CONSIDER THIS Recorded 6-1-09 Broadcast 6-17-09
I’m convinced each of us needs to work through the concept of a personal relationship with a higher power or God, even if we don’t participate in one of the religious groups. Organized religion has, and is, unfortunately too often used to assemble power for some political or social issue. God is about love. God is not about power. God has been good to me. I don’t know if I have been of any help to God, but that illustrates the miracle. I am convinced that God loves me and forgives me. As a Lutheran, I’m not required to earn God’s love because it is freely given, not earned.
For me the critical issue is that God has become a major business. And as God’s commercial value increases, the people benefitting from the profits and power become ever more determined to consolidate their exclusive hold on what they claim is their true knowledge. We have segments of the Christian faith vying for power by establishing themselves as Pro-Life or claiming the only true definition of marriage. We have Rush Limbaugh who claims to be the ultimate talent on loan from God. To me, Mr. Limbaugh is the personification of the devil and his words originate in the depths of hell rather than behind the pearly gates of heaven.
I know God does not need my help, but I feel sorry for Her. At times I feel like joining others, who over the centuries have put pressure on God to destroy all those who are misusing religion for personal or organizational gain. God insists on keeping the weeds along with the real plants. I say tip over the tables of the religious vendors and throw them out of church. Religion is not a capitalistic venture. We don’t need slick advertising or business plans to continuously expand the number of consumers. Church growth is too often motivated by the desire for larger buildings and more powerful sound systems rather than teaching love.
Our relationship with God or a higher power should result form a struggle and personal journey experience. Our religious quest should not be based on imposed fear of the here-after. We should learn what it means to feed the hungry, cloth the naked and visit the prisoner. We don’t need to be motivated through fear of the unknown and we don’t need to be directed to follow a restricted definition of faith by religious leaders with expensive clothes and great worldly possessions. The message is Love, not power.
This is Werner Janssen, celebrating the opportunity to express one person’s opinion. I hope my thought will stimulate your own thinking.