February 27th – Satan’s Sanctimonious Face



Although we use the word ‘religion’ to mean devotion to some deity, on the whole, as one scholar put it, ‘religion is the devil!’. Now before you run away with hands clamped over your ears, try to see what he meant by it.
Anything which can make us feel comfortable in a life of disobedience to God is the devil. Anything which can perform outward religious rituals as a front for power-seeking, lust, or to manipulate of other people is satanic. Yet look at us – our religions have led us into wars – clergy on both sides blessing submarines and bombs, putting little children under the care of those who have exploited and abused them. We have tortured and murdered often over some doctrinal nit-picking – allowed fearful atrocities in the name of our gods. (Look, for example, at the crusaders, and those appalling witch hunts of history). Religion has provided a mask for violent men and women to hide their blood lust under their tribal mascots. Think of contemporary expressions of this taking place today. Religion is the devil, if it leads you and me into a cheap repentance which can say ‘Oops, sorry, I’ll try again’ without any change of heart and direction of will, aware that we’ll just keep on sinning as before (muttering, “no one is perfect!”). Religion is the devil when it permits corruption to wear a mask of respectability, to prattle on about peace, enforced by means of bomb and bullet, when it seeks God’s blessing on what God can never own. In fact the greatest unmasker of the devil’s religious face is Jesus of Nazareth.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” Matthew 23:15
In that chapter Jesus lambastes the most devout and religious men on earth. Read the whole chapter for yourself, and see that religion can be the very devil.
A Prayer of a little child: “Lord, make all the bad people good, and the good people nice.”
Now read John 8: 42-59

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Thought 4 The Day

I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun – not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
(C. S. Lewis)

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