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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When and Why God Left the Institutional Church, Mosque and Synagogue Behind

I suspect that if what we refer to as God, ever had anything to do with religion, it was  during infrequent and very brief intervals - the Pleistocene Era perhaps?  

On the other hand, it would appear that God, along with Elvis, has with good reason left the building, and could you blame God?   Perhaps that would explain why no one has KNOWINGLY seen God, at least to knowingly recognize it, except those individuals who experience auditory and visual hallucinations.  They are the exceptions - and there are a lot of individuals who fit into that category, hanging around religious centers to this day.     

Just as it is today, historically, religion before has always been in a sad state of affairs, to wit a  harbinger of  spirits, cultism, politics, cubism fanatics and a pantheon of beings, that only a select  few could purportedly detect.

Theme:  Separating God from Religion, and, would what we refer to as God, have selected the Institution of Religion to be either its marketing firm or its abode?  I don't think so, again just look at the sad state of the institution today.

Earlier this evening a friend of twenty-plus years, called and explained, among other things, his own frustration, given his inability to get a person with whom he has been witnessing, to come to his church.  His proselytee, will accept religious tapes, tracks and personal outreach, however, when it comes down to going to my friend's church, he simply will not budge. 

I suggested that my friend take a step back, and to look at things from a different perspective.  That his friend's listening and receiving his outreach was good enough for, I explained.  On the other hand, I pointed out that perhaps he was the one that was asking for too much.  You see, my friend's formula was and has been to meet a person, talk about God, provide him or her with religious teachings, and to eventually get them to come to church. 

What's wrong with that?  I explained that his emphasis ought to remain on helping his friend to come to God, as opposed to putting so much emphasis on his friend coming to a physical building where people gathered.  A moment of silence ensued, and I waited, for that moment was pregnant with hope for both of them, my friend and the gentleman that he reached out to. 

I knew that my friend was following religion tradition whether it be Christianity, Islam, Judaism ... On the other hand I reminded him what Jesus taught his disciples, one of the most critical things being to go into the world, teaching ... but nowhere did Jesus say anything about bringing them to church, or to a building if you prefer - he told them to go to the building.. 

I pointed out something that has often been overlooked in terms of Jesus' instructions to his disciples, prior to being judged and crucified.  Jesus, told them to go to Jerusalem and to wait there until they be endued from Heaven on High. 

What he did not say, but was inferred was, "do not go to organized or established religion, its teachers the Temple or the Synagogue!  Well come on folks, can you understand how shocking this must have been when this information  reached the ears of the Priests, Levites, Rabbi's ...  They would likely have wondered, what kind of cult and cultist is this, or how dare he tell men, not women mind you, who were seeking God to ignore the buildings and tented structures where they taught, preached and offered sacrifices not to go there, again a place where god abode or made frequent appearances. 

That should have been the first hint, in their minds very likely, that Jewish, that son-of-a-carpenter was a certified fraud.    

In other words, these were the places where the Spirit, or if you prefer, God abode anywhere on earth, not down at some obscure upstairs room.  I was invited to a church like this, where Christians held their services in an upstairs room.  And it was kind of comical at first.  Why?  Someone forgot to leave the door unlocked, down on the first floor.  

Cellular phones hadn't been invented yet, so we had to revert to the next best things.  I suggested, holler and look for some rocks on the ground, the kind that we could toss, and gently hit the glass windows on the second floor, thinking that perhaps, someone up there would stop speaking in tongues long enough, to hear the rocks hitting the windows, and come down stairs and let us in.  Otherwise, I was going to exit state right!  

Too late, someone heard a small stone hit the windows, peered down at us, came down, opened the door and led my companions and I upstairs.  This is a true story, and as bizarre as it might sound, I suspect that on the Day of Pentecost, when the 120 were upstairs speaking in tongues, that someone downstairs might have had to toss a rock or a camel upstairs, in order to be heard and to subsequently gain entrance.  

There was a brief silence by my friend, and afterward understanding followed.  I went on to remind him that most of the work that Jesus and his Apostles did, remained outside of any religious structures, and I added that it was likely done that way for a reason.  And I believe that the reason would have to do with something that I refer to as 'religious structuralism'.

Remember the Lord's Prayer:  Thy will be done in earth (before they changed the phrase to "on earth')? The question being what is 'the Earth', the planet, or the earthen being?

If the anthropomorphic God were to attend a religious service, among most any religious group, I suspect that it would extricate itself prior to the offering being raised, or, before the preacher (and I am one of them) rose to the pulpit in order to orate and to postulate, too!  

In my late teens, I explained, to my late Apostolic Pentecostal mother's chagrin, that if there was any other way to go to heaven, other than through the church, that I would prefer to go that way.  Of course, she was shocked and disappointed to hear those words emanate from the lips of a son that she has raised in the church.  .  

