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nogodsforme



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It does make sense to other people. Just not everybody.
True.  But the test is being able to explain it to someone who it doesn't make sense to.

Not really sure what you're saying to be honest. Christianity makes sense to many people who it didn't previously make sense to. It has to, or it would never have gained traction in the first place.
Christianity makes sense?

Is that why Islam is now the fastest growing religion in Europe, Africa and Asia? Is that why there are nearly a billion Hindus on the planet today? Is that why Buddhism is so predominant in Indochina? And in none of those areas is Christianity very popular--even though it clearly makes the most sense..... &)[1]

If you study the history of how religions come about and spread, you will find that "making sense" is not at all what it is about. For the millions of traditional polytheistic pagans in Europe, it took centuries of warfare, forced conformity, the destruction of all their religious sites, and lots of compromising on symbols and festivals to get early Christianity established.

That is why modern Christianity is so full of pagan stuff like (winter solstice) Christmas trees and (spring fertility festival) Easter eggs. None of that came from the desert cultures of the Middle East.

Likewise the spread of Christianity to the Americas, the Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa was not a process of just presenting some reasonable new ideas and letting people take it or leave it. Most of the people would have happily gone on with their lives and ignored the missionaries if they had been powerful enough to resist. That is what happened when missionaries tried to convert the Japanese in the 1500's. Same thing with the 300+ years of attempts to convert Hindus in India.

Colonial domination, warfare and slavery have accompanied most large-scale religious conversion-- and still many people died rather than give up the traditions of their families for Christianity. The rest only pretended to convert after they were "pacified", which is why we have so many distinctly different cultural forms of the Christian religion as a result: Santeria, Vodun, Rasta, Palo Monte and so on. These religions take some of the elements of Christianity and blend in the traditional African or native American practices. So, then, after all the cultural adaptations, the Christian religion makes sense to the people. But not the same way it makes sense to the white guys from England or Spain.

When people are organized and able to fight off foreign control, they do, and generally reject the foreign religions, too.  Today, it is almost impossible to separate the missionary presence from economic influence. Countries and regions that are militarily powerful and/or economically viable don't usually have to admit missionaries. You don't find lots of Christian missionaries in Saudi Arabia or North Korea. China admits missionaries, but they have 5000 years of culture that says, "good luck with that".

Poor places that are in disarray have little choice. I have tripped over lots of missionaries in poor places that needed development but already had plenty of religion, thanks very much. Missionaries bring clothes, medicines, books, toys, money and food.  They also provide entertainment and diversion with tent revivals and speeches and bonfires and sing-a-longs. They always employ some local folks as drivers and interpreters. Sometimes they even stay long enough and understand the local cultures well enough to actually do some real development.

And out of all this, some of the local people convert--often the most desperate people who are grateful for help from any quarter. Plus some disaffected youth trying to grab onto something new and maybe shock their families. Yay. Clearly, because the new religion makes more sense.
 1. For a great example of how a new religion takes hold even when it has absolutely no validity and makes no sense to any outsider, look up "cargo cult". Or read up on Scientology. &)
Changed Change Reason Date
12 Monkeys Well said,thanks December 17, 2013, 10:10:08 AM
lotanddaughters Now December 16, 2013, 06:47:11 PM
Jag excellent factual post, and it makes sense! December 16, 2013, 05:37:25 PM
xyzzy You, at least, make sense December 16, 2013, 05:35:41 PM
ParkingPlaces Karma worthy because it makes sense :-) December 16, 2013, 04:51:43 PM