“Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man, living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day,” alleges George Carlin.
By Bruce Joffe
“And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”
That’s certainly one way of putting it.
Another is this series of “if the church were Christian” statements proposed by Phillip Gulley, a Quaker pastor and writer from Danville, Indiana:
• If the church were Christian, Jesus would be not just an object of worship but a model for living;
• If the church were Christian, affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness;
• If the church were Christian, reconciliation would be valued over judgment;
• If the church were Christian, gracious behaviour would be more important than right belief;
• If the church were Christian, inviting questions would be more important than supplying answers;
• If the church were Christian, encouraging personal exploration would be more important than communal uniformity;
• If the church were Christian, meeting needs would be more important than maintaining institutions;
• If the church were Christian, peace would be more important than power;
• If the church were Christian, it would care more about love and less about sex;
• If the church were Christian, this life would be more important than the afterlife.
Our world of empires would be a different – and much better – place if the church truly were Christian … following the words and the way of Jesus … rather than treating him as an icon.
Hallelujah Magazine is committed to publishing reliable, trusted, quality and independent Christian journalism. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and is not influenced by wealthy people, politicians, clerics or shareholders. We value our readers’ feedback, suggestions and opinions. Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.