Religion as an echo chamber

Whenever belief or “truth” is found by a group of people and labelled as “I have it… all… and no one else does” we wander into the interesting space of familiar elitism. Especially in the Judeo-Christian world where one worships a God who knows all and cannot fully be grasped by the human mind so much so that said God needed to reform itself somehow as one of its own creation to bring heaven and earth together to fully harmonise the initial plan of creating for the sake of love. So when a group of such belief says “We know all. we own truth… and we will now protect it with a wall” the wall creates an echo chamber that keeps agreeing with the fact that they are right and everyone else is wrong. And those within the walls will never venture outside to see the beautiful unique expressions of beauty outside of the walls and die ignorant of the depths of the love and creativity of the God that they espouse to worship. right?

But this holds up in most of our myths. Nation. My nation is the best, and yours isn’t allowed anywhere near mine. And the nations don’t get to enjoy the initial beauty that could have come from shared experience. Family, state, team, ideology. They so quickly become our own gods to the means of our own ends. Either because we are walled in on ourselves, or because we shape shift the god into the shape we need for that end. This ends in madness. Death. Suffering. Talking of the God of the Jews and Christians – as soon as the belief system was state sanctioned and used to promote empire, it also became the emblem of murder on the shields of the crusaders who wanted to rip down the walls of other ideologies to camp on land deemed special by the god of politics and oppression.

If not insecurity, our power drunkenness also fuels us forward to kick other children’s sandcastles down to run off laughing. And when we stare into the face of Jesus. The God-man come to unite the world in love and self sacrifice, we see none of that. We see no rule books, no shame based control. We see a semi handsome, charismatic speaking woodworker who goes to suffering and the grave to make a point. and that point is simply to love unto death.

Tomorrow is the beginning of lent. Fat Tuesday. A day known for is pregame feasting. Some to celebrate. Some to get the party in before the short season of fasting.

The God I profess to love is not a God of “the bargain” We don’t fast so that he will act. We fast to increase the weight on us to feel life. Toe increase our revelation and awe at the mystery of God. That we cannot hold him. That we cannot own him to keep him away from others. We are called to love. We are called to be free.

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