Is religion dangerous? My answer is no; but also a resounding YES. First at the heart of all religious systems the intent is to journey from the profane to the divine. One would think this would be a wonderful human development of seeking a higher power for the good of humanity. The higher power may be on the outside such as a God or God’s, or the divine is finding ones higher self. Religions of the world vastly differ on how one takes this path.
The varying religious paths prescribed towards divinity shows the beauty of diverse cultures. Religion becomes a danger when one religion demands that they are correct and others are not. Secondly the adherents of the religion feels it is their duty to God to impose doctrine by force.
Two religions have been known to cause the greatest amount of danger to humanity. That is Christianity and Islam. People of these faiths have killed and suppressed nations. Subjected mass amount of anguish upon differing beliefs with laws suppressing the rights of non adherents.
Why, it has not always been this way? Yet even very early in Christianity’s history fights over correct doctrine took place. When Rome saw the opportunity to use Christianity as a way to help control and unite the empire the Roman Catholic church became the enforcer of God and king within Europe.
War was waged against Islam the fairly young religion that was sweeping the middle east by force. A fight that is still in place today. All of this stems because religions such as Christianity and Islam are absolute in their doctrines and pathways to God.
In our modern world religion is used in American politics such as the election of Donald Trump. Yet this is not new. Kings would often claim they ruled by divine right and who can argue with God?
My proposal for religion especially that of Christianity which I am apart of, is the elimination of dogma and doctrine. A true freedom of religion that I pray also on Islam. Let each person be his own pope. Let each person decide the best path within their chosen faith. Let each person develop a path to the divine based on their own understanding of their faith. A faith that all is permitted under love.
Just what did the Gnostic Christians think? How can we use their teachings to better ourselves? Is orthodox Christianity essentially a ball and chain in which our placed on the bodies of the adherents of orthodoxy?
How can you get to know God better? Years of prayer, study and meditation? Or, as Moses took in DMT from Acacia and was able to speak with God; hence the story of the burning bush. Are psychedelics actually natural interfaces to God? Many believe so.
Preaching as we experience in church is 99% always a monologue. This is the opposite of how Jesus taught. Jesus taught using dialogue. Even the Greek word διαλεγομένου which is primarily translated to preach is used when Paul was ministering in Acts 20:9. διαλεγομένου actually can mean to converse, or to have a dialogue.
Why then has the church for the majority of its existence use monologues?
1. Keeps the lay man in their place.
2. To distinguish between clergy and laity.
Obviously in our day of large congregations it would be difficult to have a congregation that conducted a constructive dialogue about God or a certain biblical subject.
Our churches are too big! Let’s keep them between 12-20 people. A group that can meet together share a meal and fellowship in each others homes. A place in which all are priest of God. The leader will be the one who serves the most. If the group get too big it is divided into another group. Not only is this how Jesus taught it has tremendous benefits.
2. No paid clergy.
3. Everyone shares their homes and food.
4. People learn more through engagement.
5. No large buildings to take care of.
6. No exspensive projects to incorporate.
This is essentially about taking church back from the “chosen” few, and placing it back in the hands of the church.
Is it possible to truly have a church without borders? Borders; why are they built within every congregation who claims to know the will of God? Borders separate would be people of like mind; they divide families and friends, and discourage asking the question of why the borders exist. The borders are the man made doctrines and dogmas of the church. What exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of himself? “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34, NIV) Did Jesus take delight in the fact that people would be divided because of him? If you continue to read the text Jesus points out in verse 36 the very members of a household will become enemies. The overall question is what kind of warning is this? Is Jesus saying that border walls are good and that his teachings will cause divisions? Or, does Jesus foresee the outcome of human error and our ability to create division over teachings as we all try to be right? It is an undeniable fact that we have seen the madness of the Christian faith over the last 2 thousand years, the division it has caused and the lives destroyed. Maybe, just maybe Jesus desired not to cause division, rather an unavoidable human consequence.
What then can the church look like to fix our divisive nature? Thankfully I may have the answer. We must remove all doctrines and dogma except for two teachings; first, Christ as the incarnate son of God who lived, died, and was resurrected. Second the teaching of the Apostle Paul found in 1 Corinthians 13, which gives us the definition of love. Every other teaching then must be able to pass the love test. All then is permitted and all is forbidden. Absolutely everyone is accepted in God’s eternal love. Think of all of the social issues of today which divide the church. These social issues would be no more as we would not recognize them as issues within our body of Christ. All is truth, and all is lie. What remains is God’s eternal love. With humility and introspection we live out our lives in peace. We accept all people. There would not be a need to argue over theological interpretation for each person has the ability to interpret for themselves and then give this same authority to their fellows in respect of their own knowledge. The leaders among us will be those who serve the most as appointed leadership will not be beneficial. We will lead one another in humility as we are all ordained priest of God. We will gather to break bread, and our fellowship will be without major ritual that causes some to place someone on a higher level than another. Worship through song, prayer, and conversation.
Humanity cannot find God because humanity is looking up instead of looking within and around. Humanity as a whole is the very essence of God. A church cannot be divided. A church divided is not a church. A body cut in half is not able to function and is dead. The body of Christ is resurrected and full of life; this body is you. As you know we live in very divisive times, my heart is drawn as a Christian to present Godly answers to the issues we face. What if we stopped allowing issues to be issues and allowed ourselves to be happy? Politics are ruining the church in America, social justice is ignored by the majority in favor of a theology lacking in love and morally bankrupt. Many Christians seek signs and wonders, yet Jesus said you will not see any sign but that of Jonah. The sign then that people need to see is you. Be the resurrection, be the life to your fellows. I believe we can have a church without borders if we just take ourselves out of the way.
Probably without a doubt the most evil entities in the world. They rip you off two ways. 1. How little they pay you. 2. How much they charge for services. We are all at the mercy of corporations. So what would Jesus do?