Liberal Protestant theology has its roots
in Friedrich Schleiermacher who spoke of
the basic goodness of humans/the inevitable progress of culture/
the ethical imperative of love, and played down
sin/the judgment of God/the miracles of Jesus/the Resurrection –
Schleiermacher bought into secular beliefs in his landmark book
On Religion: Speeches to its Cultural Despisers.
But Schleiermacher was naïve:
so much of contemporary politics/advertising/sex
violates the Fourth Buddhist Precept of Mindful Speech –
people lie to start wars/get votes/sell products/have sex –
it’s a culture of lies that bows to the Father of Lies –
Schleiermacher should have titled his book
On Religion: Speeches to Cultural Liars.
According to Buddhism:
a Bodhisattva is not contained in the world –
rather she contains the world
and holds it in her jewelled hands.
According to Islam:
Mohammed supernaturally received fragments of the Koran
in a trance between 610CE and his death in 622CE –
he was illiterate so he simply recited what Allah taught.
According to Christianity:
doctrine saves no one
salvation comes from an existential confession
that for you, personally, “Jesus Christ is Lord!”
Christianity based on doctrine alone is dead –
Christians must be involved
in the suffering of the world.
To this end Jesus criticized the cultured men of religion –
the Pharisees – for their hypocrisy
and then attacked the cultured men of affairs –
the Sadducees – for their oppression of the poor –
Jesus wanted the leaders to model a spiritual kingdom
whereas the Pharisees and Sadducees
modelled the kingdom of Rome
a culture of lies just like our own.