Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I think the Church is filled with what I call religioneers. A religioneer is a controller. They substitute true spirituality for pious activity; one who thinks better of oneself because of what one does to please God. This kind of person supports rules that are not in the Bible seducing people into a sense of false guilt, getting them to confess 'sins' that are not even sin. A religioneer is the kind of person Jesus confronted when He accused them of being more concerned about the toothpick in someone else's eye than the tree in their own.

A religioneer is a person who takes comfort in rules, so they have to take little responsibility for their inner life before God. He or she sees themselves as a moral cop to tell others when they are out of line, how they must change, reduce, delete, erase, remove, expunge, or obliterate anything that the moral majority believes must be expunged (I love that word!) from one's life before one can approach God and be good in His sight. Religioneers like to re-engineer their surroundings so that they create an environment that is more clean and pretty, so that God will be welcome.

In Jesus' day, the religioneers had re-engineered the message of God to fit their desire for importance and power. What's pathetic is that they really thought they were doing God a service by keeping the dirty people out of a religious environment! No wonder God's presence isn't felt in our houses of worship any more! There is no dirt! Not the kind Jesus always hung with anyway – you know, tax collectors, sinners, and even prostitutes!

A religioneer is one who likes to paint up the outside, to present a pretty face and thinks that others must 'dress' like him or her. They're the one's that tell us we have to dress up to please God – that we have to dress up whenever we expect Him, like we would for the President of the United States. Bologna! Hey, to follow that line of thinking, since God is always with me, then I better dress up mowing the lawn, and trimming the shrubs! I'd better be ready to get oil on my Armani, because He is just as present working on my motorcycle as Hs is the building in which I worship Him on Sundays. If you believe in a God that only shows up when you're in some building somewhere, then you even have the wrong idea of the Church – it's not a building made with hands. It's a spiritual house made up of individuals changed by Jesus Christ. The first building is our work and the second is His and His will last.

We religioneers like to dress up the outside thinking – just like the ancient Pharisees and Sadducees – that we've cleaned the inside as well! Jesus said hogwash! The work of faith is heart work, not body work. You wanna know a secret? I used to be captured by that cultish clique, but escaped with my life! Thank God! I finally learned that God sees me naked anyway! God sees me from the inside out, not from the outside in! And God changes us from the inside out NOT from the outside in!

Religioneers often criticize stuff that looks real and authentic because they live in a world of denial, hoping that the clock never strikes 12:00 A.M so that they have to lose the glass slipper and the golden carriage, and head back into their own little corner in their own little room where they usually are alone and sad and bored, because they have no real friends. This sounds harsh and I wish it wasn't true! I know it's a real state of being, albeit a fantasy life, because I was THERE!! Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect, or even good. I'm still purging the ick from my scales, but at least my sight is beginning to clear. By God's grace and because I live and worship among real people, that stupid pain-in-the-tail rod in my eye is beginning to fade!! Life still bites, but God rock! He knows, He cares and He restores.

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