Religion is not the opium of the masses; we’re just high on ourselves.

Last night NTV aired a useful investigative piece exposing all the falsehood that masquerades as religion in this country. The piece exposed “prophets”; “apostles” etc who are ripping of congregations, manipulating the Scriptures to suit their own needs and preaching godliness as a means of gain [1 Timothy 6:5] (financial; spiritual or otherwise). The truth is that although these prophets, preachers, ‘men of God’ etc are travestying Christianity, the responsibility for discerning between truth and falsehood rests with congregants (lay Christians) and if you are in Christ you have the duty of searching the scriptures to find out if what a preacher says is true (Acts 17:11).

However, the main point of this article is not to shout about what the ludicrousness of what was revealed and I’m especially not interested in trying to defend God and/or Christianity. The question I would really like to ask is this: is religion really society’s problem? Or even one of its problems?

What the investigative piece portrayed is a (false) hope industry, if you will. One that is preying on the weak, the desperate, the helpless. The piece correctly identified that desperation can drive many of us to a bad place where we are willing to pay any price for what we need: healing / financial provision etc. Where we will believe the irrational and accept the incredulous, in order to find rest; comfort and peace.

I could not help but draw some other parallels to this truth.  I could not help but think of all the other false religions we hold on to in life. As I watched, I thought briefly on we who, desperate for career success, have sacrificed our families in order to ‘make it’ or who have been tempted to sacrifice our personal holiness in order to ‘make it’. I thought about we who, desperate to retain society’s respect have sacrificed our unborn children (or encouraged our children to kill their unborn children) who were conceived in iniquity (pre-marital sex / adultery). I thought about we who, full of political ambitions, have compromised our values to succeed. I thought about we who, desperate to be accepted in all the wrong circles, conform to their standards even if those standards contradict God’s.

You see, the problem with society is not all that we are religious. It is not that we are genuinely seeking God. It is the opposite. It is that we all are naturally and fundamentally irreligious and self-serving. It is that we seek our own pleasure, rather than God’s.

False hope. False promises. False gods. False religion. The truth of God traded for a lie – that is the problem.  That we are not worshiping the Creator of heaven and earth (in the way that he desires and requires), but rather we are worshiping the created: our boyfriends, girlfriends, money; parents; preachers etc (and in all this, who we truly worship is ourselves) – that is the problem. That we treasure money and comfort over Christ’s will – that is the problem.

That we are servants but servants of own evil desires, slaves to sin – that is our problem.

We, are the problem.

Julie

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God and Science: Friends or Foes?

Pick up your Bible and trace the historical story-line of the Israelites, from Abraham down to the New Testament Jesus and His followers. If you read the story like any other story, you will notice a significant trend. Take Moses and the burning bush, for example. Apparently, this event was unusual to Moses. It was not natural. Bushes just don’t spontaneously ignite; and when they burn, they get consumed; they just don’t burn on and on and on.

science godOr take the case of the Israelites at the shores of the Red Sea. Moses, at the command of God, raises his staff and voila! The body of water divides into two great walls with a dry path between them. Waters don’t just part with nothing but air to hold them in place. That was not natural.

These events and many others, as described in the Old Testament, were considered strange, miraculous and “unscientific” by those who witnessed them. They were considered unnatural, even supernatural, if you’d like to call them that.

What these events, and the reactions evoked, tell us is that there was a norm the people were used to, what they could see with their eyes and perceive with their senses. These Old Testament “primitives” knew a miracle when they saw one. Why? Because their senses and minds were scientific. They could discern a specific pattern or law in nature, and they knew when this law was defied.

These people were not blindly superstitious as they have often been presented. Continue reading God and Science: Friends or Foes?

Blog Break (1 Mar 13)

Here are some interesting reads to end your week and start your March:

  1. THE MYTH OF GOVERNMENT NEUTRALITY : “Most Americans, recognizing that a government-sponsored philosophy would conflict with many citizens’ cherished beliefs (and possibly violate the establishment clause), would say that the government should be neutral. But at the same time, they would want the government to defend and promote certain ideas—about human equality, for example—even if that promotion conflicted with the beliefs of some Americans. We want the government to be neutral, except when we don’t want it to be.”
  2. In HOW TO BE MENTORED WITHOUT A MENTOR, Jodi Ware empathizes with those who do not have the privilege or opportunity of having a one-on-one mentoring relationship with an older man or woman. “I had in mind, of course, the idea that mentoring involves a formal, weekly or biweekly meeting with a wise older woman—doing a Bible or book study together and learning how to live as a Christian woman. I have never experienced this specific kind of mentoring.”
  3. Finally, AFRICA NEEDS GOD. This is the last thing you would hear coming out of the mouth of a self-confessed atheist. Matthew Parris: “The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world – a directness in their dealings with others – that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.”

Have a blessed reading time, friends.

 

Jesus is Not the Christian Muhammad

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – Jesus

cross-crescentA brief review of the major world religions will show that they all had their respective founders. Judaism was founded by Abraham, Buddhism was founded by Buddha, Islam was founded by Muhammad, Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were founded by Charles Taze Russell…. and yes, for the sake of remaining politically correct, Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ. In all these religions and their founders, only one founder claims to be more than the others, Jesus Christ. No matter how much the Jews respect and honor Abraham, no one has deluded himself into equating Abraham with God. No matter how protective the Muslims are of Prophet Muhammad’s name and image, they draw the line at equating Muhammad with God. Muhammad is the greatest and the last prophet, but he is not God. Each religious leader and founder points away from himself and towards their respective deities. Only Jesus claims to be God. Only Jesus points to himself and says, “Follow me!” Continue reading Jesus is Not the Christian Muhammad