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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Scandalized; Constantine’s church is alive and well.

My friend Mike Barrett has posted an interesting post here about atheist pastors in today's churches. After reading the linked articles and pondering on the subject for awhile, I thought I would post on some of my thoughts.

The "Church" as we know it to be today is the result of thousands of years of manipulation by mankind. Even the Bible has numerous variations. Debates and arguments rage over the legitimacy of whose theology is the most sound. I started to think about the church’s origin. That moment when Christ’s followers went from martyrs to accepted community members. That moment when the Roman Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity was cool and declared his armies Christian armies. He appointed “pastors” over his church and the madness of Nero went from bad to worse as the dynamic faith of Christ’s followers was lulled to sleep.

As humanity becomes more aware of how God created us through efforts like psychology and sociology it is no wonder that many begin to not only explain away their duties as “believers” but actually turn away from the empty practices of their faith. Following Christ was never meant to be about rules, dogmas, theologies or traditions. It has always been about passion, conviction and that small seed of faith sewn in the heart of an individual.
Constantine’s decision to make Christianity legal was no more than a political power move and it was very effective.

I believe that many people are realizing just how hollow organized religion is, including pastors. It is great for the money changers and power seekers, but for those of us who seek a dynamic relationship with God it is very limiting. Make sure you show up every Sunday so you can put your share of money in the tray, but keep God in a controlled box. Once God gets out of that box the masses might realize that the church really was never meant to have so much power and control of the masses.

Another issue I ponder about was the issue of always talking about what God wants you to do in your life, but never actually going out and doing it. Many pastors are hired based on their what; level of education? You went to what school for how long to learn about the theology? How much living do they have? A friend of mine said to during a conflict resolution chat, “‘TB’ there are two types of people, white bread and wheat bread”. Wheat bread folks have seen, felt, and experienced the ugly side of life. They know God’s Grace and Mercy. They know the need for forgiveness and they do not reject the ugly, hurt, and broken of this world. The white bread folks only know these things by words and theory.” God is alive and well for the wheat bread folks.
If you doubt where God is, put your books down, take a break from your traditional religious routine and go out into the world and allow God to love you there. Do as Christ did, break a few religious rules, touch the untouchable, love the unlovable then come back and share your knowledge and experience with those you send out to do the same.

Oh yea, and throw away your “God” box. He has never fit in there anyway, so when you open it and say “where is God” dont be so shocked that He is not in your Damn box.


1 Comment:

Endlessly restless said...

TB - I'm inclinced to agree, and in some ways was saying something similar in my post today. The problem comes in many forms, but often surfaces in sterile observance rather than biblical or Christian living. Of course, it's an easy trap to fall into - and actually it's quite comfy as well. But it's certainly not authentic.

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