The end of faith? What a revelation.

I am reading a book called ‘the end of faith’ and it seems to be written by some illuminati believing, scientist, atheist, with an axe to grind…personally I love the book. The book raises some great questions all the while raising an alarming world ending possibility, the end of faith as we know it. Watch how I break this down.

The writer (Sam Harris) poses the idea of the irrationality of faith in a God that no one can see, or some books of the divine that no one can readily prove came from God. He starts to poise that science has become a better process and needs to replace faith that is without reason, we need to test our beliefs. Then he gets in to why faith in a God is stupid based on history’s death toll.

He spouts the attacks on witches by the Catholic church (where thousands died with no proof they were a witch) and the attack on Jewish people by Catholics in the same time (not to mention Nazi Germany). There is a belief that the ignorant church caused some atrocities (absolutely). Then he gets into modern destruction coming from faith, remember the Muslims attack on 9-11 (3000 people die so some martyrs can get to heaven). Ireland still has a bloody fued between Catholics and Protestants, nevermind Bosnia. He makes a strong point against the faith of most religions that have a montheistic point of view.

His answer, end to faith, plain and simple will solve the worlds problems, He reasons that the Jewish people and Palestinians have been fighting over the ‘holy’ land for like 30 years or more, backed by USA involvement. Take God out of the picture and no fight over land, what they are dieing for is God’s promised land & also their bigotry for one another which is based in religion. So Sam see’s it this way: take God and the sacred books away, no inside story and no outside blood-baths. He has a point, a very un-ethical one, but a point nonetheless.

I came up with a theory of my own, call me an end-times prophet if you will, or not. I think in Sam Harris’ book I see a look into the future, sadly enough, that I believe will happen. This idea for the end of faith just has to fall into the wrong hands and slowly a case is building for the end of faith in political circles. In your head it’s easy to not like the Muslim religion, due to the attacks. The death of 3000 can change one’s mind towards a religion quickly. Thus the USA gov’t called a war on Afghanistan and Iraq, both Muslim countries…who’s next Iran? This with the help of Britain and other countries. So there is a dis-like for this kind of fanatacism rising out of faiths.

Catholicism has tonnes of blood on it’s hands and Christianity is bringing up the rear with it’s recent fundies bombing abortion clinics and end-times mass murderers (Jim Jones/David Koresh). I can see a point where people begin to reason that faith causes destruction and a world without religion may be a safer one. How can that happen? Now I get fundamental myself. The world united under one common leadership. A new ‘Hitler’ that has some world-wide influence, is it possible? It’s more than possible it’s happening as we speak.

See one thing unites the world, money, the almighty dollar, it speaks every countries language, ‘cha-ching’. Funny thing, business has gone international breaking every countries political barrier in the name of the new green party. A good example is Wal-Mart, they are in every part of the world. They are in communist countries, muslim countries, capitalist countries, the moon, etc. Point is they are everywhere and they have absolutely no ethics. How can a company have no ethics, easy, in the name of profit and jobs. Thusly, a souless corporation goes international, and enslaves poorer countries all the while under-paying and abusing the hard-working middle class in richer countries. The end benefit goes to a corporation that sucks the money out of 2 countries for themselves, thus, becoming a country to itself. They get people voted, they pay into campaigns, they get laws passed to help themselves, and all the while no one does a thing, why? They are a faceless business, who the hell do you blame?

There is a one world system developing, it’s business, it’s money, it’s greed, it’s what Jesus said, ‘you cannot have 2 masters, it’s either God or money’. In this age, money has to push God out the open window, because something called ethics is holding them back from more profit. Soon leaders of the world unite to better their countries financially, similar to a European Union. What they find is Muslim countries, Israel, and others will not come aboard. Problem. Faith. Answer. War. So the world unites in peace but for monotheistic faiths, the world has become a judge. Unless they will join happily, they will be forced to. Number one, all those countries in the Middle East are Muslim, no problem with making war with them…remember their atrocities. Secondly, Israel…a road-bump to peace since time immemorial. Thirdly, Christianty & Catholicism pose an ethical stumbling block (even the Vatican is close to the Middle East).

The world gathers itself in war against the Middle East and those countries will not leave, but die for their faiths. Why? Holy land for Jewish people (Israel). Holy land (Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia) for Muslims, Vatican for Catholics. Maybe revelations has some validity. I can see a scenario where the world actually does gather in that part of the world, even Jerusalem.

