As a lover of God and the path of liberation that reveals itself in all the major and not so major religions I find myself back in the Old Testament when Yahweh was angry with the Jews for worshiping false idols. I’ve been reading Karen Armstrongs History of God and I had no idea such struggle went on during the 1000 years before Christ as the God of the Jews began to find its definition in the vision of the prophets. There was this on going fight between the gods of the area—mostly feminine— and the warrior god of Israel. Only Yahweh seemed to be the jealous God. The pagan gods had a live and let live attitude. Only Yahweh had a chosen people, and he would punish them when they were bad.
So here we are today and not much has changed. For many God is still that jealous God that hates idols, like yoga and New Age and anything that does not fit the ritual of church doctrine. While Protestants threw out the rich drama of Catholic ritual, thinking they were getting back to the purity of the Word, what they ended up with was a ritual of the word, or a ritual of the mind. Instead of the body conforming to ritual patterns, now the mind must conform.
That leaves me, a free soul having difficulty finding the religious words that have not been highjacked by ritual. Fortunately there is one thing left in the Bible that cannot be confined in ritual use of words, and that is the teaching of Jesus. Somehow the power of his person comes through the history of the Jews, through the history of man like a beam of light. Just as in our own life when we stand in the power of a miraculous moment when everything is clear and we know that we are larger than we think we are, our history is pierced by the sword of truth. Christ kills ritual and brings the mind to its knees.
Our mind is a time-line of history, but Christ is who we are before we got named and framed. But somehow Christ got highjacked by history and imprisoned in time. Christ has become a ritual. From this perspective it is the God of current religion that has become the idol—and Yahweh is still angry.
Posted under General Observations
This post was written by ed on November 12, 2008