Friday, June 19, 2009

Religion: adventures in missing the point

[Author's Commentary: This piece is a tough look at the underbelly of ugly Christianity. "The church is a whore and she is my mother." was a statement made by St. Augustine. I love the church, but people within her often make it a nauseous place. We all have contributed to the ills described below and we all can change it. I pray an honest affirmation and exposure of such issues can redirect us towards a more holistic and authentic gospel witness and experience.]

The simple Jesus way: The love of God for man and the love of God
through man, has often sadly become:

...Domineering headship, sanitized and paranoid moral purity, singing songs, attending services,
tithing, duty, unflexable tradition, telling people you don't know,
stuff they don't know and warning them about a lake of torture if they
don't believe you.

It's about being better every day and making sure others know it and
then thrashing yourself for how far you still have to go to be good
enough.

It's guilt based activity, it's forced programs that you wouldn't
attend elsewhere but suffer through out of religious pressure, it's
isolation and cultural uppityness.

It's a lot of fantasy, pretending, game playing and false hope. It's
often angry dysfunction masked as preaching; it's unskilled people
practicing on vulnerable and trusting people.

It's cheaply earned knowledge passed on lazy minds, it's parental
abuse in the form of indoctrination; it's poorly educated
misapplication, intolerance masked as convictions.

It's greedy lazy sloths sucking off the good will of sincere but
stupid followers. It's sexism, ageism and ethnocentric bigotry played
as biblical requirments.

It's unhealed, untrained, untested lunacy that would be fined, fired
and arrested in most professional fields.

It's dangerous, difficult, deadly mental and spiritual sewage passed
as healthy drink...forced on people who are holding thier noses while
gagging to swallow, all while faking plastic smiles.

It's sad.

I pray the Lord will have a more beautiful expression of the gospel and His church in the days ahead...this generation needs it.

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