The lure of Christianity is that it is flexible. It is a belief system which is so flexible that it can be adjusted to suit just about every mentality and level of intellect on the planet. A belief system that is so flexible, it has survived 2000 years of tweaking, re-interpretations of re-interpretations countless times by countless scribes, priests, preachers, deacons, pastors, and anyone who cares to have a go at it.
A belief system that must by default, have mass [excuse the pun] appeal. If one thinks about the many Christian sects across the globe which is available to people today, it is evident that the doctrine of Christianity can be interpreted to suit different societies, cultures, practices, languages and collective and personal beliefs. What other teaching exists that has such all-embracing flexibility?
If you want to be a Christian and depending on which sect you choose to embrace, you can roll on the floor with live snakes; you can babble in tongues or happy-clap yourself into a trance. You can dance deliriously during sermons to rock n roll hymns, banjos, or the angels singing in your head. You can be pious and saintly like Mother Theresa, or you can practice martyrdom of any form to any extreme, and you can believe in unbelievable miracles. Plus you’re allowed to live like the devil 6 days a week and on Sunday you will be absolved by one of God’s pulpit conduits.
You may be introduced to the concept that there is no illness on earth, just demonic possession so that the next time you encounter someone who believes they have a medical condition, you will know they are actually possessed by the devil which prayers will eradicate. You will also learn that prayers will bring you all your heart’s desires from the most mundane to the loftiest. You can coerce people to commit mass suicide if you are persuasive or you can be part of a mass suicide event if you are looking for a short cut to heaven.
If you have a secret preference for little boys there are plenty of opportunities for you in the job of religion. Other people will pay for your living and pleasure costs if you opt to preach the doctrine regularly. You are able to excuse yourself from responsibility for your actions: for inescapable events like death and destruction it is god’s will and for any bad deeds you may commit, well, it is the devil’s doing, isn’t it?
Christianity has the added advantage of being a very effective control tool if used by parents, governments and various authorities. Built into the religious doctrine of eternal love and blessings, is a control mechanism in the form of Hell and Punishment which is designed to put the fear of God into a devotee harbouring thoughts rebellion or waning compliance. This fear is most effective if firmly instilled into the devotee’s mind at a very young age and reinforced constantly by Christian parents and collaborative school curriculums.
All are welcome to join Christianity. No standards or behaviour codes are stipulated. There are no tests to complete or applications to fill out and no one questions your competence, motivation or intention. You can wake up one morning and declare yourself a Christian and you will be believed and welcomed with open arms by fellow Christians into a brotherhood of Christians. You absolutely need no special intellect, morals, self-discipline, no set principles or personal value system – no thinking or analysis required – and best of all; you don’t even have to know much about your chosen religion. You are told god will take care of your every need on this earth and beyond. All you have to do is declare yourself to be Christian, pray as often or as seldom as you please [who’s going know?], show up at gatherings if and when the urge takes you. Social events and business networking are extra benefits of Christianity. You are however, required to contribute money for this privilege. Always.
Depending on which Christian congregation you choose to join – bear in mind you don’t even have to go to church at all – you have a dizzying array of options open to you and it’s a cinch to find the one that ‘speaks’ to your particular mind-set or emotional needs. Very conveniently, should the one you choose turn out to not meet your expectations for whatever reason [you don’t enjoy: the other devotees/the pastor’s delivery methods/the tea parties/limited network/venue decor or whatever], you can simply leave that group and go to another gathering elsewhere. It is perfectly acceptable and quite customary for many Christians to regularly change their ‘church’ [I use the word loosely because some of these gatherings are actually conducted in rented bowling club halls or even tents dependent on the socio-economic level of the donating congregation] in their search to find the one that ‘fits’ best.
You have a choice of denominations and or non-denomination ‘churches’ to choose from. It is very fashionable nowadays to give praise to God via the ministry of a ‘pastor’ who himself has no formal theological education but may be hugely entertaining which is a big draw-card for devotees. Some of these ‘pastors’ can raise the dead, heal the crippled, give sight to the blind, pull handfuls of pearls and opals out of buckets of plain oil, [I have it on good authority that this was seen by devotees on TV recently] but their best example of good works is the magical and innovative way they can make you believe the impossible while the cash disappears out of your pocket.The doctrine they preach at times hardly bears any semblance to accepted concepts of sanity, and is often not relevant to your real life and current times, yet is rarely questioned by proclaimed Christians who happily pick and choose which parts they want in their lives and silently ignore the parts not personally desirable. And nobody in the Christian world minds at all because at the basis of all Christian teachings is Free Will and they believe everybody has been given Free Will by God to choose to live their lives as best suits them! Isn’t that just about the most accommodating and flexible doctrine ever?