in the Trinity. It is yet the third story- the one the author ignored, God being perfection and seeking to perfect his Creation, and Jesus being both God and Man offering a solution to our dilemma. For any reasoning man knows that this omnipotent Self is foolishness, but the mystery of Christ gives us an icon of what is to be. We can be perfect for perfection itself would make it so, even becoming man so that it can be done. So, we can, as the author I quoted above seems want to do, attempt to 'break through' knowing that our endeavors are not in vain.
But this is missed, and what do we get instead? Here's a link to an interview I literally had to stop listening to:Super Human Radio 1557. They start out discussing religion as a story that we tell each other, and that we (and the universe) driven by evolution can wake up, realize these are stories and then start making up our own stories- the implication being that our new stories will serve us better, like a new map of my town would serve me better than one from fifty years ago.
But you know what they pick as an example? X-men. Yes, folks, a bunch of dysfunctional people, incapable of having children or normal relationships- absolute failures by any evolutionary metric. And not only that, there is no perfection in the comic book world. So their idea of new, better stories are stories in which the characters can't pass basic evolutionary tests and the parameters are finite and orders of magnitude less than perfection.
Well that sucks.
The modern fixation with the Superhero is actually a side effect of the dysgenic slide we've undergone since the 1800s. These are the stories of a broken people, not a people about to evolve to a next level. They can't see the desired end result. They don't understand the parameters
But reasonably smart people end up making these mistakes. Are they really rejecting Jesus? Or are they rejecting you? Rejecting this pathetic version. Remember, there used to be real, actual, serious pagans who listened to Christians and then chose to become Christian themselves. I believe it is because the pagans also desired perfection. The author I quoted and the guys who did that interview also sound like they want to improve themselves. I suspect the reason Christianity is so undervalued is that there are so many Churchians in it. Churchians do not like the struggle. They use religion as an uncertainty reduction device, and there is probably a high correlation between them and those who wave the flag around like it still has meaning. True pagans would hold them, as well as their secular counterparts in contempt.