I realised last night that I have become a religious pacifist.
I am not sure how it happened. Nor when it began. But last night I knew with absolute certainty that, if ever called to fight a war of faith, I will wave my white feather. It was sitting in the “enemy’s” camp that brought about this realisation. An atheist. An angry atheist. An atheist who was taught God as a child just as I was taught God. Who took a wrong turn along the way just like me. Who strayed into the enemy’s camp and has stayed there.
Let me show you the enemy right here in your very own blogland:
“Dedicated to all those somewhat odd people out there who worship this deity – in whichever manifestation -because they rather foolishly believe that this deity is the source of all their morality and consequently also believe they are in desperate need of salvation. … You know who you are, right?
There is no more immoral work than the ‘Old Testament’.”
A Tale Unfolds: “And God(sic) said …” – Arkenaten
I invite you to read the whole post.
Because last night I knew we are all the same. Last night I realised just how far beyond the doorway/threshold I had moved. To a place where there is no war. Where there are no soldiers. Where there is no need of white feathers. Because there is no enemy.
Just where does God invite any of us to fight His battles? Just where is the command to go and trample the enemy … to save the enemy from themselves … to bring “anyone” to church? And just where is all the paraphernalia of religion to be found on Jesus who is God?
And now have a look at this: “The Bible is Broken – 3:16” which was birthed from this: “The Bible Tells me So … Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable To Read it”, by Peter Enns
The white feather has become a symbol of cowardice.
Of letting others do the dirty work to protect my way of life. Not what a real patriot would do. A real patriot goes off to war! A real man (and woman) fights for what is right. Would you have your wife and daughters – your sisters and loved ones – raped and pillaged by “them”?
I know someone who heard all of that and worse.
I love someone who heard all of that and worse. I know someone who lived and breathed in all that rhetoric and expectation. Who taught give to Rome what is Rome’s. Who taught give to God what is God’s. Who taught that the sun and rain shines and falls on everyone. Who taught that God knows every hair on our heads – even “theirs”. And who died for them as well. Along the way He really irritated a lot of people. He confused a lot of people.
He still does.
But I never see Him distinguish between “them” and “us” as we do. I never hear Him sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” as I did. I never hear Him quote the Gospels – they came later. All He had to work from was the Old Testament.
The same Old Testament that prompts this: “There is no more immoral work than the ‘Old Testament’.” The same Good News that sees church numbers declining in my part of the world. The same church that evokes an acceptance of second-best.
If we were all religious pacifists …
Just what might that look like?