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Religion, all varieties, is in a decline, a downward trajectory in America. There are many reasons for this, but one overriding one, culturally speaking, is the emergence of a belief that religion is a matter of opinion, as in personal taste. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but that is where we are as a nation.
This is not altogether surprising either. The "do your own thing" mentality from about 30 or so years ago has really set the stage for it to bleed over into religion. But in reality, all of this, in the culture and religion specifically, is owing to the heresy of Protestantism, with its "every man is his own pope" foundation.
When you tell hundreds of millions of people that the only authority is Scripture and then follow that up with "you get to interpret Scripture," well, what other outcome could you expect? Protestantism is not rooted in truth. True, it does profess some individual truths here and there, but overall, it always comes back to the proposition that when the rubber hits the road, it's how you think and feel about this or that particular Bible passage.
A recent survey by Lifeway Research, an evangelical polling outfit found the following among those polled: 60% said religious belief is "a matter of personal opinion, not objective truth." Bingo! And in reality, that number seems like it should actually be higher. Religion has become an almost strictly private matter, disconnected largely from people's interactions with others.
"You believe what you want to believe, and I'll believe what I want." Again, that is the foundational, fundamental expression of Protestantism, which helps explain why there are 40 thousand denominations of it — and counting. Since religion deals with the divine, it necessarily deals with truth, objective truth, as found in the divine, in God.
First, there is no such thing as "contradictory truths." That's impossible. There can be different ways of approaching the same truth but not different truths. For example, a team cannot both win and lose the same football game. It cannot be true that it won and lost. Sure, the victory could be examined and explored and varying views arrived at as to why it won, a good running game, great defense, whatever. But those questions all revolve around the same truth: The team won. Period.
So imagine after the game that opposing fans walked out of the stadium agreeing to believe that their team won, and the objective truth of the matter on the final scoreboard means nothing. "You have your beliefs and I have mine." It's completely stupid. Yet when it comes to eternity, this is how the overwhelming, vast majority of people lead their lives.
For example, the same survey also asked if people believed the Resurrection was/is a historical fact; did it actually happen in the material, physical world; yes or no. Sixty-six percent said yes. The remaining 34% either didn't believe it or weren't sure. But here's the kick: A majority of those who believe the Resurrection also said it doesn't impact their daily lives. Marxism and Modernism, using Protestantism, have done their work well.
What kind of jacked-up, insane world do we live in when a majority of people say they believe Jesus actually, physically rose from the dead and walked out of the tomb and yet think it doesn't have any meaning or significance to their lives? If it's true, which of course it is, it's the only thing that matters because, as St. Paul says, everything about eternal life and our beliefs ride on the historicity of the Resurrection.
But illogical thinking has not only set up camp in Protestant circles; it has also bled over extensively into Catholic circles as well. Can anyone look around the Church these days and really think that most Catholics order their lives around the objective truth of the Resurrection and everything that necessarily flows from it? Uh, no! And that includes the hierarchy, for the record as well as many clergy. How whacked in the head do you have to be to believe in the Resurrection and then simply ignore it?
But because "religion in general" has been shoved to the margin of being simply "private opinion," there's really no other outcome that can be expected. In the vast majority of cases, people don't want to accept objective truth because that means they would have to change their lives, their moral choices, and that they do not want to do.
For a few, a handful, it might be more of a matter of intellectual pride, not wanting to admit the sheer logic of Catholicism, but those are somewhat rare birds. For most, there is a correct intuition that "religious beliefs" have a constraining effect on moral choices, and they simply do not want to be bound if they want to do what they want to do.
So they play a head game and reduce objective truth to a matter of just personal preference or opinion. When morality becomes nothing more than individual tastes, the culture disintegrates. Look around and behold a culture disintegrating.