Things that make me think #2 Religious organisation

Brian McLarenI’ve blogged before about my distaste for swiping at ‘religion’ particularly when it is said ‘Jesus hated religion.'[1] I saw the Jefferson Bethke ‘Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus’ video surface again recently, a talented, well meaning lad who made a video having a pop at ‘religion’. He actually ended up graciously apologising for some of the content of the video.

I came across this in Brian D McLaren’s Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed cross the road? which I highly recommend. A paragraph here is interesting, the whole book is beyond fascinating.

I often ask those who speak critically of organised religion what they’re more critical of: being organised or being religious. They most often reply they have problems with both.  I’ll explain the word religion is based on the root lig, meaning ‘to bind or connect together’ (as in ligament), so religion means reconnecting or rebinding broken relationships – with God, with neighbour, with stranger and enemy, with non-human life, with all creation. Generally their eyes get a little brighter and they realise that sounds like a good thing. But what about the organised part?

I might then suggest the problem isn’t organisation, but the purpose and effectiveness of the organisation. What if religious communities were well-organised to bond broken relationships.

Suddenly the idea of organised religion has a completely different feel.

I can’t recommend the book enough to all my readers, whether you call yourself Christian, post Christian, atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, not interested…. It is written for everyone!

[1] He really didn’t.


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