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April 17, 2012 / Dale Melchin

Agitation with Modern Organized Religion

Agitation with Modern Organized Religion

When I was 13 I had a genuine come to Jesus moment.  I was set on a journey that forever changed the rest of my life.  I’m glad I made that choice and I’m glad that God facilitated it.  As much as I struggle to live up to the name Christian, I know in my mind that I could never go from being a Christian to an Atheist.  I’ve seen too much good in my life and in the lives of others that cannot be explained.  Some of those things would be coincidences that were favorable that happened at the right time and couldn’t be explained by mathematical probability.  In fact the higher the improbability of something happening and it does happen, the higher value it adds as evidence of divine intervention.  However, I digress.

I have 3 primary problems with organized religion that need to be addressed before Christianity can become relevant again.

The first is hypocrisy.  It manifests itself in a general shame culture that kicks around a Church culture, judgmental behavior, and an unwillingness to welcome people who are on the outside of the Church.  If anyone from my church or in my immediate circle is reading this please understand that this is not a current problem in my church or in my circle of friends I am combating. I’ve been on the receiving end of it in a couple of instances.  I will not name names because I wish to protect the guilty at this point.

Hypocrisy comes when people who have managed to achieve a high level of moral back bone are unkind those who have a different moral compass.  At this point your spiritual accomplishments are going to put off those who have none.  Morality is absolute, but it is also on a continuum.  Living together faithfully is more moral than having a series of one night stands.  However a sacred marriage that is fed and maintained properly is better than the other two by far from a practical and moral stand point.  I said all of that without making value judgments about people.  The hypocrites need to recognize that they are imperfect and they need to show love and kindness to people AND hold them to high standards of conduct, all at the same time without being unkind.  People are still going to bitch about “hypocrites in the church” however at that point those individuals need to be left to their own devices.  Yes, we still help them, but you can’t give medicine to someone who doesn’t want to take it.

The second primary problem in the church is politics.  This is mainly how religion is spun in the market place, but it also has to do with the church hierarchy.  I’ll address the market place issues first.

Jesus is not a Democrat, a Republican, or Libertarian.  He’s a Monarch, He does not endorse any of the candidates or any football players.  If we are going to see Him as He is we need to stop recasting Him as we wish to see Him.  He is God and man at the same time.  He knows what people need before they ask and His wisdom and kindness are displayed in the New Testament.  He was never “unkind” to anyone but the Pharisees and it was because they needed an ass kicking at the time.  If Jesus were physically present and was President of the United States, I would imagine things would be a lot different.  He would work for social reform, but He would do it in a way that was fair and gave people on opportunity while holding them accountable to perform.  Also, politicians who are Christians need to act with greater integrity and avoid personal attacks.  I’m not saying you have to be a pansy, but you need be above the stupidity and stick to issues and not pander.  Yes, you can change your mind, that is your right as a free citizen, but you don’t have the right to lie and pander in the political world.

Now for the Church organization:

The Church in general needs to stop focusing on distinctives and focus on the mission of the Church which is the advancement of the Gospel first and meeting the human needs of others as a close second.  Both must always happen and even if one does not happen the other happens.  Even if the Gospel is rejected by a person we continue to help them because that is what God does.  He does annihilate not us for rejecting Him; he continually leaves the door open for us all the time.

The third primary problem is the people who complain about the Church organization, especially those outside of it who take what I call a “reverse holier than thou” approach to life.  These are the people who refuse to associate with hypocrites.  They are hypocrites themselves because they put their own perfection above being around other human beings.  These people are as bad as the hypocrites themselves because fail to have same virtues of humanity they claim to possess such as “non judgemental behavior.”  The only reason why these people complain, its not about the religion itself, its because the people inside the organization grate against those who are outside of the church’s moral compass.

So I’m equally attacking all sides of the problem deal with it.

The solution the problem is three fold.  We need to recognize that we as human beings are all imperfect and we require compassion in order to create room for us to change.  At the same time, we need to have the courage to become better people as well and not point out the problems of others, and finally, we need structure to create a matrix of change for ourselves.

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One Comment

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  1. Dale Melchin / Apr 17 2012 3:35 pm

    Remember…. Still a Christian… just pointing out issues.

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