-scale=1.0,maximum-scale=1.0" : "width=1100"' name='viewport'/> Plum Street Chili: Toxic Religion #3 - How to recognize a toxic religionist on the hoof on the plains of daily life.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Toxic Religion #3 - How to recognize a toxic religionist on the hoof on the plains of daily life.

We are not the dogs of God but his children. Prophetic religion has to do with relationships, not observances, with awe not belief, with love not guilt, with life not property, With the Way not moralism. Obedience to the Way is indeed of great use if it is freely given, but of no use if it is compelled. - Herrymon Maurer
I said elsewhere Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection aka Nicholas Hermann of Lorraine would serve as our example of a spiritually realized human being. His "rule for a happy life" is so full of good orderly direction that it survives in print from 1600 although Brother Lawrence was probably functionally illiterate. He could cypher as he managed the stores and kitchens of a large monastery. I do not believe he could write.

Brother Lawrence did everything right. He had a direct hot flash experience of God.
“That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time, the leaves would be renewed, and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the Providence and Power of GOD, which has never since been effaced from his soul. That this view had perfectly set him loose from the world, and kindled in him such a love for GOD, that he could not tell whether it had increased in above forty years that he had lived since.”
He gave us a clear and lucid description of the mechanics of meditation that anyone, theist or non theist, can understand and utilize. Here is a bit:
“Do not be discouraged by the resistance you will encounter from your human nature; you must go against your human inclinations. Often, in the beginning, you will think that you are wasting time, but you must go on, be determined and persevere in it until death, despite all the difficulties.” 
Brother Lawrence spent little time thinking of the sins of others.
“That as for the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from wondering at them, that, on the contrary, he was surprised that there were not more, considering the malice sinners were capable of; that for his part he prayed for them; but knowing that GOD could remedy the mischiefs they did when He pleased, he gave himself no farther trouble.”
This devout man nevertheless stated that the biggest impediment to growth in the love of God was the fear that he should be damned. He retained that fear for years in spite of his devout life and service.

If you disagree with a religious zealot, the first thing they do is try to convict you of sin because you are not ideologically pure. You are not perfectly obedient. They represent this behavior as loving care for your immortal soul.

I say they use you as a scapegoat for their own fear of God. Rather than do the hard work of self examination, they examine you and find you wanting and pronounce you damned. Scapegoating is a primary sign that one is in the presence of the evil. Pertinent examples taken from the blog linked in Toxic Religion #1:
"Out of her antiChrist mouth we know her evil heart of unbelief and BLASPHEMY! You shall join her in Hell."
"Satin is real and people who believe like her will meet him."

"The enemy is anyone who defies God, and ultimately he is Satan, but man in the natural is also at enmity with God. I have the authority in Christ to make such a judgment. We who are His know each other. She proves by her words that she doesn't know God at all. Must be a god of her own making, in which case, she is speaking out of delusion and does no one any good."
"Satan your filthy love is Sodomy. God's love is the Justified Marriage between a man and a woman."
Hetrosexuals are the natural order to the natural law and that is fulfilled in Marriage between a man and a woman. It is commanded by God. Anything else is Satan's three ring Circus with his LGBT clowns some dressed in robes in the Catholic Church and in the Supreme Court. They will get their just reward from the almighty God and woe to them who will feel fire and death forever because they chose it of free will to oppose his law of Creation with perversion and degrading filth to bring it to His Altar in His Sanctuary of the Holy Catholic Church. As the Saints of Heaven are His witnesses not one of them will see the Gates of God's dwelling place. .
I say this form of evangelism is a naked attempt to use fear and/or shame to 'correct' you. At its worst it is sadism. It is a direct assault on one's spirituality. How can it be loving to implant, maintain and exacerbate fear of damnation, the very fear that tormented the devout Nicholas Hermann aka Brother Lawrence and kept him from full intercourse with God for years?

Run away when they tell you how sinful you are. Run away! And that is what a lot of folks are doing.

I struggled a long time to get this idea of the failure of sin-based theology articulated. And I found a more succinct and more colorful description. You win some. You lose some.
Yes, the Zealot and Fanatic love to use their God as a hammer over your head. It really does fall back on the old childish defence of 'I am going to tell Daddy", when you don't do as they wish. "Daddy" is always the authoritative figure against whom you have no defence. It is most prevalent in a Patriarchal / Patrilineal societies. The only Difference is 'GOD' becomes the "Daddy".
by PadreMellyrn