Monday, June 11, 2007

The End of Faith

That of course is the title of a Sam Harris book, and I borrow it for this post.

I was listening to Adrian Rogers, on channel 20 here in Seattle. This man actually stated that the foundation of faith is fear.

Whoa Nellie! He then went on to cite other scriptures that referred to the fear of God, which is not what he said initially. And as I recall from my days as a believer, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ONLY. Which happens to be what Hebrews 11:6 says.

So what is Rogers saying? He is saying that fearing a wrathful, punishing God should be the foundation of believing in him. I don't know about you, but I surely don't want that kind of faith, or god.

Relatedly, in the Sunday, May 20 edition of the Seattle Times, is a story about guest ministers in Ohio violating the rules of the Ohio Congress. That sounds pretty inocuous, but when you take this story apart, a pattern emerges.

To violate the rules, one would either need to be ignorant of them, or clearly not care. I have a hard time believing that those who invite ministers to the Ohio Congress aren't giving them the upshot on the rules. Particualrly rules concerning prayers which need to be submitted three days in advance. I do suppose though that even those extending invitations are ignorant of the rules. Either case, ignorance or lack of care, it reveals a lot about the state of Christianity.

You see, the foundation of faith shouldn't be fear. According to the Bible, it isn't. So what's with the fear mongering? Well, fear mongering has become a favorite from the pulpit. Just listen to John Hagee preach about the dangers of Iran getting a nuclear weapon, as I have. Or listen to your basic right wing politician, who will state that war isn't a matter of if, but where, like Fred Thompson did. In other words, learn to LIVE in a state of fear and war.

That way, you have an excuse to violate rules, and laws, because you are constantly "under attack," and there is a great need to enjoin the spiritual warfare and throw down the homosexual agenda (I just got my copy of it. I like the Mimosas at 10 AM.), Bill O'Reilly's favorite progressive secular agenda(wha?), which are probably all summed up under the umbrella of Satan's agenda. Ah, the reason-for-all-the-fear straw boogie man. I'm still waiting to get my copy of that agenda. Requests so far have been ignored. Makes me wonder if anyone is really in that office....

Some day the right wing bloviators of the blogosphere, the hypocritical and self serving politicians, and the religious reich,
and apparently it will be after they are thoroughly crushed in future elections similar to last November's, and after more scandals, they will learn that what they have lived is a lie that is evident to all concerned.

Perhaps then it will mean an end to their so-called "faith." Then maybe they will start living truthfully. Then maybe they will understand what America means. Then maybe they will become a viable political party again. Maybe then they will cease to destroy what freedom and liberty are and understand what it means to live under the Constitution our founders fought and died for. And then they can once again be referred to as faithful.

I wonder what would happen to the church if they started preaching that faith was based on rational thought and love?


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