How to overcome the power of religion

"The Power of Religion" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“The Power of Religion” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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This doesn’t only apply to religion, but to any power that would keep you under its influence.

1. Everything depends on you feeling helpless:

If you are helpless, then you are a sinner, broken, needy, depraved, a victim who needs rescue and help.

2. The next step is that it offers you the help it says you need:

If they have the cure, then it can supply your needs… it or its savior… and this requires you to confess, repent, convert, submit and commit to this particular brand of religion.

3. The final step is that this cure lasts forever:

It’s not a one-time dose, but medication for life! You must live in constant brokenness and constant repentance with constant commitment through the constant expenditure of your time, energy and money.

This young woman figured it out early. The whole thing hinges on her feeling helpless.

Therein lies her freedom! Right there and nowhere else.

Jesus said the kingdom is within you!

Buddha said depend on no other.

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13 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    “Religion” is the packaging of religious professionals.
    A similar important step to escaping its grasp is to dare to be unorthodox.
    Don’t accept someone else’s’ package.

  2. Brian P. says:

    I think this is only one of the two ditches that can be run into while traveling down the narrow road.

    The other ditch, also concerning how to overcome the power of religion, is that one finds oneself great.

    Many have received a Good News that greater is He that is in them, that they can do all things, that God has a purpose and plan for their lives, that they are more than conquerors.

    And they’ve believed.

    A sense of self needs to be right sized, not too small and not too big either.

    Often institutional religion seems to collect and develop people having a sense of self of the outliers. Yet however there are also some that, like a Tathāgata, can find a middle way.

  3. Jarred H says:

    Agreed, Brian P. I think part of the problem is that institutional religion teaches either blind obedience for some abstract “greater good” (which is usually code for “the good of the institution itself”) or thoughtless individualism. What’s needed is a focus on community based on mutual respect and healthy interdependence.

  4. nexar says:

    This applies to an institution that in many ways is BIGGER than religion these days and MUCH MUCH WORSE. It can put a ‘metaphorical’ gun to all our heads and INSIST we do what it says. I’m referring to GOVERNMENT. They too have all cures for all our continuing ailments forever….just give them more time and MONEY AND POWER.

  5. R Vogel says:

    ‘dare to be unorthodox’

    I would like this on a T-Shirt, please!

  6. nakedpastor says:

    I will think about this 🙂

  7. Sabio Lantz says:

    Or simpler: “Embrace Heterodoxy”
    That will turn heads — they will wonder if it is sexual and start a conversation or …..

  8. So much of religion depends on us being failures. If we are not, than we do not need the religion. The church will stop at nothing to keep us in our failure.

  9. nakedpastor says:

    Yes this is its power.

  10. Melody says:

    Totally agree! I just wrote somewhere else that I feel a lot more empowered lately, as I am revaluing my religion. I do feel that although religion is framed as empowering, it really isn’t. It is keeping you in bondage rather than releasing you… I’m not sure if God is though, if it is just the system, the leaders, the explanation of religion/the Bible that favors some and hurts others severly. So much of the diversity of Christian thought has been lost-or at least tossed away-throughout the ages…

  11. cecilia davidson says:

    I will not agree with Nexar in that government is any worse than religion (after all, religion enjoys a pretty good stranglehold on government ever since Constantine), but I will say that everyone else’s comments are damningly true. Religion is built on insecurity and exploiting that insecurity or redirecting it to something else.

  12. TTL says:

    I like this.

    One of the reasons I left Christianity was because of the absurdity of the concept of salvation of my particular denomination – that being the sinner’s prayer. It was something like this:

    1. – Admit that you’re a sinner. That you can never be perfect and not sin. Because of this, Christ had to die for you and make you righteous. Confess this in prayer to Jesus and thank him for saving your worthless butt.

    2. – Congrats, you’re now a Christian! You get to spend the rest of your life trying to not sin – which was that one thing you had to confess that you were incapable of doing in the first place. Enjoy feeling like crap for the rest of your life!

  13. haha TTL… great summary!