Pastor Bill left this comment on my last post:
I am curious how does it happen that a person adopts the mindset of an inquisitor? My study of history shows me they are always a strong believer in one idea, which needs to be defended against other ideas the basis of this defense I would say is fear. Because the Human Soul is the birthplace of ideas then it goes without saying, destroy the person any way you can and destroy the idea. In a Google World this is a ridiculous idea in and of itself but yet it still holds sway. It appears the two institutions yet to embrace this Google Reality is the Political and Religious Classes their vested interest in the status quo is obvious. Attacking the Other person’s ideas will soon become seen for the foolishness it is, because these two institutions are no longer seen as possessing the solutions to life. The truth is the solutions we seek are to be found in the sharing and blending of “so called” opposing ideas and there is no room in a Google World for the inquisitor’s mindset anymore.
I’m guessing that current events inspired this question; there was an incident recently here in Anza involving a rather outspoken Christian woman, a teenage Wiccan girl, various other recipients of the woman’s particular brand of Christian love, a subsequent protest, and the resulting social uproar. A largish portion of the Anza community is now polarizing to one side or the other of this conflict.
It’s a big long story that I don’t really want to get into on this blog, because in the interest of fairness and responsible journalism I would have to relate all the tiresome details of both sides of the issue. Meh. For this post, the relevant information is that Pastor Bill feels that the Wiccan girl has as much right as anyone else to wear jewelry bearing symbols of her religion while participating in a federal, non-church-related food commodities program, and for that he’s been heavily criticized by certain members of the church community who have LOTS and LOTS of bible verses supporting the righteousness of their condemnation.
You can almost hear Jesus weeping.
The question of how “Love thy neighbor as thyself” turned into “destroy everyone who doesn’t think exactly the way you do because that’s what Jesus wants” is a complex and baffling subject. There are so many intertwining aspects of modern religion that disconnect its followers from their own humanity and the humanity of others, and each one is a big enough issue to deserve its own post.
But in my opinion it boils down to this: Christianity has stopped being about human relationships and started being about power and control because people have let themselves become too dependent on the materialistic systems of men instead of nurturing the abundance of God’s natural world. In ancient times the Roman Catholic church grew in authority and control by claiming the power of God to subjugate its subjects and take their resources. Men claimed (and still claim) the power of the church to subjugate, neglect or abuse their wives and children. Women are taught that their only value lies in serving their men, no matter how badly they’re treated in return. There’s no true relationship or love or happiness in any of this, but convince people that they’re headed straight to eternal damnation if they don’t go along with it and they’ll fall into line.
So men become Inquisitors to protect their position of superiority and power, never realizing how lonely and empty that position is making their lives. Women become Inquisitors because if their ONLY value lies in being a good Christian servant, then people who are on a different path must have no value at all and are clearly an outrage to all that is good and holy.
As Pastor Bill pointed out, fewer and fewer people are buying into this spiritually empty and unfulfilling version of what passes for the Christian Religion these days, because the Internet has opened up a whole new world of shared vision. Sure, there’s more chaff than wheat out here in the intertubes, but the sheer volume of creativity and differing viewpoints makes it pretty hard for a modern person to convince himself that he’s the sole proprietor of the One True Way. Slowly but surely, Christian churches that don’t extend a true sense of community and fellowship to all of humanity are becoming irrelevant and obsolete.
Pity the Inquisitors, don’t hate or fear them. They’ve traded their spiritual birthright for earthly “treasure,” and then stockpiled it all on a sinking ship.