Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Bad Religion?

They tell you that faith shouldn't be a cloak for intolerance, and I agree. Yet what does that mean? I don't think faith obligates you or me to send money to Creflo Dollar, either, and I'm sure you agree. It seems to me, though, people like when faith provides the sentimental padding to whatever they already agree with; they are decidedly less tolerant when it obligates people to say, "No."

The Bible says faith is a certainty in things unseen. Another thing I'm certain of, based on the reality of those things, is that I couldn't sell you a Playboy, or bake you a gay wedding cake. It hasn't come up. I also couldn't attend your wedding if you've been divorced, and are now being re-married, if your first spouse is still alive. "Re-marriage" is adultery, after divorce from a living spouse.

Separation from someone you're married to is acceptable; there could be a thousand good reasons for this. It could take the form of a civil divorce. Divorce doesn't exist in the mind of God, though. There are those Christians, typically Protestants, who think that adultery creates an exception to the divorce prohibition; not so. You can separate, but divorce doesn't exist.

If it comes up that I can't do or say something, based on Christian teaching, it's not because I don't like you, or want you to be happy. I want everyone to be happy. Supremely so, in fact. In what does true happiness consist? I think most people are used to defining "happiness" however they like. The true definition must be misplaced, in the same place as the true definition of "intolerance."

True happiness consists in knowing and loving God, and being with Him forever. I think a lot of people barely tolerate religion; they think that at best, it's a set of quaint, superstitious beliefs that old people and foreigners have, but they really don't matter. Friend, if you could even imagine what unending joy looks like, or will feel like, you wouldn't ask me why I can't bake you a cake.

What if that supernatural world is not only real, but more real than so much of this world which passes away? I'll bet you'd live differently. I'll bet a lot of people would.

Many people who look happy right now are actually inconsolably sad. They have adopted as their central motto, "Life sucks, and then you die." That's why they are the life of the party now. They are busy sucking every last drop of pleasure out of this life before it ends.

We're not supposed to die. The fact that nearly all of us have or will just tells us we have a problem. Sinning is choosing death instead of life; that's why it's wrong, and/or stupid. On the other hand, we are oriented to chase goodness; the only problem is, the compass is broke.

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