Thursday, 14 November 2013

The commodification of religion (with atheist/God jokes)



"But now Catholics have got a new, improved pope, keen to emphasise the centrality of love and charity to faith, instead of policing private sexual matters while offering lifetimes of succour to the worst of sinners. The Anglicans have performed the ecclesiastical equivalent of a Tesco price match and produced an archbishop who condemns corporate greed, is pro-marriage in all its forms, and generally seems to chime with the public mood better than anyone had dreamed."

Lucy Mangan's article in The Guardian 9/11/2013, on Richard Dawkins' tweeting (or twit-ering - can you be a brainiac and a twit at the same time? Yes.) got me thinking of how wide of the mark atheistic, secular understanding of Christianity is. Hardly surprising when the church itself is confused about so much, but articles like this add to the confusion regarding God and religion, though these terms (G and R) should be married, they are increasingly divorced - in the changing of the laws of God to suit society and, it seems, in the public mindset. Obviously, and hopefully, people who follow a religion may be trying to connect with God, though some of them claim to be Christians due to tradition or family; but following a religion will not necessarily bring you any closer to God (particularly in churches where clergy/ministers do not preach the truth as it is written in the word of God, or try to bring the Bible 'up to date' with public opinion), according to the Bible, and experientially as Christianity should be, this can only happen via a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

I love the new archbishop (he even speaks in tongues!) and certainly he needs to form a 'bridge' or 'arch' of understanding between the world and the spirit, but what so many non-Christians and secular, atheist writers do not seem to get is this: God is God and He does not change: Not for society, culture or for anyone else. His laws, be they the ones that govern the universe, or those on morality are immutable; people might change His laws, but they will be leaving God out of it - certainly the God of the Bible that they are apparently ignorant of - this is true for your average Christian, the archbishop or the pope. None of us have the right to rewrite the Bible, in fact there are very stark warnings in the Bible about this. Thus all of the points made by Lucy and company are moot. 

LM speaks too about the marketing of atheism and religion, and of how atheism needs a 'greater market share.' Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus Christ, it cannot be commodified or sold, God does not need to market (nor defend himself), though an 'introduction to Christ' may be made at an Alpha course for instance, and of course the gospel needs to be spread by Christian witnesses. Jesus does not give room for interpretation regarding who He is (God); the gospel does not give room for interpretation either and really, though there are many 'theologies,' if the Bible is read as a whole book, and not as 'cut and paste' theology, there is no room for interpretation or 'updating' in the Good Book either.

The light bit:

Atheists: "We have decided there is no God." 

God: "It's a helluvan idea."

Or:

"We have decided that creation was an explosion in the dark."

"What have you been eating?"

Or:

"We believe creation is a series of random events."

"You are out of order."

Or:

"We are descended from monkeys."

"If I wasn't God I would believe you."



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