Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I believe that to truly find God, we (as individuals) need to remove the "window dressing" of organized religion from our spiritual lives and not allow "church" to get between us and God. We -are- the church. But in order to have a true relationship with God, I believe that we must take that relationship back to the primordial stage. In the Garden of Eden, there was no "religion". There were just people (Adam and Eve), and God. That's it. Sure, God gave them commands to follow (one of which they broke), but in essence, it was just the purest form of communication between humans and God; they talked.

In the Garden of Eden there were no churches to attend on Sunday, no priests, and no confessions to make to them, no singing along with hymns you didn't like, no icons to pray in front of, no holy days to observe, no Lent to give things up for, no denominations bickering among themselves, no Protestant/Catholic rivalry, no crusades or holy wars, no nitpicking over the details of things like baptism, no wearing of crucifixes (or arguing about whether or not Christ should be depicted on them) and no ridiculous non-Bible-based doctrines such as "Purgatory" or Adam having another wife named "Lilith" (don't get me wrong, I'm not saying these are necessarily bad things, just lower on the priority list).

The way I see it, "religion" is a mostly artificial, human-made invention done to formalize people's relationships with one or more higher powers (whether those higher powers include God the Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, or Allah, Buddha, nature & ancestor spirits, fertility goddesses, idols, demons, the entire existence of the universe (or any part thereof), or simply the self.)

God created people; people created religion.

Now I understand that after the fall of humankind, God had to impose more rules on people to replace the ones that they broke. I also understand that throughout history, God has given even more rules to people to give them more specific guidelines about living the life that He wants them to live. But what about the rules people impose on themselves? Like the Pharisees making their own interpretations of the Commandments. I understand that in times past, religion gave a semblance of order to society. The church would enforce laws that even the king would (theoretically, at least) get in trouble for breaking.

But what about the civilized world of today? Theocracies are a thing of the past (with the exception of a few unfortunate backwater countries, like Iran). But seriously, now--the moral "majority" is unfortunately no longer at the forefront of the decision making in America, let alone the world. Now don't get me wrong, I am a strong supporter of the "One Nation Under God" ideal, but reality is what it is.

What I am suggesting, is not the abolition of organized religion, much less Christian churches, but getting our priorities in order. The church serves as a support network for the faithful, however, God should come before religion to us, not through religion.