Impaled Icon

I published this about eight years ago, but I think it speaks (even more so) today. Be careful though, it will offend our egos.

Our obsession with our own counterfeit religions is a necessary result of humanity being alienated from God. We are built to be in proper relations with God, but being separated from Him our inert knowledge of Him drives us to attempt to reach Him on our own. Upon our failure, we do not abandon our counterfeit religions, we simply compound the confusion by multiplying our converts; we think force-feeding our perverse religious views on an underprivileged humanity is what God demands. The church, not excluded from this insanity, expresses the human condition by parading an impaled icon as the means to reach God. All-the-while, He is just another tool in the proverbial “toolbox” of counterfeit religion.

Counterfeit religion has blinded humanity to such an extent that most aren’t even sure of the identity of the God (god?) for which they are desperately groping. The human condition has so profoundly baffled our perception that some angrily deny that they are making the attempt, ignorantly ignoring God altogether. Our minds have been manipulated to such a degree that many of us even deny that we are religious as we dedicate ourselves to a dearly held belief system, the fabric that holds together an entire group of people (the definition of “religion”). We can try to remold God into a deity of our own fashion, but that is illogical because God (by definition) defines God’s-self. We can try to dismiss God with a passive-aggressive attitude, but that is irrational because one is not angry with a God one doesn’t believe or doesn’t care exists. We can deny it all and disclaim the need or use of any and all religions, but that is self-contradicting (and self-defeating) because a belief system that denies the need and use of belief systems is unintelligible.

Humanity cannot disengage or otherwise subdue its religious nature, it creeps into literally everything that humans attempt to do (or not). It cannot use this counterfeit religion in a positive sense, because (whether we admit it or not) the point of any religion is to reach God, which cannot be done (whether we know it or not). But God has provided an escape from this vicious cycle, not in lists of moral/ethical codes (which would only serve to display God’s-own holiness) and not in a preferred culture (that soon corrupts). God has displayed a means to an end of the alienation, not a tool of counterfeit religion which exasperates it. We have not reached God. God has reached out to us. In our fallen condition, what exactly does our religion counterfeit? Religion (our attempt to reach God) counterfeits Faith (God’s move within humanity). Not some generic play-on-words and not some ironic production of a belief system. But the actual Faith of Christ, the faithfulness of Christ that drove Him to the cross, the very faith that Christ contained in Himself which raised Him in Resurrection Life. It was not an ideology that was impaled, but the reality of God in human form. The icon of religion was killed on the cross, the answer for human counterfeit religions. Alienation from God is ended in Faith. The faithfulness of Christ in us – the Church – ends the necessity of religion in humanity.

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