“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.”- Carl Jung
When I first watched the spoken word poetry for “Why I Hate Religion, but I Live Jesus”, part of me was so happy. It is beautiful to see when a Christian understands that there is no separation of faith from deed. Feeding the poor and helping those in need is not good for the soul, it is necessary. We need to support things to liberate others and ourselves. It’s also nice to see people say that God is not a Republican (he isn’t a Democrat either). My heart finds joy in those who discover the lie of religious life. I don’t believe, however, that God doesn’t use religion. In fact, religion is a necessary part of the spiritual journey.
Every once in a while a man takes a woman on a date. They go out to dinner. They see some comedy or chick flick. And, at the end of the date the woman may ask the man up to her apartment for a drink (this woman is clearly not a Christian….). But, the drink really isn’t about the drink. The drink is a prelude to a sensual union of souls (sex…).
I think God is the woman on the date (not that God is tempting us with sex). I think God knows that human beings need concrete absolutes for their development. Religious people build their lives with strong foundations. They construct a great belief. They establish some form of moral superiority. They are dogmatic about their beliefs, their church/denomination, even dogmatic about the work they do for those around the world. (I would recommend reading Fowler’s stages of faith 2 & 3). Then God hands them the drink and reveals to them real intimacy.
True experience with God shakes our foundation. Intimacy with God will reveal religion for the fraud that it is. When God hands us the drink, we know that we can never go back to the lie that religion is. I think the moment that we have received the drink, we also go through what Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, talks about above. We know we can’t be religious, but we are not sure what the further spiritual journey may look like. So before who know who we are, we must find who we aren’t. That sort of tension is hard to live in. What we can do is help those who realize that religion is a lie and understand the necessity of it. We must help them find out who they are in Christ, who they really are in the body of Christ (not just Christianity). We must help others find who they are so they don’t spend time hating all that they once were (and those like who are like their former selves).
I am convinced that every human being longs for God but before that happens man must find religion (something man created. And, I would even consider atheism a form of religion). As the Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said, “It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.” Before the Truth sets you free, it’ll probably make you miserable first.