Feb 19, 2009
Religious Stagnation Get Over IT!
What Will Have To Take Place to motivate us to move beyond religious stagnation?
Does science have all of the answers?
Does science have answers that religion simply does not have?
Can the two compliment each other?
Can we admit that science has some of the answers, having proved the church and religious groups before to be wrong?
I wonder whether or not what we refer to as God, is not bored with us, given our need to hold on to and practice religious superstition?
1 Thess 5:21 ...test all things, and hold on to that which is truthful! Shouldn't we?
Most religious groups will have to admit to their followers someday, that what they told them before was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, was not exactly accurate after all, even if in the end is it hurts the ministers pocketbook.
In Christianity for example, believers and would be adherents are taught that the Bible is inerrant. Followers are conditioned to believe that every word in the Bible either came from the lips of God itself (if that were possible), or that each writer was inspired to write everything that is contained within each text.
The fact of the matter is today that the most unlearned ministers knows that that allegation will not stand up in a court of law. Why is the important? Before we can move on and be ‘guided into all truth’, as Jesus once intimated, we will have to admit that what we said before was not altogether true. Next, we will have to open ourselves up and insist that our followers do the same thing in order to garner all that is true.
Most of the overstepping of our bounds was done in innocence and motivated in part by a need to provide answers to the more esoteric. Individuals were taught by men and women who preceded them, and these individuals were taught by the misinformed who preceded them. Where does the madness stop? I believe that it stops with a confession.
Right now, most religious groups are stopped in their tracks, even though they would never admit it. Simply put, they are rehashing the same old ideas, and as a consequence they are only able to assist individuals to reach a certain point let’s say, but beyond that they can’t help them to reach levels of understanding where the incumbent religious teaching groups have not attained to themselves.
As one writer once wrote, I believe that we are still only ‘at the beginning of knowledge’. The Apostle Paul believed that he would be alive and among those who would be caught up to meet the Lord in the Air. Obviously, he did not get that inspiration from God, for he was wrong! How many more assertions like this one are included not only in his epistles, but in the bible in general? In other words, there were other writers who wrote well-intended prose that simply put was not true!
Most religions, not only Christianity, teaches that alcohol consumption is sinful. Apostle Paul even wrote that drunkards would not inherit the Kingdom. So which is it, alcoholism, a sin or a condition? In some instances individuals are genetically predisposed to chemical dependency and in this context alcoholism. The medical profession deals with alcoholism in more reasonable terms than does the Christian church, and in some instances other religions.
The church, along with many other religions teaches that same sex relations are a sin. And similar to their alcoholic counterparts, all of these individuals are going into a lake of fire where they will burn forever and ever. Yet more and more we are learning that homosexuality might be better explained by research that is being done in fields like endocrinology among other things. And once again the research community is showing more grace in trying to determine what is the origin of same sex attractions, as opposed to condemning individuals, whole sale to hell.
This frightens the hades out of religious groups, for if they are proven wrong then the majority of individual may abandon the religious organizations that provided them with fallacious information for so long.
Reverend Solomon, are you saying that you agree with homosexuality, drunkenness or other vices, sins or differences? The only dog that I have in the fight is what is true and what is made up? What I believe is that we have not had sufficient verifiable evidence to determine before now, whether either of these conditions are a result of sin, or on the other hand a consequence of genetics or hormonal differences particularly with respect to the latter.
I do not claim to have a definitive answer, however, one thing that I am very sure of is this, religious individuals often fail to research issues prior to defining or pontificating on heart wrenching issues. Also, if we were to rely on the explanations of early religious individuals as determinants of what is and what is not quote unquote normal, or what is sinful or not, I believe that we are doing many individuals an injustice.
When your son or daughter comes to you and says, mom and dad, I feel like I am, genderwise, in the wrong body, what are you doing to tell them? How about this, get behind me sinner! What will you tell your child who is chemically dependent, the one who cannot kick the habit? Will you say son, and more and more daughter, I am sorry, but you are going to go to hell and you are going to burn forever.
Folks, it's time to grow up and admit that some of what previous writers wrote in religious texts, much of what they attributed to God makes no sense at all. These people did not do any research, they simply repeated what they learned from their culture.
A brother who was a homosexual in a church that I pastored some years ago, confessed that he was a homosexual. He did so because I informed him that I had a premonition about him. He admitted that he had been sneaking off to be with his consort in a town not too far from the church.
I explained to him that what really matters is that I was not there to condemn him but to help him. He asked, can you help me for I have not been able to shake this, homosexual thing since being molested as a child. Why wouldn't he come to the church before and ask for help? Could it be that he would not because of prior conditioning, that is that he knew that he expected to be condemned rather than helped.
Some churches are doing better now with respect to dealing with the issue of same sex people, however, for years frankly the church had only one treatment for same-sex individuals, it was to condemn then and to tell them 'stop it', immediately. Same sex individuals who tried, many of them, found that it was just about as easy for them to stop what they were doing as it was for overweight Christians to stop eating. Ministers who once condemned practices in the public eye, were busily engaged in same-sexed practices themselves while they condemned others तो hell.
Do we have an epidemic in the world given the number of individuals who are admitting to their same sex desires? Frankly, I've noticed another trend in this country, that no one is talking about. Have you noticed the number of obsessive-compulsive individuals that are around? More and more, I have witnessed anecdotally, a number of individuals who seem to have the personality disorder. Is that a sin?
Even the Apostle Paul was convinced that same-sexed individuals were as he put it, given over to a same-sex midset. In other words, some things become a part of you, and no matter how you try, you can't just 'say no', as Nancy Reagan once said, when speaking about drug consumption.
Frankly, I have a lot of things that I wish I could simply say no to, and that would be the end of it. But more and more, we are also learning that some things are actually hard-wired into our brains, or how about into our genes.
The two examples that I cited above by no means even scratch the surface of the subject with respect to the broadness of this topic. Frankly, most of us have been seeped in, and have been drowning in religious superstition, mysticism and unsupported conjecture..., and we have been for so long that we cannot and have moved on to so called perfection.
Perfection in this context would have to transcend religious dogma or practice. Jesus, said that we would know the truth and the truth would make us free. Then why are individuals free? Is it because they won't accept the truth as religion(s) teach, or because the individuals are not receiving the truth from those religious groups that purport to know the truth.
What I am proposing is that we grow up religious people. It is time to admit that some of what we were taught is simply not true, and that it did not work. It is time for us to search for deeper meaning in a post-modern context, over what we were taught or that we learned before.
Our predecessors meant well, however, they taught what they knew. One of our objectives ought to be the ascent of woman and man. We should be seeking to understand ourselves better, and then to pursue a higher level of understanding, rather than to try existing in the present with a primordial mindset and outlook.
As I close, what we need to focus more on is what is truth, even when it leaves old ideas, even religious ones behind!
Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon
Religious Stagnation Get Over IT!