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Problems of Humanity - Chapter V - The Problem of the Churches
Today men's minds are recognizing the dawn of freedom; they are realizing that every man should be free to worship God in his own way. This will not mean (in the coming new age) that every man will pick a theological school to which he will choose to adhere. His own God-illumined mind will search for truth and he will interpret it for himself. The day of theology is over and that of a living truth is with us. This the orthodox churches refuse to recognize. Truth is essentially non-controversial; where controversy emerges, the concept is usually secondary in importance and consists largely of men's ideas about truth.

Men have gone far today in the rejection of dogmas and doctrine and this is good and right and encouraging. It signifies progress, but, as yet, the churches fail to see in this the workings of divinity. Freedom of [129] thought, the questioning of presented truths, a refusal to accept the teachings of the churches in terms of the past theology, and a rejection of imposed ecclesiastical authority are characteristic of creative spiritual thinking at this time; this is regarded by orthodox churchmen as indicative of dangerous tendencies and as a turning away from God and, consequently, of a loss of the sense of divinity. It indicates exactly the reverse.

Perhaps as serious, because of its effect upon untold thousands of the more ignorant public, are the materialistic and political ambitions of the churches. In the Eastern faiths this is not so prominently the case; in the Western world this tendency is fast bringing on the degeneration of the churches. In the Oriental religions a disastrous negativity has prevailed; the truths given out have not sufficed to better the daily life of the believer or to anchor the truths creatively upon the physical plane. The effect of the Eastern doctrines is largely subjective and negative as to daily affairs. The negativity of the theological interpretations of the Buddhist and Hindu Scriptures have kept the people in a quiescent condition from which they are slowly beginning to emerge. The Mohammedan faith is, like the Christian, a positive presentation of truth though very materialistic; both these faiths have been militant and political in their activities.

The great Western faith, Christianity, has been definitely objective in its presentation of truth; this was needed. It has been militant, fanatical, grossly materialistic and ambitious. It has combined political objectives with pomp and ceremony, with great stone structures, with power and an imposed authority of a most cramping nature.

The early Christian Church (which was relatively pure in its presentation of truth and in its living processes) eventually split into three main divisions - [130] the Roman Catholic Church which today seeks to make capital out of the claim that it was the Mother Church, the Byzantine or Greek Orthodox Church and the Protestant Churches. All of them split away on the question of doctrine and all of them were originally sincere and clean and relatively pure and good. All have steadily deteriorated since the day of their inception and today the following sad and serious situation can be found:

1. The Roman Catholic Church is distinguished by three things which are all contrary to the spirit of Christ:

  1. An intensely materialistic attitude. The Church of Rome stands for great stone structures - cathedrals, churches, institutions, convents, monasteries. In order to build them, the policy down the centuries has been to drain the money out of the pockets of rich and poor alike. The Roman Catholic Church is a strictly capitalistic church. The money gathered into its coffers supports a powerful ecclesiastical hierarchy and provides for its many institutions and schools.
  2. A far-reaching and farsighted political program in which temporal power is the goal and not the welfare of the little people. The present program of the Catholic Church has definite political implications; their attitude to Communism has in it the seeds of another world war. The political activities of the Catholic Church have not built for peace, no matter under what guise they are presented.
  3. A planned policy whereby the mass of the people are kept in intellectual ignorance and, through this ignorance, are naturally to be found among the reactionary and conservative forces which are so powerfully at work resisting the new age with its [131] new civilization and more enlightened culture. Blind faith and complete confidence in the priest and in the Vatican are regarded as spiritual duties.

The Roman Catholic Church stands entrenched and unified against any new and evolutionary presentation of truth to the people; its roots are in the past but it is not growing into the light; its vast financial resources enable it to menace the future enlightenment of mankind under the cloak of paternalism and a colorful outer appearance which hides a crystallization and an intellectual stupidity which must inevitably spell its eventual doom, unless the faint stirrings of new life following the advent of Pope John XXIII can be nourished and developed.

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