Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bad Religion

Someone sent me a book that I started to read about a tragic event that pushes a man to the brink only the book is all about Christian beliefs and religion. The book is so full of religious intentions that I had to jump to the end of the book and eventually tossed it in the trash with an overwhelming need to wash my hands. I want the hour and a half back spent reading this trash and manipulation I promise you that I have no problem with the concepts of divinity and broader perceptions but I have a HUGE issue with religion all religions bug me. Religions feel like manmade concepts designed to control the uninitiated and the lazy. Instead of being allowed to find the surreal incapable of true description ideology of the Divine with a capital D, I will not succumb to the small descriptions of cutesy countrified depictions of Christ and the God head as anything remotely common or simplistic like man/woman. It’s boring and insulting and manipulative. We are so in need of some fresh take on The God story this other stuff is BORING. I won’t name the book because it doesn’t deserve the publicity but it scares me to think it’s one of millions that are out there dumbing down the world. No wonder we have been losing our mind here in America in the name of Christian values, scary!


Dwane T. said...

I’m not so concerned with getting a new story of Christianity as I am with getting the old story right. The way this country looks at Christianity is sacrilegious, and the main problems are Christians themselves. Jesus said that many will come in his name, and the ones who don’t really know him will be the first to follow the imitators. Case in point: The Christian Right. Jesus was apolitical. You can’t have a Christian faction of something political and have it truly be of Christ. We have Christians who say that providing free and reduced cost health care is un-American and unconstitutional. But at the same time say that the U.S. is a Christian country. Jesus healed the sick… for free. Every time he did so, some doctor didn’t get paid for using his leeches and herbs. But Jesus thought it was the right thing to do. As a capitalist country, we promote tax breaks for the rich. But in the book of Acts, a couple dropped dead from not paying their full share of taxes. Even Jesus paid taxes, and had tax collectors traveling with him. Jesus was against murder, but he was pro-choice. He always promoted “choosing life”, not legislating life. As a pastor/mentor of mine said, if God was about legislating life he would have put a fence around the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I know that last one has a lot of room for debate, but it’s a debate the Christians need to have among themselves before they start imposing on other. There are a bunch of other things I could talk about, but I’ll stop there.

You know I’ve said in the past that I am a devout Christian. I just hate the fact that I hear people on television talking about Christian values and American values like they are interchangeable. Many overlap, but in some ways we are so off base it’s obvious that people are using God and not being used by God. I guess my point is, don’t judge the teachings of Jesus by the people who called themselves Christians. Most of the writings of the Apostle Paul had to do with correcting people who were focused on creating religious practices and traditions in the name of Christ rather than focusing on doing what Christ wanted them to do. If folks then were screwing up within five years of Christ’s death, you know you have to take what people who Americanize Christ now have to say with a grain of salt. This country has a whole bunch of Christians, but not many that actually know/understand what he actually said.

Rae Dawn Chong said...

Funny but for me the concept of Christ consciousness is infinitely more appealing then say worship of the capenter who was framed literally on a cross. Speaking of frame the frame work (architecture) of awraeness that encompasses everlasting life as a given and a love that is omnipresent, omniscient supreme is groovier then say "one better be good or else?" we better be good because it feel better and is more fun. Wish religion were smarter, it bugs me that it is so corrupt and hollow.

cpd said...

DwanT...You relay a good message in your second paragraph. But in your first paragraph, you seem to be heading down the road of wanting to please the majority. Please clarify what you mean by Jesus WAS pro-choice? As a devout Christian you know Jesus is still alive? Did you mean that He is pro-life? Besides life and Jesus, the other major gift God has given us humans is "free will". Meaning: One has "free will" to follow and trust Him or not. He has given us guidance and rules. God created life and only He is to decided when it is over. There isn't anything to debate over. It is not up to Christians as to what is right or wrong. Christians are not the ones imposing upon others. God has written what one is to do.

Dwane T. said...

The fact that my second response didn’t post means God probably thought I was talking too much (it was 2x longer than my first response). Anyway...

Well CPD, I stand corrected. I never intended for anyone to believe that Jesus is not still alive. So Jesus IS pro choice. Deuteronomy 30:19 states that:

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live”.

I’m not trying to please anyone other than God. I am pro-choice AND pro-life. In the past, I was a full proponent of abortion, but now except in extreme cases I am totally against it, but that is based on my belief in choosing life gained from learning from Jesus. I don’t push my belief on anyone, but I try my to teach what Jesus taught to the best of my knowledge and ability with the hope that others will make the same informed (not legislated) choice. God did not make us incapable of killing, He made us capable of choosing not to do it. In His earthly incarnation, Jesus was first and foremost a teacher. He gave the rules (like thou shalt not kill), gave an example to explain them (sometimes in the opposite order), then gave you a choice to do what he said. He let you know that there were consequences to a wrong choice, but he didn’t take the choice away. There is depth to, “that both you and your seed (born/unborn children) may live” that applies to abortion beyond what I can say in a few words on a blog response. The bottom line is choices always have consequences, but there is always a choice.

