On hundreds of occasions, I was sitting backstage in my Green Room in a church somewhere in America, waiting for the program to begin, when there would be a timid knock on the door and the sponsor would appear, and he or she would awkwardly and sheepishly say, “Well, there are not many people here, but it will be worth it if you reach even one person.”
I often found myself smiling approvingly, as if I agreed with the bizarre statement. Let me make it clear. It was never worth the effort, the spirit, the energy and the creativity that Ms. Clazzy and I mustered to reach “just one person.” It is ineffective, it is inefficient, and therefore it certainly is not the will of God.
Jesus punctuated this point in Matthew 23:15. If you ever read that chapter, you will find that Jesus is extremely pissed off. He has reached the end of his ministry and he’s nauseated by the religious system, which has not only blocked his efforts, but has left the people impoverished, physically and spiritually. He accuses the religious leaders of exhibiting great pretense over traveling land and sea to preach their foolish doctrines, and when they finally gain a convert, they turn the poor son of a bitch into “twice the son of Hell” as they are themselves.
Amen and Amen.
Our religious system has taken a message that God sent through Jesus to reach humans, and has replaced it with a human message which is continually trying to please God. Therefore, our congregations are emotionally immature, spiritually stunted, mentally confused, physically tempted, and pleading for other folks to come to the sanctuary and be equally as damaged, in order to help defray the cost of the mortgage on the church building.
Religion sucks. There’s no other way to say it.
God intended to bring an abundant life which was suited to humans, not abundant rules, regulations and commandments that scare them away.
Church has become a place where we train people to be so heavenly that they become hellish. It is a hiding place for the insecure, the demented and those who feel a need to establish their superiority over their fellow-man.
Are you religious? You should find out. Here’s what religion believes:
1. God matters more than people. (The Bible makes it completely clear that how we treat people is what God believes we feel about Him).
2. People are evil. (Actually, people are encumbered with the knowledge of good and evil. Through spirited instruction, they can let the goodness win.)
3. Evil is powerful and often wins. (Evil is trapped in the atmosphere of Earth, and historically never wins.)
If you believe any one of these three things listed above, you are religious, and being religious, you will develop a childish reverence to God and a growing distaste for people.
You will find yourself cast into the role of “twice the son of Hell.”