One of the biggest downfalls of institutions, particularly religious institutions, is their demand for ideological homogeneity. This mentality goes far beyond a unity of purpose and extends to the point where any disagreement, even a nuanced difference of opinion, is not tolerated.
Never having been one to shy away from overstating the obvious, I can authoritatively state that I’m pretty critical of religion. For the last two and one half years, this blog has been primarily dedicated to dismantling the lies and the walls of religion, and encouraging people to seek God outside the guilt, coercion, dogma, … Continue reading Good Enough for Me
Heather Goodman over at “All Things Are Yours” has written a great post about the pitfalls of the house church movement. I’m re-blogging it here, unedited. The title is intentionally dramatic, but don’t be put off by it. The article is very balanced, something that is quite rare, in my experience. She eloquently addresses some insidious areas where those who leave the institutional church may tend to miss the mark.
Catchy title, no? I thought about various things I could call this blog post when I started writing it — things like, “The Dark Hole of House Church” and “the Dangers of Housechurch” and the “Slough of Housechurch Despondency.” I finally settled on “The Housechurch Movement ruined my life” because, there’s enough truth in that to be worth titling this post that, and, I bet it will make you curious — and rightfully so.
First, let me talk about what I mean by “the Housechurch Movement.” In recent years, regular institutional-style churches have taken to calling midweek meetings that go on in homes a whole host of names, anything from “life groups” to “cell groups” but occasionally “house church” or “home church.” At any rate, these things are generally healthy and that’s not the house church movement I am talking about.
The House Church movement is a movement about…
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As a seeker of truth, I require evidence that something is true before I will believe it. Many Christians who feel compelled to make the rest of the world believe exactly as they do—typically the ones who have no evidence to substantiate their beliefs—bristle at this and accuse me of trusting my intellect over God’s revelation.
When someone says they are taking a belief on faith, realize that their “faith” has to come from somewhere. If it doesn’t come from evidence, it is coming from a feeling, from some other human “authority” figure, or from peer pressure. I will freely admit that I don’t have all the answers. I may be a skeptic, but I’m willing to be convinced. I just need to see evidence before I’ll accept something as true. I refuse to assent to an assertion as being true just because someone else believes it.
Many Christians lean on apologists to validate their faith, which is a backward approach to developing a system of belief.
When our religion is characterized by a one-way flow of ideas and psychological manipulation designed to produce unquestioning compliance, then it’s time to start asking what the manipulators are hiding, and it’s time to start looking for a better way.
I wonder if a more accurate understanding of deliver us from evil is “God, please help me to refrain from succumbing to the temptation to do evil.” In other words, maybe it’s not “don’t let anything bad happen to me,” but rather it’s “keep me from becoming one who inflicts evil on others.” To me, this is a much more mature approach to human nature and the knife edge of good intentions on which we balance, with benevolence on one side and monstrous evil on the other.
Ultimately, if our culture is in decline, then we all share in the blame. Before we start pointing fingers at folks we don’t like, we ought to take an honest look in the mirror.
Should we question everything? Clever, right? I will tell you up front that I believe the answer is an emphatic “Yes. We should question everything.” And yes, we should even consider whether or not it is wise to question everything. “Question everything” is a phrase that has become a bit cliche and sounds like it should … Continue reading Question Everything