Take the Red Pill…Church

Morpheus: Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain–but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. There’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there. Like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I am talking about?

Neo: The Matrix.

Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?

Neo: Yes.

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.

The Matrix, 1999

 

Maybe you, too, are here because you know something. Whether a leader or layperson, something is bothering you about church, about the system.

The emotionally manipulative song lists and endorphin inducing mini-concerts…

The threats of disaster or promises of blessing all depending on if you give or not…

The sermons catering to those who have the most influence or money…

The skirting around issues in order to protect the organization’s 501(c)3 non-profit status…

The “borrowing” of other pastor’s sermons…

The “spontaneous” baptisms…

The multiple “sermon series”…

The “five steps to Godliness” or “seven steps to answered prayers”…

The glazed eye look of most men in the church…

The pastor worship…

The lip service to the Cross…

The lip service to the Work of Christ…

The lip service to the “power of the Spirit”…

The pressure on teens and young adults to be “world changers” and “leaders”…

The obsession with Old Testament preaching…

The glossing over of the New…

When you have questions, you are told to get in line…

If you persist, you are divisive…

Deep down, you know of what I speak.

Deep down. You know.

 

Like Trinity speaking to Neo, there is a Question driving you to this place. You know the question, just as I did.

Is this it? Is there a better way? 

You are not alone.

A close friend of mine has been putting together something quite interesting. Something to give the “disenfranchised, disillusioned & ex-ministry leaders a roadmap for moving forward”. It’s going to cover a lot of ground and from speaking with him, it sounds like something that is needed. Yes, even I am interested in it.

I think it even has the potential to help those, like me, who are barely hanging on to their faith by a thread.

It might be just what you are looking for, too.

Take the Red Pill.

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Adam & Eve: Legends of The Fall

Or… “Things I’ve been wrestling with lately.”

One of the oldest questions regarding the tale of Adam and Eve and the fall has got to be, “Why?”. More specifically, “Why did God, the perfect being, create imperfect beings in the first place that He knew would betray Him with seemingly very little coercion and then doom all of mankind?”

The answer of choice or free-will in the context of, “Well, God wanted mankind to have free will, so they could choose between good and evil.” makes it seem like they were set up to fail from the get-go when you simply ask, “Why wouldn’t God spend a little more time with Adam and Eve; teaching them about the treachery of the enemy and his ability to manipulate and twist words, cause division and then teach them about their own weaknesses so they would be prepared to defeat him?” As far as the book of Genesis is concerned, we don’t have any record, to my limited knowledge of that actually happening. He spends some time with them and just says, “Hey, don’t eat from that tree or you’ll die.” by way of instruction, and that’s it.

The answer that God planned it that way so he could show off his Glory through Christ makes about as much sense. Besides sounding absolutely terrible, basically He allows four thousand years of tragedy, betrayal, heartbreak, sin, death and destruction, etc., so He can then redeem and save mankind and show off how good he is?

I feel terrible having these thoughts. At first glance, I feel like I am putting God on trial and that I am a heretic, doomed for Hell. Who am I to question a Holy and Righteous God, the ultimate Perfect Being? Why can’t I let God be God and just accept what is written for us and obey? I just can’t. Sometimes I feel like I swing between Atheism and Christianity like I was a kid at on a playground.

As someone who feels this, believe me when I tell you that I still want to believe. To use an analogy from this current Christmas season, its like the kid speaking to the hobo ghost on top of the Polar Express.

“What is your persuasion on the Big Man, since you brought him up?”

“Well, I want to believe…but..”

“But! You don’t want to be bamboozled. You don’t want to be led down the primrose path! You don’t want to be conned or duped, have the wool pulled over your eyes, hoodwinked. You don’t want to be taken for a ride, railroaded! Seeing is believing…am I right?”

“But what about this train?”

“What about it?”

“We’re all really going to the North Pole, aren’t we?”

“Aren’t we?”

“Are you saying that this is all just a…a dream?”

“You said it, kid! Not me…”

I feel like this train called Life is going somewhere. I still believe there is more to this life and that the destination called Death that we all are approaching together is a gateway.

But it’s hard.

So, back to Adam, Eve and God.

In all of this, the question beyond the question isn’t “Why does God let bad things happen?” Although a valid question to wrestle with, the question beyond that, I believe is something along the lines of, “Do we really have an accurate picture of what happened?”

I believe God is misrepresented. We attribute to Him some of the most idiotic and horrific shit. Misrepresentation must be a part of the answer.

Maybe the purpose of the story of Adam and Eve is similar to other stories and legends: to reveal truths about humanity.

Just a thought.

So, I won’t unwind this onion any further. This is just the layer I wanted to reveal today.

Can I accept the story of the Fall at face value? Not anymore, I used to, but not anymore.

I believe there is more to it than that.

I believe there is more to God than that.

I hope so, at least.