Retired American Bishop Explains How The Church Invented Hell & What Religion Is Really Used For
Religion is a controversial topic, and Iâd like to preface this article by saying that it is not my aim to belittle or diminish anyoneâs beliefs. My problem is not with faith but with religion as an organization, which has been used as a means of control, to pit people against each other, and to incite terror and war. Religion in this context serves the purposes of manyÂ various global elitist agendas.
Religion is also confusing, to say the least; within several different religions existÂ different âsects,â each withÂ their own teachings and version of the âtruthâ and how to live oneâs life. Within Christianity alone, there are multiple versions of the Bible, and teachings that contradict one another. What one religion says in one part of the world may directly oppose what another says in a different part of the world.Â This alone is a recipe for feelings of confusion and isolation forÂ anybody who is seeking âthe truth.â If various religions preach different ways of life and truths, they all canât be correct, can they? I guess thatâs why they call it faith.
Below is a video of Jon Shelby Spong, a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church, discussing these problems. He argues that religion is a business and it isÂ used as a control mechanismÂ (and heâsÂ not the first insiderÂ to do so). We can see thisÂ happeningÂ most clearly in the rise of Islamophobia. Islam has been turned into a scapegoat, a target at which we can direct all our fears and anger, and an excuse toÂ invade other countries and create a more intense global national security state. But the truth is,Â Islam has nothing to do with violence orÂ terrorism. These manufactured fears are all part and parcel ofÂ âfalse flagâ terrorism, which you can read more aboutÂ hereÂ ifÂ you are unfamiliar with the concept.
In the video, Spong affirms that âreligion is always in the control business, and thatâs something people donât really understand. Itâs in the guilt producing control business.â
He then goes on to describe the problem with religion as an organization:
Every church I know claims that we are the true church, and theyÂ have some ultimate authority. . . . The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system by any human creed by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me. God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu a Buddhist; all of those are human systems which human beings have created to try toÂ help us walk into the mystery of God.
He is describing the difference between faith and religion.Â I myself have exploredÂ multiple religions, and have discoveredÂ teachings within all of them thatÂ deeply resonate with me.Â Iâve alsoÂ found teachingsÂ that donât resonate at all. I donât believe one religion has all the answers.
Using fear to coax people into a certain way of life or belief system, just like the Bishop mentions above, seems to be common practice in nearly every religion, and that certainly doesnât resonate with me.
The history of the church itself is problematic. Whether it be the churchâs role in theÂ First Nations GenocideÂ here in Canada, or the European crusades, the church has a history of forcingÂ theirÂ views upon others and of condemningÂ science and new discoveries.
Furthermore, as the Bishop says above, people need to accept responsibility for the world. If we simply leave global change in the hands of God, we remove our own responsibility and agency in this world. If we want to change the world, WE have to do it. After the Paris terrorist attacks, the Dalai Lamai expressed this as well, arguing that itâs not enough to just pray. We must take responsibility for our planet.
We are also dealing with texts that are very old, and considering thereÂ are multiple versions of various texts, all of which have likely been manipulated, changed, and distorted over the years, I find it difficultÂ to accept any one without question.
Another point that turns me away from religion is hypocrisy.Â Many people claim ties to their faith yetÂ know very little about its tenets,Â and fail toÂ followÂ what they claim to believe in. This is commonly seen within the âspiritualâ movement as well, which can be seen as another form of religion in itself.
When it comes to religion, I believe you have to do your own research; you have to read the booksÂ andÂ examine the teachings for yourself. Use your own head and find what resonates with you instead of allowing yourself to be indoctrinated and letting someone else do your thinking for you. These texts are open to interpretation; itâs up to you to find meaning in them and apply it to your life.Â You can still believe in God and not be religious. Religion is a manmade construct, and I thinkÂ ifÂ God were to suddenly appear somewhere,Â he or sheÂ would have no idea what religion even was.
Religions as organizations areÂ going to have to change. New discoveries are constantly being made that are challenging long-held belief systems. We cannot grow if we refuse to have an open mind and accept new possibilities aboutÂ the nature of reality, and itâs childish to hold on to old belief systems just because they are familiar.
I personallyÂ believe in the soul and other non-material phenomena,Â as wellÂ the idea that life does not end here on Earth, and I believe there is enough evidence in various forms,Â aside from my own intuition and gut feeling,Â toÂ support this stance.
What about you? What do you believe? What it all boils down to, for me, is respect. We must learn to respect each otherâs viewpoints about âwhat is.â We need to work with each other and accept our differences so we can focus on helping the planet, our shared home.
âItâs a mark of an educated person to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.â
Originally Published ByÂ Collective-evolution.com