Are people religion or does religion have people?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I find it interesting that a lot of the irreligious or agnostic or atheist people I know aren't turned off so much by theology or even God as they are by the people in it.

So what is theology to people? Is theology the ideal, the truth we are supposed to live up to? Or is it that people create the theology- a living theology that is separate from an idealistic theology. I think in creating free will, God gave us freedom, but also gave us the potential to create confusion. And we have. We each have our own standards that we live up to- often flying in the face of traditional (and academic) theology. In every religion, every denomination, every church, we bicker like children over who is right and who is wrong. I've seen people stomp out of the room, leave the church and never come back. Is it better to have angry religious opinions, or be wishy-washy and sit back and watch, or even quietly back out? People can make the church an inviting place, a sacred and safe place. I've heard too many stories of people who have left religion altogether because other people ostracized, kicked them out, shut them out of a church as well. The God of so many faiths calls us to bring humanity together, to invite others in.

That boy had the highest of expectations
And he heard that Jesus would fill them up
Maybe something got lost in the language
Because if this was full, then why bother?
This was not the way it looked on the billboards
Smiling family beaming down on the interstate.
He dressed up nice for the congregation,
Scared that someone would find him out
Through the din and the clatter of the hallelujahs...
-"Expectations" by Caedmon's Call

... Including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'" "And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' there they shall be called children of the living God."

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