Saturday, February 27, 2021

Finding my Religion - Finian's Inferno

This post is the antithesis to the song losing my religion by REM. When trials emerge, many people lose their religion. Let's face it, sh*t happens. The true test of character is the ability to carry out a worthy decision after the emotion of making that decision has passed.

Wikipedia claims that "The phrase losing my religion is an expression from the southern region of the United States that means losing one's temper or civility or feeling frustrated and desperate."

Over the years I've talked a bit about my own religious beliefs. Zen and the Art of Christianity so to speak. Trying to see the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter of the law - Finian's ghetto gospel. When I was young two books by Josh McDowell struck home - More than a Carpenter and Evidence Demands a Verdict. I could relate to logic and the scientific method.

Yet I couldn't stand most born agains. They were the most intolerant hypocrites I had ever met. They insisted that as long as you say I believe in Jesus, you were saved and it didn't matter what you did after that. You could rape, murder and steal but still go to heaven. I suppose that was the Tony Terezakis' lie. He was the ultimate freak. The devil knows who Jesus is and that knowledge doesn't save him. James said faith without works is dead.

Jesus taught "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21 He explains that many will say Lord did we not prophecy in thy name? In thy name did we not cast out devils and do many might works? To which he tells us he will respond "I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity." What we do is more important than what we say.

The Bible tells us that one of the primary purposes of life is to discover the true character of God and to develop those characteristics in our own life. When I saw the born agains and heard their doctrine I said well if that's what God is like, then no thanks. Later I found out that's not what God is like. Now I don't claim to be a good Christain any more than the Hodge Twins do.

John 17:3 states that "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. The question is, what is God really like?
I've heard it said "If Satan rode into town, he'd be on a Harley. But so would Jesus."

Mel Gibson showed the rugged toughness of Christ who endured the atonement and crucifixion in the movie the Passion of Christ. I don't see Christ as a flowery wimp. I see him in times of war dressed in a blood soaked robe, his eyes were the flames of fire and ​he was clad with zeal as with a cloak. Christ would wage war like no other in defense of those who could not defend themselves. When the troops went to battle, he was there. That is who I see Christ to be. Yet his courage and valour comes from his lion's heart because perfect love casteth out all fear.

The scriptures tell us he who knoweth not love knoweth not God for God is love. But what is love? Is it something fake and superficial? I think not. It is very real and heartfelt. Paul listed several qualities of God so we could strive to develop them. To be more Christlike.

Yet humility appears to be at the very heart of growth. When we are humble, we are teachable. When we are humble, we are filled with love and love gives us strength. Peace: find it.

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