Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who Speaks For God

I was visiting my Daughter in Florida a few weeks ago. Now, Florida is OK but just not for me. (I live in the midwest). Too many bugs, too many weeds and the weather is really the pits. Anyway, a few blocks from my Daughter's home is a church. It's name: Brown's Church. I assume it is named after the pastor. My first thought was how arrogant can a person be to name a church for celebration of God after himself? I'll admit I am far from a religious person but the whole idea sort of freaked me out.
After that I started paying more attention to churches. Do you have any idea how many different branches of the Christian faith there are? Baptist, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Churches, Bible Churches, American Baptist Churches, Rainbow Memmonite, Disciples of Christ, Assemblies of God, Christian Science, Salvation Army, Unity, United Methodist, Quaker, 7th Day Adventist, Morman and no telling how many more. The only thing they appear to have in common is that they are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. But some are more ornate than others (check out the Catholics with their fancy robes, vestments, chalices, etc.). Or the snake biting Baptists. What is that all about? Or the Baptists that picket soldiers funerals believing that God killed the soldiers. How sick and twisted is that! How in the heck did organized religion grow from the simple teachings of a carpenter to what we have today?
Have you noticed that more and more often, the number one person mentioned in newspaper and TV ads is the name of the pastor? No mention of God. Just "come and join Pastor Bob and his wife Cindy Lou. And the churches! Nothing simple there. Now many have huge auditoriums with sound and lighting systems to rival any concert hall. Nurseries, schools, even coffee shops! What happened?
The next time you go to church - if you have the nerve - stand up and ask your pastor/reverend/priest, etc, this simple question: Do you speak for God? The answer should be: No, because no one can speak for God. And you could also ask him/her if God speaks to them. try it.