Well, here goes...
Christianity doesn't work.
I mean, on so many levels, it just doesn't work.
Oh, I know all the theology and doctrines - done hundreds of seminars, been to bible college, read I don't know how many books and sat through zillions of sermons. So I get it, I understand it. But in terms of being the solution to life the universe and everything - it just doesn't work!
But here it is, stay with me...
Its the fruit that reveals the truth. I have to look at the fruit of "christendom" and, well, its just not there. Yes, there's many arguments about spiritual truth going out to all mankind and what is happening "in the spirit", got all that. But I'm talking about real fruit. Fruit that "feeds" the world on every level - love, joy and peace.
Look at the history of the church. It's produced more hatred, bigotry, racism, political strife, wars, genocide than any other culture on this planet. Lets look at the state of the church now. There have never been more denominations, cults etc, all claiming to have "the truth". Never more division, fighting, slander. The list of failures would fill a book!
So what's the problem? Many of course, say that scripture is always open to abuse - we all know that, and it never changes anything.
So I ask bigger questions, and a lot of people are asking these questions. What if the universal truths contained in the scriptures are far more encompassing than we imagined. That we have limited truth to a particular culture and mindset that it was never meant to be? We have desperately tried for 2000 years to make it all fit, and we are no closer, probably further away, than we have ever been.
So what are the "universal truths"?
The most important one is Love. The bible says it, nearly all other cultures say it, and, more than anything, our hearts say it!
Perhaps the next would be the nature of man. The bible, most cultures, and our hearts say that we are basically stuffed and are forever trying to embrace the one most important truth - Love.
Maybe we could then say that the solution to this dilemma can only be found in God, that no amount of struggling and striving can solve the problem. And perhaps the whole idea of "Christ" as personified in Jesus, is THE solution to life the universe and everything. I'm not talking about our narrow, bigoted, dogmatic traditional perspective. I mean the universal truth of what Christ did - big enough to redeem all of mankind with a plan that is so way beyond a narrow christian viewpoint that we are only just beginning to grasp little bits of it.
And maybe who and what Jesus is and did is so mindbogglingly powerful that its too big to be contained in one book and controlled by one group of people.
Perhaps the last universal truth that underpins all the others, is that God created us for intimacy with Him. I'm not talking about being "one with nature" (although that's pretty cool) and denying our pains and struggles to embrace some vague pie-in-the-sky ideal. I'm talking about knowing God, like I know my best friend. Not just feeling good about God and appreciating Him in everything and loving everyone because it feels good. I mean KNOWING Him, talking, listening, sharing, laughing, crying. All the reality of this life with Him, INSIDE us - intrinsically bound together in heart and mind like lovers.
So is the bible the sole source of truth? I don't think so. What about our hearts? Far more than we think! What about Jesus? The timeless act of Jesus the Christ, before the foundation of the world, outside of time, gave us free access to intimacy with Him who created us - every single person past, present and future.
What about morality, evil, deception, ethics... intimacy takes care of ALL that stuff. The more I look at that, the more real it becomes. Intimacy with He who made us is the only solution. It bypasses every law/tradition/principle/sin/evil/religion - everything! It takes us straight to the heart of all things, where all love, joy and peace originates.
So does christianity "work"? No! All that works in any sense, is acknowledging what Christ has done and walking into deep personal union with God. Nothing more and nothing less.
This is full of generalisations and I know there are many questions that need detailed answers. But I put it out there to challenge and ask those questions and dig deep for real answers. And I've left a lot of comments open ended for your entertainment. God doesn't mind, lets really use those brains and hearts he gave us.