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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Sunday, April 23, 2006

We don't need no stinking churches...

To paraphrase a well-known line from a movie, or in the more polite fashion that most would say it, "I don't believe in organized religion". My usual thought and reply is that such a statement is the equivalent of saying, "I don't believe in organized bowling".

It is quite natural and beneficial for people to organize in groups when they have similar interests. The sharing of experience and knowledge helps everyone improve their practice of and deepen their enjoyment of whatever hobbies and activities they're involved with.

But human beings have this annoying quirk of imperfection and we tend to cause problems. Personalities clash and narrow self-interest gets in the way of unified group dynamics and purpose. Yet, few will claim, without being laughed at, that such things mean that organized bowling is inherently flawed and not worthy of participation for those who love bowling.

In the case of churches, it is not merely the enjoyment of a good game but moving us closer to God and helping others to do the same. When we reject "organized religion" and try to go it on our own, we throw away the opportunity to experience the rich diversity of the body of Christ. The path that others have taken and learned from is no longer available to us. Why throw out a road map, when it can warn us of dangers ahead, or point us in the direction of additional joys to be had?

Besides all of this, there is the matter of love. God is love. We are called not only to accept God but also to put on the mind of Christ. We can not express love to others in isolation and we destroy the means by which we may experience that love we may so desperately need, though at times we might not even realize the need is there.

All of these benefits and necessary properties of organized religion should encourage us to avoid creating the problems and help to solve them. Too much is at stake, just to completely walk away. Be part of the solution, by working within the body, rather than standing outside. You may be surprised at what you can do to help a church live up to the standards of Christ's message so that even more are drawn to God. Even better, you will learn from fellow travelers, the best stops, the detours, the hazards to avoid on this fascinating journey and that social interaction is superior to isolation for the expression and experience of God's love.


Filed under: Christianty -- Religion

Blogs with open posts: The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns -- The Uncooperative Blogger -- third world county -- Adam's blog -- Publius Rendezvous -- The Liberal Wrong Wing -- -- TMH's Bacon Bits -- Ryhymes With Right -- Stuck On Stupid -- Blue Star Chronicles -- Jo's Cafe

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