If we want to make a change, we must consider the obstacles–and there are many. Overcoming these obstacles is the challenge for the future. It’s one thing to just bash religion; another thing entirely to help those with a vested interest in religion to want to make a change. Even more challenging, is getting institutions with vested interests in religion to actually make a change.


Your Local Church

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Challenges, Religion | 0 comments

Your Local Church

Your local church is not interested in walking away from religion. Its parent organization, its pastor, and its people all have vested interests in maintaining the delusion of the existence of God.  For the parent organization, whether that might be a conference, a synod, a diocese or whatever, it is truly all about the money. Any church that fails reduces the income of the parent organization. For the pastor, it is huge: his life-work and life-purpose are on the line, not to mention his salary and his retirement benefits. Unpaid church leaders have their own personal identities wrapped up in church. Some get their need to be important fulfilled through their position in the church. Church provides an opportunity to teach and lead, care for others, and have a positive influence on youth. For everyone, church provides a warm comfortable home with loving people who share a common purpose. For the individual, leaving the church can be a painful experience, but it can be done. A person can decide all at once that he or she is through with church and then can do something else. It might be more gradual–a kind of fading away. Church attendance falls off and eventually the weekends are free. Some may choose to continue some affiliation by attending church on major church days like Christmas and Easter. But what about the person whose very identity is connected to the church? The priest, the lifelong Sunday school teacher, the bishop, the pope, the head elder? When one has devoted so much to something they love so much, it is almost impossible for them to tear away, even if they come to realize it is all a sham. Imagine if the pope himself came to realize that all religion is false. Would he declare it to the world and go do something else? NO! His very identity is being the pope. Everything he has worked for his entire life is on the line. Likewise, if your local pastor or priest came to realize the same, would he declare it to the congregation? In all probability, not. He might do one of two things:  1) Keep it to himself and maintain the status quo (I think this happens all the time!). 2) Find a good exit point and leave the ministry (I think this is extremely hard to do.). What would happen if an institution leader were to propose to the institution that they dissolve the organization because its teachings are false? He would be run out of the organization so fast it would make your head spin! In some religions it might be much worse! So the challenging questions are: How do we overcome the intense need for church institutions, leaders, and members to maintain the status quo? For society to advance, is it enough for individuals to leave the church? (That is, considering that individuals leave while the forces of the institutions continue to delude newcomers, propagating religion like a virus.) Assuming that individuals leaving causes churches to fail financially and ultimately to fail in purpose, what should be instituted, if anything, in their place? Is there a way for institutions to CHANGE? Is it possible for a religious institution to ultimately become non-religious? How do we fulfill the needs of people in a...

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