Religion redux

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bullypulpit, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Religion, as we know it, has become a commodity. At one time, it was a process of individual revelation and discovery. But now, it is product, to be packaged and sold to the clamoring masses.

    Witness our churches. In the Middle Ages, the church was a place in which mysteries were revealed and the soul was opened. Now, churches are built like theaters in which the congregation sits to witness a performance. No longer are they participants in the mystery, they are consumers of a seemingly endless series of "thou-shalts" and "thou-shalt-nots", and petty prejudices of self-appointed holy-men. Where, in such an environment, comes the moment that opens one's soul, which brings one into contact with the divinity that dwells within each of us?

    The simple truth of the matter is that it is not to be found there. Nor is it to be found in the thundering emptiness of the words spoken by the holy-men on the stage. Their egos have become so wrapped up in delivering a message that they have forgotten the message. All that comes through is their own pride and prejudice colored by whatever doctrine they claim to be preaching to their audience.

    But what of the audience? What responsibility do they bear? They all feel some sense of something beyond themselves; else they would not be in the audience. They all seek to become part of something greater than themselves, all the while forgetting that they are merely participating in a cult of personality.

    Where does this leave us, then? We must seek out those experiences which reveal the divine or sacred in everything around us. Through this process, mere faith is supplanted by experience. No longer do we need to rely upon the ego rooted prattling of the holy-men. We take over the responsibility for own spiritual awakening and, so to speak, cut out the middle-man. We can use the words of the teachers of whatever tradition we choose to follow, but we must always bear in mind that those words simply serve as guideposts.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I don't know what churches you have been visiting lately, but the fact of it is that there are thousands of churches in America alone that teach and encourage their members to have an active relationship with God. Unfortunately, a lot of people go to church and expect to be entertained, but God certainly doesn't want church to be a Sunday morning theater for us. God is searching for people who will actively worship Him.

    As for these "self-appointed holy-men" you are referring to... I don't know what you are talking about there. In most Christian denominations, the churhc's seminaries ordain its pastors/preachers/bishops. They are hardly self-appointed. And while not all Christian pastors and preachers have the best motives, the vast majority of them are doing what they do because they are convinced of the truth about Jesus Christ, and they want to guide other people in a right relationship with Him.

    Cult of whose personality? The preacher's? God's? I think this is a totally asinine statement.

    I talked about your 'guideposts' theory already in the other thread. As far and cutting out the middle man, your lack of knowledge about Christianity shows again - there is no middle man in Christianity. Everyone has direct access to God. The same is true in Islam, if I'm not mistaken.
    As far as "mere faith is supplanted by experience," I have had my fair share of experiences with God without following the Buddhist path. To say that one cannot experience God in "religion" makes you as closed-minded as the people you derail for their "thundering emptiness."
     
  3. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    That's an over-generalization to say the least. I've seen many churches that promote spiritual growth away and within the church. I think some churches may fit your description, but to describe all religions, especially the Judeo-Christian tradition which you seem to be reffering to, as "packaged" is erroneous.
     

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