We All Like Cats Have Gone Astray!
I seriously question the whole religious enterprise. If you've read my blog at all you should know that by now. Once in a while the realization that the human religious enterprise is seriously flawed comes crashing in on me. It doesn't just come from a suspicion of institutions, but from a suspicion of the human heart and mind that contribute to the flourishing life of religion. I hope I can honestly say I love people and want to pastor them. I care about the spiritual community aspect of human life. But I don't for a second believe that if the individual human heart is deceptive and the individual human mind is blind, then it is better if we form a committee of these same hearts and minds to ensure that everything will be okay. In fact, it gets worse! There is no getting around it. It is inevitable. It is also hopelessly necessary, this religious endeavor. What I'm insisting is that we admit it. I don't think we can escape our religious impulses or the communal expression of these impulses. But we have to confess that for the most part we are the gathering of hypocrites. I sound severe, but I am only saying this because I know myself well enough to say it. During this Christmas season it is good to applaud expressions of good will. However, we all know (please, don't we?) that we only need to lightly scratch the righteous surface to find the dirt. We are prize specimens of the art of veneer. This can't be helped. But let's admit it! It's like I told someone years ago who had committed a horrible, shall we say, "sin". It wasn't days after his confession and repentance that he was already back on his feet and ready to go again. I said he was like a cat! But we are all like cats. We all have learned how to land on our feet. It's uncanny! Maybe it should be so. But can we at least admit it? That's what I'm asking. I truly think that if we could just admit our inevitable tendency towards hypocrisy and our finely-honed skill at readjusting that it would take the religious pretension out of our personal and corporate lives. Yesterday I came home from church reassured again that we are not interested in the renewal of the mind, but only in the rearranging of its thoughts. We will acquire new thoughts and toss old ones, only if it will serve our unconscious and hidden selfish agendas. We are only interested in renovation, not re-creation. Again, this is our human and religious tragedy. But can we at least admit it? Merry Christmas! This painting is a whimsical one I did a little while ago. Get the picture?