Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Religious Dysfunction

One problem with a large segment of modern Christianity is that it is a dysfunctional system.  It tells you to believe in Jesus as your savior, and that will release your guilt for your sinful nature. It uses guilt to relieve guilt, which doesn't work.

Jesus suffered on the cross and died for you, so you should be grateful and accept him. God is angry at people for being sinners, so he required a blood sacrifice of his only son, so you should be grateful to Him for that. In this system God and Jesus are saying "Look what I've done for you. You better appreciate it, or there will be Hell to pay."

This God demands your belief, and that you follow his rules. He expects you to please him. You are a hopeless sinner, but by his grace, you are lifted up. Even though you don't deserve his love, he will give it to you anyway because you accept Jesus as your savior.

Even though the message of Jesus was love, this version of Christianity is based on fear. If I do this...then this will happen. Sinners and non-believers are punished.

There are other ways to be a follower of Jesus. None of this is needed to have a relationship with God, however you perceive God to be. None of this is needed to have a relationship with Jesus if that's what you want. The way to release guilt is to learn how to forgive yourself and others, and to become the person you aspire to be now.

Spirituality is not about belief in a distant God who requires you to please him. It is about asking the questions: "Who am I? What do I want? What do I need most to learn right now?" It's about looking at yourself, making no excuses, and being willing to be transformed. Simply go into prayer and say: "Reveal yourself to me?"  Keep asking. Be willing and open. Make prayer, meditation, or contemplation a daily habit. Focus on finding answers. They will come to you.

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