Saturday, August 2, 2008

Post Modern Religion

I am not sure if such a thing does, could or even should exist. But I think a bit of post-modern mindset would be beneficial for many Christians, as well as adherents of other faiths.

When I first began my quest, it was looking for something more, something different--could it be found in another denomination? then I looked into Catholicism, then I looked and researched other religions besides Christianity. Every religion has its good points, every religion has purposes and even redeeming qualities; and yes, every religion has ignorance, extremes and intolerance.

However, what I found most true is that every religion is really afraid or unwilling to look at itself critically or outside of itself. Religions seem hell-bent--no pun intended--wait yes I did. :) on doing the classic poor logic of using the word to define itself. What makes something logical or even "defined" is the ability to use outside validaters to justify or explain its existence. For example--when I was a child we had this "children's dictionary" which was especially known for definitions like this: "Bananas: Bananas are yellow. Monkeys like to eat bananas." Despite there being two sentences, there is no real definition. All too often, THIS is the approach religions take when justifying or defending their own theology.

The problem with that is the word itself cannot be used in the definition or it is not considered valid. Ask a fundy why they believe in literal creationism and they'll cite Bible verses. Ask a fundy why homosexuality is "wrong" and they'll say things about the depravity of society, and maybe even a "reprobate mind" and then they'll go back to citing Bible verses. In large part it is because the idea itself is not founded in any kind of real proof. It is based on traditions, feelings, ignorance and intolerance.

What I was or have been looking for is a religion that is unafraid to look at itself critically. Unafraid to have adherents sit on the same pews with different opinions. From my research this is much like the early church. Lots of different kinds of believers came and their commonality was a faith and belief in the teachings of Jesus. Different ideas and interpretations were discussed and debated. NOT that this was some philosophical dream; but rather America did not have the numbers, influence or history yet to effectively say "This is EXACTLY who we are." and not like they could afford to turn members away.

I don't see why their can't be one religion that celebrates this kind of approach. But perhaps that is counter to what religion is.

Speaking of--my next blog will be on spirituality vs. religion.

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