selling a religion?

One thing I have observed among different Christian denominations is how it seems they practically “sell” their religion to others. Among the tricks is what everyone also notes amongst those trying to sell a product. Very often times, one sees false advertisement. So for instance, amongst Catholic and Orthodox Christians “fleeing” Protestantism, one thing that is emphasized in selling their particular religion is authority. Catholics and Orthodox Christians have it, Protestants don’t which is why they are a mess. The problem is that Protestants actually do have a sense of authority that the salesmen don’t recognize or refuse to acknowledge. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see so many different Protestant Churches. It’s not as if the Lutherans think that the Methodists have the whole Truth nor do the Anglicans always see eye-to-eye with the Presbyterians. I think what the salesmen think is that because, over-the-years, Protestants fighting each other in regards to denominational differences is at a cease-fire that Protestants have made theology a “free-for-all”. For some, this is very so. This is evidenced especially with the Church of England. However, for other Protestant groups, this is not so and the cease-fire is largely part of a realization that there are bigger issues than the ones often times emphasized to attack each other on.

One thing often times emphasized by the salesmen is the teaching on the Eucharist and on baptism. Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe these things are real but other Christians don’t. Which is not necessarily true. Some Protestants, such as Lutherans, may not necessarily affirm transubstantiation but they do affirm that what they eat when they receive communion is the body and blood of Christ. Some Protestants, such as Anglo-Catholics, have no issue with the doctrine of transubstantiation of the Catholic Church other than that the Eucharist must ultimately be retained as a mystery. Baptism is something more universally acknowledged. Anglicans and Lutherans, the two biggest Protestant denominations, both concur with the Catholic dogma concerning baptism.

I think one problem is that the salesmen try to “reach-out” to certain Protestants in a much more non-denominational or Evangelical, non-Methodist, setting. Such, the false advertising works but it can be quite deadly nonetheless. I would hope that those who enter into the Catholic and Orthodox Churches on the basis of these false advertisements can make a real conversion, however, the difficulty is avoiding anti-Protestantism and for the most part, the false advertising industry serves more to create an anti-Protestantism where we begin to self-identify not as what we are but as what we are not.

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About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
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