Monday, August 27, 2007

The Problem with Religeon

Let me start out with a story... I heard this in relation to the question, "Why does God let bad things happen?".

In addition to the insight it provides to that question, I have found countless other applications to which it applies.

You, like me are likely a parent, or if not, simply imagine that you are. Now imagine yourself at one of your kids soccer games. As a parent, you watch from the sidelines as the game goes on. Sometimes your kids team wins, sometimes they lose. During the game, your kid might get fouled by another kid, and sometimes your kids may commit the foul. Ultimately though, you have to stand by and let the kids play the game the way they want to. Rushing out onto the field everytime something happens, does no good for anyone.

God is much the same, he stands on the side lines and watches the games. I am sure at time he is tempted to step onto the field and correct some wrongs, but ultimately, he can't because it will do no good for anyone.

Now lets take the analogy a little further... Let's put God in the role of the coach. As a player on field of life, you have access to the coach. He can't play the game for you, but he can offer advice and assistance. He might disseminate this to the team through the captain of the team, or he might give it to you directly. Ultimately though, each one of us players has direct access to the coach.

So how does this tie into religeon? The problem with religeon, is that it would appear in most cases to control the individuals access to God. A leader in the Church then takes the place of God, and disseminates a message to his followers. The problem is knowing when that message comes from the coach, and when the captain is pursuing his own agenda.

With that in mind, I've been thinking lately about the role religeon should play in a person's life. I associate with a denomination that places a very strong emphasis on families. Ironically though, once you become a devoted member of this particular organization, you end up spending most of Sunday as well as various nights during the week in meetings away from your family. From my perspective the focus has shifted from God to the organization. The organization has used the relationship with God to entice more followers and pursue an agenda. At times this agenda might follow a course which draws a person closer to God, and at times it doesn't.

Here's my opinion on the matter... A religeon should be a resource and a support towards your own relationship to God. When the religeon takes the place of that relationship, that's when you get have a problem.

Gaining this understanding of how religeon fits into the picture is vital to the revolution I spoke of in my last posting.

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