Why Christianity?

Over the past millennium, Christianity has risen rapidly to supersede traditions that were not only religious but also integral parts of culture.


I've noticed that, compared to other religions with a reasonably sized following, Christianity is the only one that focuses so emphatically upon the future. The Day of Judgement, Rapture (yes, I know that one isn't in the Bible), the emphasis on prophecies for future greatness, for instance in Genesis, where Abram is promised that his descendants will eventually be great. Christianity looks at time very differently: rather than one mortal lifespan, people have to wait several generations. Nor is the cosmos of Christianity like the Hindu one, where worlds rise and fall in cycles of tens of thousands of years.

Christianity, in fact, barely emphasizes creation. It's the kind of religion that had to come after other religions were already established, so as to allow for a focus entirely upon the human community and, more significantly, upon the individual. While polytheistic religions allowed families to select a main god that would appeal most to their needs, Christianity can be custom-tailored to the individual's desire: look at the amount of sects that have sprung up, all claiming the Old and New Testaments as their foundation texts!

Also, Christianity has no cultural ties. It doesn't hurt Christians to absorb the vernal equinox, Mithras' birthday, and a thousand other feast days and agriculturally (okay, lunar calendar) significant events into something only vaguely related to Christ. What's more, they are able to market the events in such a way that they become more popular than the original--all because Christianity is so malleable. People in Indonesia can celebrate Christmas without feeling compelled to do things exactly the way they're done in, say, Pennsylvania.

My favorite example of Christianity's massively successful eclectism, though, is Hell. I sincerely hope I don't have to explain why.

I have also noticed that blogs attempt to lend significance to the author's life by making everyday events significant in weirdly symbolic ways. So: I was coming down the stairs today, and I noticed that having to coordinate the efforts of my legs and balancing was representative of how we go through life: steady, but still unsafe, dependent on the whims of our nervous system--or, on the larger scale of things, fate.

Eh, I'll leave it to Bill Watterson.

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