A reply to Appleton’s blog on Jesus and religious people on Ministry Matters

If you want to know what Jesus thought of “religious” people read the “Woes”! They leave no doubt as to where he stood on the matter. Those religious folkes and they were the most religious of their day are not dissimilar to the “evangelicals” of our time who think God is American and that Jesus is a “free market CEO” and that anyone not white, straight, male and republican is an infidel or worse an agnostic! If you need any other proof of the opinion that Jesus had of “religious people” just read the parable of the Sheep and the Goats! Like the modern day TV evangelist or the football player who thinks that God cares about a multimillion dollar scam called “professional sports” the goats still don’t get it two thousand years later!
Jesus identified mostly with the “sinners” of his time and in that time “sinners” were the outcasts and the marginalized and the immigrant and the stranger. In fact he identified so much so that he often ate and drank with them to the point of “scandal” with the religious people calling him a “wine bibber and a glutton”! The main reason that those people loved Jesus was they could spot BS a mile away, after all they saw it and heard from the religious people everyday just like now,and they knew he had none and that he told the truth with no hidden agenda and most importantly unlike the religious folkes he accepted them just as they were.
No, faith is relationship, religion is rule and control. Faith is freedom not license while religion is tyranny and is no different than ideologies whether of the body politic or academia. Even science purely for the sake of science is religion where the ego is substituent for deity. Faith acknowledges responsibility, interconnectedness and fidelity to the Good News of Jesus Christ religion thinks it owns and controls it.

Bishop Andrew Gerales Gentry


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