When I was growing up it seemed to me that the conservative establishment had appropriated the higher ground in Christianity and used the threatening passages of the Bible to reinforce their position and power.
There was no talk of social justice or freedom from oppression or prejudice, even of corruption or exploitation.
The interests of the rich were not threatened by the Church.
Instead we were handed a fear and smear campaign about sex and selfishness.
The Protestant work ethic reinforced the injustices of the business community.
And everyone was expected to feel ashamed of their natural sexual instincts.
This was done deliberately to subjugate everyone to the rich right-wing establishment.
It was a blatant abuse of the Christian religion.
As we move into the new millennium people are beginning to see that this is not what Jesus intended.
Neither is it God's way.
The prophets exhort us to care for the poor and the disabled, the destitute and the stranger.....
Jesus tells us to love everyone, even our enemies.
So the religion of unconditional love and social justice is emerging from the death of Christendom.
Perhaps the old, corrupt religion has to die before the real religion can be born.
Of course the powers of the world will try once again to usurp this new religion.
We must be on our guard to ward this off.
Just as the teachings of Jesus were usurped by the bishops at Nicea and linked to the Roman state, this new religion could be co-opted by the powers for their own purposes.
We must be sure that this does not happen.