There’s an old cliché we all know and use: Love is blind. That is certainly true in certain circumstances but not all. But it is that question I now ask myself and you in terms of faith: Is faith blind?
When we talk of blindness in terms of these things they tend to make you think you’ve missed something. That there is some hole in the way you look at and process information. That you interpret things for your own benefit and ignore the reality. When a spouse or date cheats on you and you look back and realize you saw the signs but ignored them because you didn’t want to think they could hurt you like that.
So how does this apply in faith? Keep in mind I am not talking about issues like sexual abuse but more about the flock looking at the church and its leadership as something more then it is. I am also talking about unquestioning belief in anything.
This always brings to mind a quote I will paraphrase here: ‘the biggest barrier between man and God is religion’. That may seem almost blasphemous on first glance but it actually says a lot more then you might realize. After watching all the abuses and questionable behaviour of churches around the world, can you not see that? Faith is personal. Faith is what you define your relationship with God by, good or bad
Please do not take my words as suggesting that churches are pointless. They do much. They provide a community for many who would not have one otherwise. They allow people of like minds in faith to gather together. They help those less fortunate in their community and around the world. Churches can be and are important.
But when there is a gathering of people and others playing a leadership role, there is danger. With leadership comes power and when there’s power, there’s opportunity. A well developed church community will have checks and balances to makes sure no can abuse the position. But there is also an important part to play in each and every member of a congregation. If you don’t monitor where your tithing is going, you can be taken advantage of. And if you let the church leadership define the goals of the church without question, there is danger in that too.
How many times have you heard a sermon where the person talking quotes the bible? And how well do you know your bible to see if that is true? How easy would it be for someone to take a quote from the bible and twist it to make you think that it said one thing but if you look at the context of the quote it is far different?
If you carry that blind faith in your church, you are in danger. You are setting yourself up to be used. You are telling your church leadership you will accept anything they say because they can make you believe the bible tells you so. We are all human. We are all fallible. And we are all prone to temptation. And your church leaders are human too. They should be treated as such. They should be questioned any time something strikes you as odd.
The same goes for the bible, whatever bible you use. You have to remember that it was written by men. You have to remember when it was written and that societal conditions back then were likely far different. Judgment passed back then may not apply now. And the rules of men thousands of years ago may not be right in this century. Just because they stoned gays back then does not mean it should happen now. And try to remember that those were not God’s rules back then, they were man’s.
You have a right to ask. So do I. We all do and should. There should never be a time when asking a question is wrong. If what you believe is so fragile that it can’t stand up to scrutiny, it is you who should be asking yourself some questions.