And Rae, it should be easier for us human folks to be able to understand the omniscient, omnipotent, all loving God from following the simple words of an personally identifiable carpenter. Jesus never said to worship Him, just follow Him. Jesus always said worship the Father and pray to The Father as He did. Jesus also said:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself."

Ten commandments summed up in two. If we follow this, there is no need for extra rules/practices/traditions/ litanies/etc. God makes things simple and joyous (what is better than two commandments centered around love). But man makes things more complicated than God ever would. That’s because we are constantly trying to make God/Jesus look like us, rather than the other way around. Jesus fought religion because it humanized God rather than encourage us to be more like Him

Half as many words as the first version… thank God.

cpd said...

Dwane T...I appreciate your comments. Well spoken. I don't know if I can agree that Jesus felt that religion "humanized" God. Perhaps, it is the rituals of religion and how they take the focus off of God and his desires for us that bothers God and Jesus. Religion can be used to allow humans to substitute God's will for our own desires, and to take our focus away from what God really wants from and for us--which is to have complete faith in him. Religion allows humans to take what they want from the Bible, mix it with their own rules and reasonings in order to give themselves a sense of doing right, without fully following God's Word. Religion can be used to give a person a sense of power and control over themselves and others; and just based on my humble understanding, these may be some of the reasons Jesus spoke out against rituals. People use religion, and the misuse of religion by the imperfect nature of human beings, as an excuse not to accept Jesus or God's rules. God has no rituals for us to follow in order to be accepted by him. He only ask that you accept Jesus, his rules, and have full faith in him.

cpd said...

Dwane T: I must apologize. I misread your first comments, as written below:

Jesus IS pro choice. Deuteronomy 30:19 states that:

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live”.

I am not following where the statement eludes to the idea that he is "pro-choice". Giving us a free will to follow or not to follow God, free will to sin or not to sin is not putting his stamp on choosing to kill your child or yourself if you feel like it. Everything created by God, surrounding us everyday in our lives reinforces his belief in life. He has not written that He has created so that we can distroy.
God said he knew you before you were conceived. Does it make sense that a Mighty Master would put so much energy into a life and then leave it up to imperfect humans to choose whether to end his creation should he/she choose without a penalty. One of the gifts God has given us is "free-will". To follow him or not. Even ending your own life is not an option; it is not a pro-choice option God gives you. It's simply free-will and in doing so you will pay for it dearly as well as for taking the life of a child. Does that souond like he's for "pro-choice". If God were for "pro-choice" then you would have an option to end a life without a penality. And we all know that isn't going to happen without forgiveness from Him. And the "pro-choice" of killing yourself will not leave you with the option of asking for forgiveness, at all.

Dwane T. said...

"Giving us a free will to follow or not to follow God, free will to sin or not to sin is not putting his stamp on choosing to kill your child or yourself if you feel like it."

I'm glad you said that, because I sure didn't. Read again my explanation. I said I was pro choice, but anti-abortion. I believe God is pro-choice, and anti-abortion. God does not condone killing, but a God that can shatter mountains and allow a man to fall out of an airplane and live does not stop killing from happening. I spoke about consequences just like you did. Everything you talked about, I talked about, but I thank you for restating it. What I don't want is for you to assume that if I didn't address something, I don't know it.

God hates the sin and loves the sinner. All have fallen short of his commandments, both sinner and saint. He will judge us, chastise us, but never knowingly condemn us unless we blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. All life is sacred. Even when God would send the Israelites to war with specific instructions to wipe out every man woman and child, those were men, women and children that he created and loved. In those cases, people were punished for ***not*** killing everyone. War is different of course, but he was just and forgave the sins of the soldiers.

Again, sin is sin... whether cheating on your taxes, adultery, or abortion. God does not condone any of them, and choosing not to do any and all of them is choosing life. Life in His perfect will. Life in His blessing. The ability to choose to do wrong still exists in his permissive will. But He wants you to choose. He is pro-choice. Anti-abortion, but pro choice.

And this conversation is why I said Christians need to debate among themselves before we try to impose on others. You can't understand my perspective. I understand yours, and used to agree, but I don't anymore. And we read the same Bible to draw our conclusions.

BoneSore said...
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