books religion

a passive chaplaincy to a failing culture?

I’ve just got in from and I’m reminded of this quote, if you’ll bear with me:

“…religion, even the religion we are committed to and in which we have found God and purpose and meaning and truth, can become captive to a colossal distortion. It can become a benign and passive chaplaincy to a failing and dysfunctional culture, the religious public relations department for an inadequate and destructive ideology. It can forego being a force of liberation and transformation and instead become a source of domestication, resignation, and pacification, and distraction.
A right understanding of God and faith can train people to hold their heads high, to doubt the lies of a dysfunctional society and to work for its transformation. But a misguided understanding can be an opiate that keeps their heads down in submission or desperation so they continue to serve the societal system that is destroying them, believing its lies, performing according to its self-destructive script”
, ‘Everything must change’.

Tonight reminds me that I do not serve a religion, I follow a man, Jesus, who summed up his own purpose with these words:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

To me it makes all the difference.

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