Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The End of Religion

The other day an acquaintance of mine asked me if I was "religious." Poor guy, he caught me on one of those days when I can't seem to keep myself from dousing a match with a fire hose. What came flooding out was something like this:

"Religion is one of the banes of human existence. Jesus was profoundly anti-religion. It is one of the major aspects of the historical record of his life and teaching that got him into fatal trouble with the Religious Authorities of his day. Religion is humankind's way of trying to reach God, please God, impress God, satisfy God. It is NOT God's way of being in relationship with humankind. God is in charge here, not us. We have made a mess of all human history because we have ignored God's will, God's preference, God's provision for humanity. Of course religious people don't act any differently than non-religious people - religion is NOT what God is after in the life of humanity.

Following the way of Jesus is, and always has been, the best answer for encountering God's will and experiencing human life as God intended it - and as religious folk keep trying and failing to discover. And I'm talking about all religion here: Buddhism, Hinduism, Judahism, all the others including Atheism... AND (since Constantine utterly perverted what Jesus and Paul started 300 years earlier) even Christianity. Jesus came to invite us into the Kingdom of Heaven NOT to invent yet another religion! If this intrigues you, I urge you to read: The End of Religon by Bruxy Cavey. Yep folks, Jesus (not the Christian religion) is truly our guide to love, peace, the fullness of life for all people everywhere, anti-nationalism, anti-militarism, and global justice. He truly is the way into the Kingdom of Heaven."

Poor guy. I could have just said, "I try not to be."