Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Absurd!

"But my religion is so busy maintaining its image that it denies it even has problems. Often, it blames society's woes on people who are not Christians. It rails against the immoral people of America as though they hold all the power of the future. Christians deceive themselves into believing that if everyone living outside of Christianity would live moral lives, America would be safe and secure.

The prophet Jeremiah of the Bible said there are only two sins taht cause societal misery. sin number one is "My poeple have forsaken me." In other words, God's followers gave up on following. To them, God was no longer a part of the solution, and they simply lost interest in Him. They still did religious things, but only halfheartedly. Remember, god's poepl committed this sin. It was active religion without a conscience. God wasn't angry that the pagans were acting like pagans. How else would you expect them to act? It waould have changed nothing for the pagans to walk a straight line. God's heart was breaking because his own people paid him no mind, though they pretended to. God's response was to withdraw and be hard to find.

This is what I seen in the churches of America. People may go to church, but their first question is, "When does this thing get over?" Churches have become like fast food restaurants offering speedy service. Christians don't want the power and presence of God in their lives; they just want to be left alone to get on with their lives. Ask any pastor or minister what the greatest problem of the church is today. It all boils down to one thing: The people just don't care. They want a little bit of God in their lives, but they mainly want food, fun and entertainment. In most cases, religion is giving them what they want." (pages 9 & 10)

" A church is not a place wit a steeple, or baptistery or altar. It's not even a place with a pastor or a priest. Neither is it a place to find sympathy or support. A church is a place where people go to experience God. It is to be like no other place on earth. It is the God meeting place. If there is no power or presence of God, then it is not a church. it is something else." (page 20-21)

"I think I could ask every preacher within a hundred miles of me what the gospel is about and ninety nine percent would get it wrong. I've heard a lot of sermons in my day and have been to hundreds of churches around the world. But I have heard relatively few sermons about Jesus Christ. Plenty of sermons reference Jesus, but the ones I've hear are primarily about our needs, our hurts, and our blessings. They are about us, not him. To be sure, Jesus did do a lot for us. That's great news, but it's not the primary news. The primary news is about Jesus himself. My absurd religion is like a kid who skips the main meal to get to the dessert. Ministers today are so eager to get to the self-gratifying stuff that most of America thinks the gospel is about Jesus coming to make us happy and fulfilled. Too m any churches have become a dessert buffet of inspiration feel-good theology." (Page 29)

"Some preachers, as I've said, think the gospel is only about getting into heaven. But to me, the good news is that God will come down from heaven and be with us here, not that we will someday go to heaven. Absurd religion offers a God who lives upstairs and is presently unavailable; but I get to see him after I die. My absurd religion has become so powerless and ineffective in this life that it has little left to offer but an afterlife. But the gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reveal an interactive God....Yes, we have the promise of heaven at death, but we also have a lot to do before we get there." (page 29-30)

Quotes taken from "My Absurd Religion by Which I Make my Living" by Pastor Steve Gray

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