Jul 25, 2009 0
I have had the privilege recently of reviewing the manuscript of a novel that might be (ought to be) published in the near future. I won’t give away the ending (or the beginning) (or the middle) (or the title) (or the characters) (or the message)…
… but I’d love to give away one of the subtexts, which is to beware of organized religion.
Speaking for myself, I tend to distrust anything organized, but that’s another matter. Now the world, which looks for any stick with which to beat Christianity, invariably points to religious wars as pro forma warning-labels against spirituality. In truth, however, most “religious” wars have probably been waged using religion only as an excuse.
Moreover, the serious attacks, excesses and atrocities committed in the name of Jesus… do not mean that Jesus would commit them. The world too often forgets that Jesus is the standard, True and Holy. When people scurry around, constructing and construing, blaming and naming, if they fall short of that Standard they dishonor themselves more than they dishonor the Savior.
Before the “amens” roll, it is good to recognize that Christians, also, forget this fact too often. The sad truth — the more important deal than wars and doctrinal arguments (although doctrine is important) — is that the church often fails its mission in direct proportion to the extent it is “organized” religion. Youth pastors who serve (Barna Research says) an average of only 1.5 years — what heartache must that represent? Churches that don’t preach the whole Word. Children abused by priests. Pastors involved in sexual scandals. Judgmentalism. “Open-Mindedness” so open that theologians’ brains fall out. Politics, bureaucracy, and pride on church boards and committees. Is this the church Jesus wanted? — the Bride of Christ awaiting His return?
“What sort of music accompanies this heavy message?” Well, it’s the same message, but a more light-hearted delivery. Hilarious, in fact. But the chorus that Buddy Greene returns to in this living-room get-together is the message for this week, and has been for 2000 years: “Jesus — That’s All!”
You can beware — that is, be wary — of organized religion’s pitfalls by keeping this song in your mental iPod!
Click: Denomination Blues