The Eternal Church And the modern world

In 1939, church attendance was at 42% weekly, which has now declined to 39%.

The societies of today are very different from 500 years ago. In 1517, if a person said that the sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe, they would swiftly be excommunicated from the church. If a person expressed a belief that the beginning of time did not occur like it says in the Book of Genesis, they would be deemed a heretic and excommunicated. Fast forward 500 years, many people live more secular lives. Over the centuries, science has changed the way people think and see the world. For example, carbon DNA testing can examine the genetic coding of animals and other creatures from earlier times and determine when they would have lived. The Torah, the most holy book from Judaism, details only the Old Testament; they do not believe that Jesus is the son of God, but just another prophet. They believe that humanity started 5777 years ago. This is the time, they believe, that Adam, the earliest ancestor of all humanity, started walking the Earth. But, science has proven that the universe has been around for over 14 billion years.

The Garden of Eden, where all lived in harmony

Due to this, the Catholic church, which is the spiritual descendant of Judaism(Jesus was born Jewish), accepts that the Big Bang did occur; however, that God, who is and always will be around, made the Big Bang. 500 years ago, if a person did not attend church on Sunday, they were looked at as being the embarrassment of the community. For example Huck Finn, in the popular book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is set in the late 1800’s. In the story, Huck is the son of the town drunk and does not attend church or go to school; the town is very concerned, and parents tell their children to not go near him as they do not want them to be influenced by him. Now, the roles are reversed, as less than 20% percent of people who classify themselves as being part of the Christian faith go to church every weekend. Those who do are looked at as being strange, because they do not do what most people do: go to church on Christmas and Easter, or not at all. In 1939, church attendance was at 42% weekly, which has now declined to 39%.

The Vatican, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church

Who am I to judge?

Charles Darwin, founder of evolutionary science and antagonist of the church

People who do not go to church weekly are not viewed with disdain; in fact, most churches welcome those who do not go to church when they do go on important religious holidays like Christmas. This way, they do not feel bad; they feel part of the community, they feel close to God, and they feel like they can speak freely in Church.

However, 56% of Americans still say that religion is important; even though many people do not attend church on the weekends, there are many reasons people do not go. For one, they may feel embarrassed that they do not know the words of the liturgy; another reason is that there are people who are very sick, and cannot attend church due to having to stay in their houses. Lastly. people pray to God, but do not feel that the church they belong to worships God the way they want to, and so practice on their own. Under the leadership of Pope Francis, the Catholic church has been vastly modernized. Under the leadership of Pope Benedict, and the priests before him, homosexuality was not encouraged, and many left the church because of their feelings of resentment towards God; many thought how could a supposed loving, all accepting God hate homosexuals like themselves? With Pope Francis in charge of the papacy, he has changed the view of the church in that homosexuals, while not being allowed to be married in church, are welcomed to be apart of the congregation. Even though they are gay, they are still children of God, just like heterosexuals, so why should they be discriminated against because of their sexual taste? People who do not go to church weekly are not viewed with disdain; in fact, most churches welcome parishioners that attend mass only on important religious holidays, such as Christmas. They are welcomed as part of the community, encouraged to feel close to God, and participate in the mass.

Protestantism has been very influential; only one out of 44 Presidents has been Catholic

The church and the United States government don't see eye to eye on everything, but who can withstand being around the Pope?

The church is not the only institution that is trying to modernize. Seventy years ago, being homosexual was something people kept secret from their loved ones and friends in case they were publicly humiliated. Fifty years ago, being gay was something that brought a lot of shame to people and their families. In June 2015, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is constitutional. Prior to this, 37 states, including the District of Columbia had legalized it. Since the founding of the United States, the government had been heavily influenced by Christianity. Even though the Bill of Rights, which is an official document detailing the separation of church and state, Protestantism has been very influential; only one out of 44 Presidents has been Catholic.

One hundred years ago, only the church proclaimed that the killing of a fetus was morally wrong. Now, science has also discovered that a fetus is a human from conception

Scientists have decreed that a fetus is a human from conception.

Abortion, another concept that is commanded to not be done by the Christian churches, is something that more people are doing. Due to society being more secular, people are not as influenced by their religious faith, as most are not brought up by it to begin with. One hundred years ago, only the church proclaimed that the killing of a fetus was morally wrong. Now, science has also discovered that a fetus is a human from conception. However, abortion clinics are still available for women to get rid of their babies because the mother does not feel she can care for the baby; sometimes, they abort the baby due to not wanting to have to bother with caring for another mouth to feed. Due to the Enlightenment, which is an English intellectual movement from the 17th to the 18th century, people have accepted that creation did not actively happen like it did in the Book of Genesis, that the Big Bang occurred and started the process of humans living on Earth. People on social media and throughout accepted and best selling literature- have actively proclaimed that religion is false. The church is more lenient, believing in the power of religious revival rather than denouncing people to hell for not following the teachings of the church. But, the church has also stated that the events in Genesis- like the stories of Adam and also of Cain and Abel, are more like religious references for what life could have been and how life is now. For example, the Garden of Eden is more of an inference than of an actual place; it represents that there are many good people and things in the world, but one bad action can ruin everything. People are more vocal about being non-religious than they used to be. Due to the industrial movement and Darwinism, people have become more material driven and living in the world around them then praying every night and going to mass; they feel that the joys of life are more pronounced than the joys of the claimed afterlife. Due to God giving us free will, because God did not want people to worship him like slaves and do everything He wants us to do simply because He tells us to do things, people are able to do what they want. God gave us this because He did not want people to be his servants, not being able to think and act on their own. So, when events like the Holocaust and the various terrorist attacks occur, people immediately blame God, when God had nothing to do with it. God is the representation of good, and all of the events that people are becoming atheists for are evil events which have nothing to do with the Lord. But, this is to be expected, as people have doubted Jesus and His teachings since He was alive, 2000 years ago. People will always doubt the Lord, but God is good in which His church has now accepted that the world is more secular than it used to be, and that the way for people to not leave is to be more welcoming. This obviously includes not excommunicating people simply because they are outspoken about their beliefs against the church.

Evolution over Creation

Overall the Church has modernized in many ways. They are not so quick to judge, but are more quickly accepting of others due to understanding the world is very secular. Pope Francis has decreed to be more helping of others; as a Jesuit Pope, his motta is to be “A man/woman for others”. The pope understands that there are homosexuals in the world; he welcomes them into church, even though their marriages aren’t deemed as legitimate; this is not a slight against them, it is just because a marriage is supposed to be pro-creating. The church is, overall, a modern place where people come to hear the word of the Lord and be a part of a community of believers.

Credits:

Created with images by Hans - "marian column pillar fig" • kim.stovring - "Adam and Eve and God" • TheFourthLink - "pope saint peter vatican" • Fibonacci Blue - "Same sex marriage vote in the Minnesota Senate" • shehal - "charles darwin" • tpsdave - "pope benedict xvi president george bush laura" • DrGBB - "Abortion Memorial" • KirsiV - "darwin atheist religion"

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