Losing My Religion
Faith is about what you personally believe. It exists (or not) independently of if you ever tell anyone about your beliefs and independently of whether or not anyone else shares your beliefs.
Religion is organized faith. A group of people with similar faith that in some manner share the faith is a religion.
I am so glad that this is perfectly clear to me, why? Over the years it has been perplexing to me how self serving Religion can be, instead of being in Servitude. It’s been over a year since I have been to Church, that has not compromise my Belief in God, nothing can change that. What has changed is that I can’t be a Hypocrite to myself by showing up every Sunday and contributing to the Church’s Coffers while they are selective to how it is spent. Also the Politics of Trustees who dictate Church policies and how a Minster can deliver his Sermons.
A minister who didn’t speak on Social issues and issues that affected the Community, the Country and the World is performing a disservice. A Minister or the Church does not have the right to influence the Congregation Political views. However it is their obligations to speak out on Social issues such as Homelessness, injustice and Racial discord. Which brings us to why my Feet have not crossed the Treshold in a year.
My Minister grew up in the poorest of conditions in one of the poorest countries in the World. Naturally he is reminiscent and would like to see Social change. As a result of him interjecting his Empathy in his Surmons he was transferred by the Ruling Party to a less Prestigious Parish where they thought he was better suited. How could I continue going to this place every Sunday putting my contributions in it’s Coffers. Once a week the Church holds a Social where a small contribution of six Dollars buy you a Meal. Never once have I ever heard anyone mentioned inviting the so called Indigent members of our Community to the Church’s Kitchen backdoor to give them the leftovers, or cooking enough to feed them also.
I understand that we were better dressed and better smelling, but why couldn’t we put Park benches in the Parking Lot behind the kitchen. Maybe the lack of insight parallels an experience I had working in a Restaurant while going to High School fifty years ago. I was somewhat of Cook and shift Manager, my responsibility includes counting the money and cleaning up. Whatever food that wasn’t sold such as Hamburgers and Hotdogs, I would find a large Boxtop lined it with Aluminum Foil and place the food in it and place the container on top of the Garbage Can. I did that so the Homeless People who lived in the area of 14th St didn’t have to go through my Garbage cans to eat. My Manager went off the deep end telling me that I was Harboring them.
My God am I not my Brother’s Keeper. I was seventeen Jobs were plentiful I walked out on that Idiot as I walked out on my Church for it’s lack of sensitivity for our Indigent Brothers and Sisters. Once I was working Downtown St Pete during the cold months sometimes you would see the sidewalk close to the Soup kitchen on 5th Ave littered with Sleeping bags, sometimes Kids are in them, another reason why I withdraw my Tides from the Collection Plate. My Church is not as big as the Catholic Organizations but they are World Wide.
Yet I have never heard of them doing anything outstanding like this one small Church in Tampa that goes out of their way to cater to the Homeless, they have an Industrial Kitchen and they provide Shelter. While writing this Blog it occurred to me that this is the kind of Church that I should Worship in whatever their Denomination is and give a portion of my Earnings to, unlike the Government not knowing where my Tax Dollars go, they would spend my money in accordance with my Belief of Charity and Servitude.
Jesus washing the feet of the disciples (John 13:1–17) occurred in the upper room, during the Last Supper and has significance in three ways. For Jesus, it was the display of His humility and His servanthood. For the disciples, the washing of their feet was in direct contrast to their heart attitudes at that time. For us, washing feet is symbolic of our role in the body of Christ.
Walking in sandals on the filthy roads of Palestine in the first century made it imperative that feet be washed before a communal meal, especially since people reclined at a low table and feet were very much in evidence. When Jesus rose from the table and began to wash the feet of the disciples (John 13:4), He was doing the work of the lowliest of servants. The disciples must have been stunned at this act of humility and condescension, that Christ, their Lord and master, should wash the feet of His disciples, when it was their proper work to have washed His. But when Jesus came to earth the first time, He came not as King and Conqueror, but as the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. As He revealed in Matthew 20:28, He came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The humility expressed by His act with towel and basin foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross.
Jesus’ attitude of servanthood was in direct contrast to that of the disciples, who had recently been arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24). Since there was no servant present to wash their feet, it would never have occurred to them to wash one another’s feet. When the Lord Himself stooped to this lowly task, they were stunned into silence. To his credit, though, Peter was profoundly uncomfortable with the Lord washing his feet, and, never being at a loss for words, Peter protested, “You shall never wash my feet!”
Then Jesus said something that must have further shocked Peter: “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (John 13:8), prompting Peter, whose love for the Savior was genuine, to request a complete washing. Then Jesus explained the true meaning of being washed by Him.
Peter had experienced the cleansing of salvation and did not need to be washed again in the spiritual sense. Salvation is a one-time act of justification by faith, but the lifelong process of sanctification is one of washing from the stain of sin we experience as we walk through the world. Peter and the disciples—all except Judas, who never belonged to Christ—needed only this temporal cleansing.
This truth is just one of several from this incident that Christians can apply to their own lives. I maybe losing my Religion but I will never loose my Faith
P.S. if the Government can’t fix it it’s up to you and me the Community the Church
“She calls out to the man on the street
‘Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?’
He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there
Oh think twice, it’s another day for
You and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise”….Phil Collins