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 Blooming Stars

Woe to You, Religious Leaders

            All, except perhaps the power holders and the power-brokers in religions, agree that religions are badly in need of reformation. Christ unleashed a jeremiad against the powerful Scribes and Pharisees in the Jewish religion of his time. If he were to appear on the world scene I wonder what he would tell the current religious leaders. He would begin something like: Woe to you Christian, Muslim, and Hindu religious leaders, you hypocrites, blind guides! You describe the indescribable God, and create dogmas and doctrines, and trap humans in them inducing fear of hell and eternal punishment. You trap also God, our father and mother in your doctrines and rituals. Ignorant guides, you ignore or go against the commandment of love – the only commandment that really matters – and formulate laws and regulations to govern and control every facet of people’s lives.

            Masters of double standard, you put unnecessary and unbearable burdens on people, that you yourselves are unwilling or incapable of carrying. Unfit guides, not having the experience of God yourselves, you train others in God experience. Blind guides, immersed in the affairs of this world, and lacking light and direction to journey in the Kingdom of God, you mislead others. When you do not have sufficient love and the necessary faith in the one true God, you teach your followers the superiority of your religion, and put down other religions in hatred and intolerance. Instead of cooperating with one another in compassion, you compete with one another in pride and arrogance. Instead of discerning God’s will in humble surrendering and submission, you seek this world’s laurels, approval, and recognition in your stubborn self-righteousness. Like the Pharisee of old in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke, 18: 9-14), you are proud of your virtues, and justify yourselves. Self-centered religious leaders, you give the impression that God needs you more than you need God.

            After having lived a rigorous religious life for 25 years in a religious setting I think I know the claims of religions, and their many leaders vying with one another for power. Certainly there are many good spiritual persons in religions. However, many canon lawyers and worldly administrators lacking in spirituality, love, and compassion appear to be at the helm of strategic positions in religions stalling long overdue renewal and reformation. We can pray that the gentle Spirit of God blowing over us can renew and transform us.

 

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