The two heads of the "religion" dragon that aren't often mentioned are "Fear" and "Money."
Those who are powerless often employ God's name. They are convinced that if they evoke God often enough and loud enough, the peasants they're trying to control or manipulate will "fear him as you fear me." The "what if" factor plays a very important part of their lives... (What if God really is speaking through them, or worse yet what if God judges me for defying him, even if the almighty is not using that human as a "speaker phone from heaven?"
I lost my fear of God as a teenager when I heard the original album "Jesus Christ Superstar"-Not the soundtrack to the movie; the real thing original record album before it became a broadway play.
Over my years I thought that nothing could ever change the love I felt for Christ
...but I was wrong.
You see Jesus left me alone down here with ordinary humans. As more and more of them preached hate in his name, instead of love, they wore down and skewed my love of God and tried to turn it into fear instead.
When I'm alone with several of these "born-agains" I like to (excuse the expression) "scare the hell out of them" by looking up at the sky, shaking my fist upward and screaming at the top of my lungs for God to strike me down for defying "his" teaching. Terror usually grips them as they back away.
Usually afterward they say they were afraid I'd lost my mind and might hurt them, but the truth is they back away for fear-their fear-that God's wrath may strike them down with me.
Apparently God's aim isn't so good in his old age according to them. To stand next to me would be to fear that they haven't made it safely to the other shoreline before God drops the Red Sea on me.
My God is one of love, of gentle teaching, and of transformation-not one of hate and most of all Fear.
Admit it-Most people fear God like a hated employer who is constantly lurking in the shadows somewhere waiting to overhear something he can punnish you for saying.
We humans fear what we don't understand...
We humans tend to kill what we fear.
I do not, nor have I ever feared the almighty GOD and I've never been afraid to print out his awsome name anywhere. I don't fear judgement from my god... I fear only man's.
Far too many ignorant people see God as some sadistic monster with a whip, waiting just beyond earth's bounds laughing with St. Peter at the pearly gates, with his book of sins to punish you.
the one thing the TV preachers worship above and before God
Then there's the money changer priests at the steps of the temple. People who see a congregation not as a group of people joined in faith-no they are a group of people joined in fear that their spiritual leader will abandon them to god's wrath unless they tithe their earnings to him.
They disgust me because they live by the saying "You get what you pay for" instead of anything they might selectively read in the Bible to justify their hate, or sins committed against others in "his" name.
I've learned the hard way that the Phelp's, the Anita Bryants and the Jerry Falwells of this world are very replaceable. One goes, and another immediately takes their place-hands extended with a collection plate instead of a bible.
I glory in God's word, not fear it.
I dare presume to pity those who fear their preachers and I'll tell you why. My faith has been truly shaken in the last few years. Sometimes I think Job would blanche at my story.
But my faith is still with me... shaken and stirred severely yes, but it's still there.
© 2008 by Jet in Columbus