Is there anything salvageable in Christianity for me?
In contemplating our nation (our nation of faith not the political nation, the USA) as Christian, our tribe as Quaker... I have to ask if there is anything salvageable for me in Christianity ( not in Jesus who is remarkably important to me... ) and if there is, why bother. From at least the time of Constantine to the mid eighteenth century mainstream Christianity was a totalitarian political entity, which evolved into several feudal institutions and a few utopian attempts at limited democracy.
Let's face it, to show any ambiguity in the dark ages on the proscribed view of Jesus meant death. By the time of Fox and Penn limited questioning was tolerated until it challenged the state and so Fox is concerned to free the mind from the bondage of state terror centered on the idols of state sponsored Christianity. After over a thousand years of violent indoctrination, how could early Quakers appreciate that the objectification of a human was a violent act, and in itself idolatry? As religious freedom grew, more and more of us searched the historical record to reclaim Jesus' movement, release it from state sponsored totalitarianism and many of us discovered a rabbi - a teacher rather than an idol injected between our souls and God.
I hold a dear spot in my heart for such salvation of light in corrupted systems. As I grow older, and more of my old fellow travelers refer to me as a sell out, because I continue to serve the social good, but speak out more about the philosophical errors of Marx, not because Marx was not well intentioned, or many revolutionaries were not well intentioned, but because the statement of perfect truth assigned to my dear old Karl made the Soviet totalitarian state an inescapable end product. Could there have been anything else that would come out of Marx? Sure. There is Scandinavian Socialism. But, in those states Marx is not taught as a working class savior and infallible genius, ambiguity is taught and sought. One can formulate and grow beyond Marx without being jailed or killed. It is the idol worship of Marx that led to the Soviet State in the same way the idol worship of Jesus leads to crusades from the past to present, even the gentle crusades which are unaware of the violence in the theft of humanity of this brilliant, but humanly flawed dear Jesus.
Some Friends say we must cling to Jesus as savior, because our Quaker forefathers and mothers did. However, those early Friends lived in the dominant totalitarian state and did not realize yet, could not have ... that totalitarianism was the problem. They set out to create a state in Pennsylvania which was free of totalitarianism, yet retained the cult of the perfect man, and by that sewed the seeds of a gentle totalitarianism.
Well, that is a start, some day I will take on the totalitarianism of the perfect absence of God... atheism.