The New Christianity, La Iglesia Nueva
It's all well and good to point out the weaknesses within a movement or organization; but without a perspective on what might replace it or at least remedy it, then what good has been done?
If the Church is now dead or dying, if it is a mere matter of a generation or two from disappearing, it would be well to begin the work of the New Church, la iglesia nueva (I've recently begun to learn Spanish, and here I thought a different language might underline the near complete break with the past that I see as necessary: queria destacar una ruptura completa!).
Although I've only just begun to formulate these ideas, I think that the New Church must have within it certain descriptors:
1) "There is no religion higher than Truth." This, some will remember, is the motto on the emblem of the Theosophical Society. The watchword should be: Is it true?
2) Jesus is many things to many people: Doctrine does not inform, it limits.
3) The Bible is among the great books of the world and it should be read and studied, but it is not any different in kind than other great epics, such as the Odyssey, the Iliad, the Aeneid, or The Brothers Karamazov or Don Quixote for that matter. All works are equally to be studied, all religions can teach. The Bible is not The Holy Word.
4) Art and Science are the chief means for spiritual inquiry.
5) The New Christian Church tears down walls, it does not build them. If an idea of a Temple is desired, it can be thought that the Earth or the Universe is that temple.
6) The New Christian Church is not a church of miracles, but of community. Prayer is not to be thought of as somehow influencing a theistic God, but is useful for meditation and influencing those that pray.
7) Questions are more important than answers; poetry greater than creed. All language is metaphor and translation.