However, I could be full of it, and most likely this is at best a ‘conspiracy theory’, or a guess. That being said, the point is as Christians we are ‘sleeping’, at that a deep sleep . Business is out there running rampant, committing horrible atrocities but we don’t even bat an eye, cause people like Wal-Mart are so damn cheap and we can’t find someone to blame. There are people teaching this word, contrary to true faith causing people to hate us, or faith in general. There are things we can do to make a difference and stand up for truth. Boycott companies that create atrocities for the sake of profit (ex: minimum wage while owners are billionaires, child labor in other countries, poor living conditions for those child laborers). We need to teach a faith that is true, consistent with Jesus’ teachings, that has an ethical backbone and doesn’t seperate us one from another. I can see a outlawing of faith, tragically enough, but I don’t want to see an end to faith. “When the son of man returns, will he find faith on this earth?”

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The Battle for the Book

There is a battle going on out there over interpretation of the Scriptures. There are variant scriptural views that have created many denomination splits & caused for teaching about God whether accurate or inaccurate. The problem is this: we are teaching about God, not some human being, and a distorted view on God can create real distorted people who think they are doing God’s will; dangerous. The problem is the structure may be harming some people. Better to have no information than to have mis-information. This is where we need to start writing some wrongs. Here is an example.

I know a guy that thinks he is a prophet. I think this was prophesied to him, oddly enough. The fact is that he isn’t. He has made some supposed ‘prophetic’ statements that have turned out false, nothing wrong with that but it shows he is mis-informed. The tragic thing is he believes he is doing God’s will. Nothing wrong yet? It gets worse. Apparently he has a condition whereby you need medication to remain balanced; he stopped taking it. God will cure him. He has a wife and kids also. He has a fetish for the end-times stuff also. Problem being that if it was just him being effected by teaching that has helped him warp his mind then no problem, the thing is lots of people are being effected (some are kids). Now he believes he is a prophet and can’t be told anything productive to change that. Truth is he is twisting words in an off-kilter spitituality that was taught to him by church leaders. What’s the outcome? That chapter remains open. All I know is I won’t sit by and idly watch.

Now I am teaching a bible study, starting with the book of Matthew. I am coming to write the wrongs that I have seen. I am teaching what is actually there and not over-spiritualizing something. Understanding that everything we do is spiritual. Sometimes things just need to be portrayed as they really are and it will make all the sense in the world. Here are some crazy examples.

John the Baptist says a line I know gets mis-interpretated a lot. “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. Most current church theology says this means ‘on fire for God’, they are right oddly enough – in an off-kilter way. The truth is from looking at that scripture fire comes to mean judgment since the preceding uses of fire are to ‘burn useless wood’ and ‘useless wheat chaff’; also it is said to the Pharisees. What is actually being meant is a baptism is coming, some to holiness and some to fire…a judgment. The current church is right that they are ‘on fire’, cause they ‘judge’ people like it’s going to be a lost art. The real point of the scripture is Jesus baptizes with these 2 things, something only God can do.

Jesus uses an interesting bunch of scriptures in Matthew 5 that ends with ‘be perfect as God is perfect’. I have heard this used to mean literally ‘be perfect’ or ‘sinless’. That scripture couldn’t ask more of you if that’s true. But that’s not what is being asked. The actual point being made is ‘be like God in this regard, treat everyone the same’. That means treating people of faith and non-faith alike, even to a point the people that hate you deserve your kindness. The scripture backs that up with examples, one being God makes the sun shine on the good and the bad (equally). I am saying when we ask for perfection we may be putting a huge expectation on someone they can’t live up too, thus they leave church feeling God is kinda against them. They have been mislead. Treat everyone as an equal.

For some reason the church doesn’t find this odd but their view on money is a little warped. I think I saw Hagee on t.v. the other talking about the 4000 places in the bible where you will be blessed by God with money, some kind of promises; God is like a debit machine I guess. Actually the teachings on money seem to actually favor giving it rather than recieving it. Jesus actually mentions the story of the rich young dude who couldn’t get in the kingdom due to wealth. There’s a parable about some dude named Lazarus and the rich dude; the rich dude goes to hell for his behavior (but they make a point to say he was wealthy). The problem with serving 2 masters, God and money. The list goes on and on in the gospels. Truth be told, the early disciples in Acts sold everything and gave their money to one another and the community. There seems to be some Capitalism slipping into the church and oddly enough I am not a Capital-ist, I am a Christ-ian. But you couldn’t tell that by church teaching. Whoever said ‘blessed are the poor’ musta been crazy.

It’s getting funny but the few examples I threw out there really do make a difference if you change the meanings slightly. For some it changes the way they view spirituality, for some the right to judge others, and for some the right to be greedy. The problem is it makes people who don’t follow that lead look like they are non-faith, not a friend of God. I think the core of the teachings is alright but try teach the end-times without driving a few people bonkers. The message is this: we are responsible for what we teach others and we are responsible to work to change that if we mess up. We are responsible! I am teaching a gospel and I will be responsible for what I say. Maybe I will even help clean up others messes in the process. Not to say I got it all together but I am saying I will be responsible. Take my word for it, wait…take your word for it.