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May 21, 2013 / Dale Melchin

The problem isn’t the tradition… it’s our application

The Church is full of hypocrites! Christianity and other religions is just slave morality.  Religious people are just a group of repressed people who are too weak to get affirmation.  I’m sure that there are other statements that can be made regarding religion or ancient traditions.  Now, I grant you that these statements apply generally to Christianity however, the statements could be equally applied to any other religion in the world.

People will say the same thing of the Buddhist Monk, or even the lay practitioner, or any practitioner in any religion.

If you read the the texts of any religion, you will find that the wisdom part of it makes sense.  Such as the Golden Rule, or in Buddhism, do not take what is not given to you, or any other principle.  Some of us may have problems with the cosmology, such as the Resurrection of Christ,or the Enlightenment of the Buddha or any miracles that are associated with those traditions.  The reason why that is a problem, is that those who repudiate the Miracles don’t have a big enough imagination and are slaves to science.

But, I digress.

The point that I am making is two fold.  The first is the wisdom as presented in those traditions is objective truth.  Such as Karma, Kindness, Justice, fairness, or the law of reaping and sowing.  Or if you do things that are prescribed in those texts you can transform your life into a vessel for the Absolute.  We cannot escape this.  The documented historical evidence that the traditions work is too weighty to throw out.

 

The truth is, they all work.  Taoism will make you immortal, Buddhism will enlighten you, Martial Arts  will bring you self mastery, Christianity will bring you Salvation etc.  Provided you follow the principles.  It all goes back to the end user.  A malfunction on the part of the end user is not a black mark on the part of the religion.  To put it more clearly, if you try at a tradition and you have a hard time, God is not to blame, it is your own character.

 

Another aspect of this that deserves our attention is hypocrisy.  “Non-religious” people will say that religion is a farce because of the people and their lack of virtue.  Non religious folks will invalidate the religion based upon the mistakes of those in the tradition, even though, those in the tradition condemn the behavior they may be engaging in.  Or they will condemn one vice and engage in another.

Now, I grant you, hypocrisy is a problem for those who are “religious.”  But it is a two way street.

The thing that the non-religious need to realize is that we are human, and we are imperfect.  Give us a break, not all of us are jackasses.  When you condemn religious people you are engaging in the same behavior.  you have the virtue of “non-judgement” and yet you are judging those who judge.  Its ridiculous.

People on both sides of the fence need to realize that all of humanity is imperfect.  As a Christian, myself, the fact that we are all creatures of God made in His Image means that we need to treat every single human being with respect, regardless of what they do or life choices they make.  Yes, we can and should call out bad behavior and combat evil behavior, but it needs to be done in such a way that it is still affirming to the other person.

 

One last point that requires our deeper thought.  The fallacy that religion doesn’t work applies not only to religion, but to therapy or exercise or any other transformative art.  It is not that it doesn’t work.  It is either….. you didn’t try hard enough….. or it honestly wasn’t a good fit and you need to try something different.  But don’t go blaming the reality, when it is your own inability or lack of wherewithal.

You can change, you can do better, because you are a human being and you are gifted with that capability.

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