The Jewish Passover is now about a month away.
Already the Armstrongites are busy ramping up for the most wonderful and
labor-intensive time of their year. Everyone must sort through their
entire home, automobile, and workspace, searching for crumbs. These
crumbs represent the leaven of sin and must be painstakingly picked out,
vacuumed up, or somehow thrown away. (As though that actually
accomplished something besides spring cleaning). Meanwhile, as everyone
is busy focusing on that, their internal spiritual bakeries keep pumping
out thousands of fluffy loaves every day. Yet no one seems to notice
that, let alone do anything about it, all the way through the Days of
Unleavened Bread. Oh, the humanity.
Let’s be honest for a moment.
Really, what’s the point of this cleaning
exercise? Shouldn’t the Armstrongite focus on shutting down their
internal spiritual bakeries, rather than focusing on each and every
piddly physical crumb? But that’s how the bible got interpreted. It’s
too late to change it now. Everyone already knows that’s what you have
to do to please god for Passover. Still, Passovers come and Passovers
go, and even though I am sure their homes are a little cleaner for it,
Armstrongites never seem to benefit from the ritual in any other way.
truth is, the only way that a person could know that their
interpretation of the bible and the way they lived their life were
pleasing to an omnipotent creator, in reality, not just in their
imagination, is if He came down and spoke to them, the way the bible
says he did to Adam, Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. Jesus Christ
and all the writers of the bible were all dead and gone before the year
100AD. That means that for at least 1,912 years, the
Christian God has been officially silent. Where did he go?
or not God has come and spoken to anyone during the last 1,912 years
(or at all, for that matter) is anyone’s guess. After all, today the
quickest way to wind up with a new jacket and a padded apartment is to
tell someone that God has been speaking to you.
It’s pretty easy
to make a biblical case that the "true religion" of the Hebrews was
momentarily restored by Ezra and Nehemiah following their return from
captivity to rebuild Jerusalem approximately 2,450 years ago. After
that, the Jews took the Tanakh (Old Testament), and embellished it with
arcane, bizarre, and even contradictory traditions.
little to do with scripture anymore and everything to do with the
Talmud, which had already become its central text by the time Jesus
walked the earth (even though it was still oral, and not yet written
down). Rabbis have traditionally taught that the core of
the Talmud is supposedly God’s own interpretation of scripture (a
likely story). However, much of rabbinical law, not just that of
rabbinical origin, such as the wearing of yarmulkes, but also that of
biblical origin, such as the injunction not to mix meat and dairy, have
both drifted so far from anything scriptural, or even anything sensible,
that they could rightly said to be crazy.
When Jesus Christ came
along, the establishment of Jewish religion had already gone off the
deep end, and according to the gospel accounts he told them as much in
rather direct terms. It is easy for the Christian to conclude that one
of the purposes of Jesus Christ’s appearance in the first century AD was
to get the "true religion" of the Hebrews "back on track" with a
Not surprisingly, that didn’t happen. What
happened instead was the Jews killed Jesus and continued on without
interruption. Meanwhile, the followers of Jesus would form
a radical new sect based upon the same scriptures, minus the Talmud,
plus some new writings now called the New Testament. Judaism and
Christianity are really just two sects of the same religion, albeit with
many huge disagreements. In the last 2,000 years, Christianity has gone
a different direction than Judaism, but has still drifted into a
similar type of territory.
The trouble is, none of these sects
know where they’re going. Without any navigational aids, milemarkers, or
guideposts, every sect will eventually descend into one sort of
insanity and corruption or another. Over time they will fragment into
innumerable different sects that each need to believe their trajectory
is the one and only path that is pleasing to God. However, without a
"reality check" to bring people back into line with something that at
least makes sense, they just keep going further and further and further
What’s more, as history has shown, organized
religion does not even want any "reality checks." Religious leaders
don’t really care if the course of their religion is true or not. They
are satisfied so long as they are able to "lord it over" other people,
command unquestioned respect, and extort an income. Accepting "reality
checks" compromises religious leader’s abilities to do those other three
things. It was true 2,000 years ago, and it’s just as true today.
so much confusion, where is a sincere person to turn? If a human being
really wants to live an "unleavened" life, to whom can he go for a
"reality check"? Alas, there is no human being you can go to for that.
this in mind, the bottom line for any religious person should be
finding God for a personal "reality check." That should not mean finding
him in some man’s church, no matter how historic. It should not mean
finding him in some superstitious desire to believe, regardless of how
many (or how few) people may
share those beliefs. It means finding him in the reality in which you
live, instead of just in the wishful thinking of either your own
imagination, or else in the imaginations you’ve borrowed from others.
biggest reason why there is so much religious difference and confusion
is that for at least 1,912 years it seems that God hasn’t even permitted
any "reality checks." Acts 17:27 states that God is not far from "each
of us." Whether that was true then or not, I cannot now say. All the
religious confusion is the evidence that suggests no one has heard from
God for a long time. Today, individuals and ancient monolithic churches
are all adrift in the same boat together. Neither individuals nor
religious institutions seem to have any access to feedback from God.
does this mean? What it means to me is that I cannot be so dogmatic
about anything spiritual or religious. No one agrees on who the real God
is or what will make him happy
with you because - wait for it - nobody knows! Those who pretend they
do and tell you so are just conning you.
I think many people
don’t want to be honest about the true level of uncertainty we all face,
so they just pretend the world is more certain than it is. As the
Jewish spring holy days approach, both Jews and Armstrongites will
hypocritically obsess over minutia of their living spaces in vain. Until
we can get that "reality check," shouldn’t a good person just focus on
what he doesn’t need to verify? Things such as the golden rule and
helping the needy? Spending weeks looking for read crumbs? Seriously?
My favorite: This town is going to be like the movie "Footloose" before we know it.
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