There are many kinds of addictions in our world; sex, alcohol, drugs, food… but, one of the most dangerous ones in my view is the addiction that evangelicals have with their religion. Let me just say that there is really a way that one can honor and love Jesus… can have a vibrant relationship with him… and not be a victim of religious addiction brought about in large part to control people and to get them to do things a certain way that end up benefiting a powerful few. I am beginning a series that will look at the flaws of this addiction, and will offer sound, reasonable, and even biblical ways to journey into recovery. I chose this one because of the insanity that surrounds the up-coming election.
Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
So many people are hung up with holiness and obedience. They are continually striving to live up to the letter of the law. Why are Christians caught up in Old Covenant righteousness? What is the cause of striving? Why are they burned out spiritually, and locked in continual fear? All too often it is because they are frantically trying to establish their own righteousness from law obedience. Yet, even under the Old Covenant, as the prophet Micah so poignantly points out, Gods requirements are relatively simple… do justice, that is, act justly… love mercy, that is love the mercy that God has given, and love to be merciful… and walk humbly NOT PROUDLY, but humbly before God. Those words produce two feelings with me. First, God is not looking for perfection but an attitude… a working towards these things. And secondly, let humility reign in the heart… be just a little humble.
Do you see how far off the path the Christian right is? There is no room for doing justice… they are too busy making sure that multi-national corporations can have no stumbling blocks in greed... Do not worry about the poor receiving justice and mercy in the gate (in governing.) And most of all, do not be humble… rather be proud of your right stance, and condemn anyone who would dare to strive for justice, who would love mercy to the point of being merciful, and who would show humility in allowing others to have their points… being tolerant.
I think that it is because most of orthodox evangelical Christianity is brainwashed. They operate like a cult… they are a cult. There is a need for de-programing. It is time for an intervention of a grand magnitude. There needs to be a broad change of mind… repentance if you will allow the term. It is time to look for the source of the gross lack of mercy and the propagation of pride. it is easy to find… it is in the doctrine and dogma… that is, in the teaching. The dogma and teaching is informed by the hermeneutic; by the interpretive lens used for scripture interpretation. De-programing demands education. De-programing demands an open mind. De-programing demands using logic to develop logical conclusions. One of the main problems that perpetuates the brainwashing is fact that evangelical Christians are asked to check their intellect that the church house door.
Why did Jesus and his followers change the hermeneutic? Why did they redefine the phrase word of God from Torah to gospel? The obvious answer is to help overcome the brainwashing that had been perpetuated by the scribes and Pharisees. It was to return to a simple use of common sense; the kind of common sense that can see the simple meaning of Micah 6:8. Do justice… love mercy… walk humbly before God!