Lent words - Day 12 ~ Saved


A life can be saved at the hospital, at sea... and people can be saved from many traumas both self inflicted and by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Who deserves to live and who might still have life and yet deserve to die is another huge topic which I won't discuss in this post. How people reconcile horrific events and the virtue of a God who if  'for real and kind' could possibly let these things happen, is for another day...

I think I am going to take a different tack with this today... Apart from the above, I use the word saved when referring to computers, backing up, or in relation to money being put away for a rainy day... although I can't say I've been particularly active in this area for some time!

Saving a soul or Jesus dying to save us all from our sins or looking to be saved... for salvation maybe? I think we'll have a go at these as the others are fairly straight forward.

Reverting back a couple of days to the word grace [... post here if you didn't get to that one... that's ok] where we kind of agreed that we can't score points to get on "God's side" and that it's down to God whether we are worthy or not in the long run to have 'the favour of God' blessed upon us. It seems to me that we could spend a lifetime working on this to actually never be able to declare "I've been saved", perhaps until we are dead in which case it's a posthumous achievement. Life after death? energy transfer? ... all for another day.

So I think I need to address the things that bug me about this whole issue of grace and 'saved' in relation to the way that Religion kind of delivers it to us (Christianity).

In my comprehension most of the religious doctrine is about us being unable to get anywhere close to the glory of God or indeed the purity of Jesus. So essentially regardless of the effort put in we aren't ever going to cut the mustard. We are definitely 'Not Worthy'. But it's ok... if we mess up? We can confess or redeem ourselves because those who truly repent will be 'allowed' in. Anyone can mess up once... but woe betide if you keep doing it! But still it's ok isn't it? ... there is no limit to how many times you mess up so long as you repent on your death bed, or just before? ... could never work that out... a life of sin... only to scrape into heaven at the last knockings? Anyway...

But herein is my problem. 

I believe that we have been blessed with the ability to dream, imagine, innovate, create in our minds... we are able to set intentions, to create and pursue the life we choose to lead (and be happy)... and... I know this works... it does requires us to have a couple of other things going on... belief in
ourselves, belief in what we are doing... and to be absolutely passionate and positive about how we are spending our life. I just don't see how this can fit in with the Church... spirituality yep... I can accommodate that...

Now I don't want to turn up to a church on Sunday and be told I'm weak and feeble... a no good sinner... who will never amount to anything.... and if you don't come back next week and get another dose of this then you'll be thought badly of (through social anxiety and passive aggressive folk) and God will defo not look down kindly on your behaviour. And in years gone by if you had a problem with this you'd have been a blasphemer and cast out from the community... not a pleasant thought.

How does the above do anything except keep people imprisoned in their own mind, fearful, with low self esteem, dis-empowered and dependent on the institution of the church to help 'save' them. To help people become self aware, able to think for themselves... discover what works for them and find their own path to happiness would seem to be at odds with the mission of the church... as if you did discover your own awareness you wouldn't need the church in your life.

To be honest I think if we turn this on its head... I am fortunate to have been saved from complying with religious doctrine. And... if we take the attitude that God is inside each of us (the universe, divine spirit) then we have the innate ability to work towards being the best version of ourselves and a greatest example of a human being we can be... all this comes from within not from being 'adminstered' to by a man made institution.

I think I have said this a few times before... if Jesus or indeed God as depicted by the bible looked down at what we have in the form of religion they would be horrified... the vastness of the riches, buildings, assets, and other paraphernalia all there for the glory of... err... religion? We took a wrong turn... might be a few tables are due to be overthrown along the way...

In Conclusion 

An institution with such richness, with such history, with such pageantry, procession, colour and dare I say it wealth, which has been amassed over 2,000 years or so... it's a big deal to give up and change. You could say that the history of democracy and our existing political system is in a similar boat. Almost inconceivable (because non of us can remember anything before it) that there might be a way of doing things differently.

It takes a lot of guts and courage to change something after 20 or 30 years, ask anyone who has moved away from a career or relationship that spanned this length of time. Imagine how big an ask it is to ditch something that has spanned 400 years or 2,000 with all that history going on. There's some deep rooted beliefs there that have to be given up... but given up they must be... and replaced too... because what we believed in and trusted has got us where we are... and... I think you would agree it isn't pretty... Greed got the better of us...

Don't get me wrong... there are some amazing people in the religious system... it is not those folk whom I address, merely the system which determines how things are delivered...

Final words

I would like to think that the church might redeem itself. Instead of standing aloof telling us mere mortals how worthless we are it might climb down from those lofty heights. We perhaps are going to need those buildings, shelters... vast spaces soon... we are heading for huge change and I can't help believing that these buildings might be used to actually serve humanity in a more appropriate way soon... not as a place of worship... but for humanitarian needs, as a place for community to gather, seek comfort, shelter and hot meals. To support each other and nurture ourselves to be resilient...

Maybe in the end we will return to the true meaning of the words that Jesus spoke and the physical assets being used to serve those in the greatest need.


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