This post is a follow on from my last post which talked about exorcism and Satan – it can be found here if you haven’t read it and are interested. In it we realize that Satan is much closer than we imagine and perhaps a bit different to what we have been taught to perceive. I have for a long time, pondered the words in a song we sing at church, you might recognise them from my evocative title or perhaps even from the Psalms. (Ps 119: 105) To begin explaining my title I will tell you a story, it might even be yours…….
Sue was invited by her friend, to go to a Church Rally. She wasn’t overly interested but the friend was a “cute” guy. Her motives probably weren’t the best but God wasn’t bothered – He reached her innermost being that night and a peace and love that Sue hadn’t imagined possible left with her that night. Freedom, joy, love….these were the only words she could use to try and express the way she was feeling. Luckily for Sue her friend came from a Bible believing Church that recognized Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Sue didn’t even have to think about it when she was invited to the church Youth Group and she was excited to learn more about God. At her first Bible study she was warned that, as a new Christian Satan will try to pluck her from God’s hand and it was important for her to find God’s Word in the bible to defend herself against these attacks. At school Sue met other Christians, and she thought this was just great, she felt an instant bond in this new found family. One friend asked her whether she had been Baptised yet. Sue was certain that she wanted to be a part of God’s family and got Baptised into the Anglican faith. This is where the story begins to take a darker path, Sue soon ran into another friend who showed her in the Bible that Baptism really had to be done by immersion. Little cracks of fear began to appear in the new life that she had found. As time progressed, the fears grew – in her conscious mind she didn’t really acknowledge these fears, but they were there. Christians don’t do this, Christians don’t do that, Christians must think this, Christians must believe that, because the light of the Bible says so. Sues closest friend from childhood was not Christian and she felt guilty because she hadn’t shared God’s message of Love with her….and her concept of love was being challenged! She secretly feared that God was going to throw her best friend into hell, and surely he would because she didn’t know him as her Saviour. So she did her best to Love God because He had the Power to throw people into eternal Hell.
The irony here is that this wonderful thing that we call Christianity is a Highway to Hell. I know that sounds absurd, but only because we think of hell and the highway to it in the way that modern religion has portayed it. It is hell to be a slave to principles that lead to fear and enslave you to a worldy institution – and that is precisely what the aim of every denomination is. It isn’t a conscious decision, a Pastor is payed not to see it or acknowledge it, but it is the inevitable consequence because the Highway is wide and the road that leads to salvation…..a bit harder to find. (I don’t really understand why this is so – Jesus spoke in parables so they wouldn’t see and understand?(Mark 4:12))
I see religion the same as Jesus saw the “Law”. He came to fulfill it. I can see I am going to post about the word fulfill, but for now I will just say this – I think religion, any religion, yes including my favourite…..Lutheran – has to be a highway to hell, and perhaps it is meant to be, just like Jesus hiding the truth. I once spoke about the “topsy turvy” nature of the Kingdom, it isn’t hard to understand – I was a talking to children, and I think they got it. God’s Kingdom is not how we would like to imagine it, it works upside down. Want to go to heaven…head towards Hell! What better way to do this than to immerse yourself in God’s Word and try to be a better Christian.
There is this strange thing I have been meaning to read about – it is called by some as the “dark night of the soul” – like I said I don’t pretend to know anything about it apart from my own experience. Could it be that we all have to go to hell like Jesus did. For me this makes sense, how else can we live a new life if we haven’t died and been to hell and back?
Jesus spoke about the emptiness in a person once demons have been exorcised, a perfect place for a whole tribe to move in. Could I be right in saying that the dark night of the soul is a kind of exorcism that leaves one in a state of emptiness. It kills the ego and its constructions. If religion is allowed to move back in, we see that the person is in a worse state and now with a louder message of Hell than before. This is the state of much of Christianity today. Hell is a path to Heaven, not a place we can throw people into.
I am hoping Sue finds this Heaven that the denominations of our Churches need to hide.
PS – If you have read my previous post I feel it necessary to add that we do not have to live egoless lives – the ego is not evil – like Jesus, he told his ego (satan) to get behind him. The path of spirituality is not being controlled by the hidden motivations of the ego.