However, I quickly explained as not to offend her, that I had long since separated God from institutional religion.  Whether she ever fully understood what I meant, or my quest for the truth, wherever I might find it, even outside of religion, I don't really know?  On the other hand, I would rate my desire or need to seek after what is real, and to discard anything that is not real, right up there with the best of them.   

Along my personal journey and quest for the truth, I learned something.  And what I learned was, that it was not God that most skeptics and pragmatists had a problem with; for what most skeptics truly had a problem with was religion itself, the building and cloth temples, and the individuals who purported to know God.

And their skepticism's, were not as far fetched as they may seem at first, especially when you consider the number of religious groups, denominations, sects ... in the world, who claim to have a monopoly, as well as an intrinsic understanding of God that differs by and large from their, I know God too, counterparts.  

Speaking of unified field theory in science, the unified field of religion is just as far afield as its counterpart.  Monotheist religious  groups believe that there is one God.  However, none of them have a suitable explanation for why there is one God, and so many religions, sects, denominations roughly 50,000 christian denominations alone.  

It seems to me, that alone would be enough to make a reasonable or thinking person. to take a step back and reconsider one's entrenched or inherited point or points of view.  Clearly reason, is neither a requirement nor a prerequisite, in order to become a member or a teacher.  And what is the reason for that, tee hee!

In other words, the lack of reason, thought, logic or proof is applauded  among most religious groups, and reason, logic or making sense is anathema
What house will you build for God? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is God a part of religion(s), it depends, I imagine, with whom you are speaking.

What if God left the church, mosque, synagogue or other, a long time ago, and the followers in each of the groups simply does not know it?

I imagine that God would prefer another setting, one other than religion, for being defined by or represented by religion, must give God headaches.  Who would want to be defined by, or represented in a disciplines that is so messy.  Oh come on, we have as many scandals as there are in Hollywood, or among government officials as an example.  
Evangelist Tim Story explained, when I travel, "I tell people that I am a motivational speaker, not a preacher'.  Could it be that preachers rank right up there with used car salesmen? Let's face it, Jesus spent a significant period of time shaping his brood.  

For example he had the following:  Judas the traitor; Peter the Knife and I don't eat unclean things; Thomas the skeptic; The two sons of Zebedee opportunists, Call hell fire missiles down to destroy people who didn't see things their way ... do you get my drift?

I cannot tell you what God is, but I can tell you that what is being represented in most any religion that I have studied, the manner in which they found, explained and codified their Sovereign ... is limited.  

If God were to be emancipated in the people's minds from religion, the average religious person would not be pleased.  on the other hand, I suspect that a lot more people would believe, accept or pursue it, once   separated from any religious group or religious explanation.  Why?  Some will say, because they hate religion and the truth. 

 However, the truth is, that some individuals thirst and hunger after the truth, to wit truth beyond what some group of individuals have agreed upon among themselves, based on their knowledge, often limited, and experiences happen to be.

In other words, if you could get religion out of the church, synagogue or mosque, you would likely get more kind, non-sectarian ... people to come in.  In fact, what we refer to as religion would become even bigger, its numbers would increase.  However, there would be one major difference:  The new hungering and thirsty group, would not limit themselves by any means to the mere acceptance or ingestion of a groups ideas, that emanates from the past. 

They would likely do, what their predecessors failed to do, that is to prove God, not to simply invest in the practice of substituting an individual form of faith for the lack of substance, reality or fact!

Religion, does a great disservice to the credibility of what we refer to as God.  Why? Most people I believe want God, however, most people could do without religion.  And who knows, if we were to replace religion with something more practical, perhaps, what religion refers to as God, might return.  

The one thing that rarely appears to be present at most political, cultural, mystical, pious religious groups, is the very thing that most religious groups say that they are harbingers of, what is real!

And to those of you who believe that I no longer believe correctly, based upon what you understand to be real - the fact is that I believe that, what we refer to as God, is much bigger than what RELIGION ALONE HAS TAUGHT ONE TO BELIEVE.  In other words, start there if you must, but your quest for what is real, should not end there.

Can you imagine what must have gone through their minds, when the individuals that were present, recognized that God had left their building?   Perhaps some of us today need to step back and inquire, IS GOD STILL THERE at My Place of Being!

And if nothing else, so far I have explained why the dyslexic agnostic, has never believed in dog - he also sees things in reverse!


To be continued. draft 2

Outside of religion, and within another discipline,what we refer to as God, would likely have been understood and appreciated today and a long time ago.   Within religion alone, God will likely never be understood or truly appreciated, I suspect.

Most humans, would likely have nothing to do with religion, superstition or mysticism, anyway,  If anything, most people would simply want to know what is real and to possess it.  Branded religion, often keeps individuals from finding, knowing and understanding anything that is beyond their dogma.  

Perhaps, if we could 'get the hell out of religion', it could be a useful place for God to take up its abode!

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