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Are Slight Substitutes for Truth being used to Ensure Success?

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  • Are Slight Substitutes for Truth being used to Ensure Success?

    In honor of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, I worked to gather 95 ideas that I believe may be true about Christianity and society today that are not commonly held. They are not related to any particular denomination, but do have strong focus on individual freedom and responsibility (in addition to, not instead of, supporting a good society). Once the theses started to take shape, the leading theme that seemed to emerge, if the theses are true, was that many of our concepts and practices may have been changed slightly to allow for less commitment from the individual and more control by society in order to ensure success.

    So, what I would like to debate is the following:

    In order to be successful, are we trading in the hard truths and related risks for slightly changed marketing in order to seemingly be more successful? There are many examples in the theses, some of which may be controversial, and some might be considered heretical from some perspectives, but here is one example to start the conversation:
    1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Take up your cross daily'', his followers understood that he willed their entire life to be one of daily sacrifice, potential social ostracism and willingness to accept death for doing right and following truth.

    4. The willingness to be killed for doing what is right, true and virtuous is the true meaning of being a “follower” of Jesus. ...and is the true meaning symbolized in baptism and the cup of communion.

    If those propositions are true, we seem to either deny or downplay that concept and instead market the social, psychological and "Heaven" benefits of becoming a Christian. Obviously, Christian marketing would be severely impacted if those concepts were held to be true and communicated to potential converts.

    Am I just seeing a reflection of my own bent towards liberty over social planning/control (I have lived in middle class suburbs and in the country rather than in cities)? Or have Christian and social concepts been changed over time to better ensure the success of groups by giving leaders additional social control and reducing the responsibility of individuals?
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