I was pleasantly surprised to see this billboard the other day. (The Gold in the bottom corner is the Colorado State capitol building). This blog posting is to help it get beyond 14th Ave and Fox Street in downtown Denver. (Yes. I live in Denver).


7K said...

Definitions of "religion":

Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

The above are definitions of religion retrieved from the Net. Are these the actual desire of the creator of evolution for homo sapiens? In other words, from the Christian perspective, was the goal of Jesus to establish the religious sects and orders we now know as "Christianity"?

Or has the Christian world managed to broadcast the wrong message about its founder? Imagining no religion is not hard for me. I would kind of like to see it disappear. But it seems to emerge as a kind of need in those who seek God, to organize their biases into a kind of corporation, to set up rigorous rituals as a way to God, and to gather into secure communities. The result is war: something John Lennon could imagine the world rejecting and overcoming. In that sense, whatever John may have thought of Christ, Lennon was very much a believer in that sense. It isn't like God is a warmonger, stoked when we are all fighting and killing each other over trifles.

Tom said...

It isn't like God is a warmonger...

How do you support your statement with the God of the old testament?

If the golden rule was Jesus' quintessential teaching, how dense are Christians? It ain't that hard to understand!

7K said...

Good question. Lately I've been thinking about evolution as the plan of God leading to the dream of God, which I would say was realized, not in Moses, but in Christ. The central message of the New Testament is love: "God is love." Christ demonstrated the love of God.

The word for complete fulfillment, in this sense, would be apocatastasis. I am convinced that Jesus accomplished this for all mankind. But we are still in the potential stage, not the fully realized completion. Thus war is still with us.

The Old Testament is a record of an old paradigm that had war as part of its dynamic. The centerpiece of that paradigm was "the Law." The Law was pointing to something greater, Christ. With the advent of Christ, peace with God is achieved and war should be falling off. Jesus said to Peter, "Put up your sword." He also said, "Blessed are the peacemakers."

Many in the church don't fully realize this, nor do they completely understand their "good news." They not only support war sometimes but they make it. But Paul said our warfare is not carnal (not carried out with physical weapons). Yet many in the church are at war with their fellow believers, over slights, really. You've seen the war over creation vs. evolution: silly, really.

I think that is going to change, finally. I think I see the realization dawning on many Christians that there is more to the good news than we have believed. It isn't just good news for a few who have all their ducks in a row: it is good news for the whole world. Jesus didn't just save a few "saints": he has saved the whole thing.

Part of our problem has been focusing on what has already passed away: the Old Testament way of doing things. Thus, we find Christians who focus on legalism and a brand of terrorism that misrepresents the good news. They may mean well, but they're just mean.

God has never changed. He is not willing that any should "perish." Well, if he isn't willing then it isn't going to happen. His plans for the future are good, not evil.

The Jewish wars of the OT, the taking over the land without mercy, is done and over. It ended at the cross. We are in a new day. That was not really a reflection of how God is. God is just and good and all that implies. His intent, through Christ, is to end all war (and that was also portrayed in the OT). He said of David, his champion, that there was too much blood on his hands.

flashfox said...

I know! I saw one of those on Peachtree Industrial in Atlanta Ga and I was happy to see my opinions finally being represented. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing religion disappear and instead instilling a faith in oneself. Honestly I could live side by side with religion peacefully if things like this
weren't happening.

Tom said...

Thanks for the visit, Flashfox, and for the link to the crazy shenanigans going on in Louisiana!