Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reality of Love vs. Religion of Law

One of the best illustrations of the differences between the relational reality of the spiritual aspect of life—real faith—and the legalistic institutionalism of religions, can be seen in the current state of environmental attitudes.

Much has been made lately on the blogosphere and even in the traditional press, of the religious nature of environmentalism in central Europe, particularly Germany. The German people have long been lovers of nature and prided themselves in their good stewardship of the resources around them. However, since that attitude has become a source of political power, things have gotten out of hand. Rather than celebrate the natural, German care of nature, government has taken to regulating every last little detail of life. This too is a German characteristic, after all their success on the world stage is largely thanks to their very efficient bureaucracy, but the system can usually be shown to make sense or have a logical justification for everything. That is not the case anymore with many “green” policies. People are compelled to presort their refuse into 5, 6 or more categories—often to simply have the trash burned, for example.

The point here is not to question the validity of environmentalism. Anyone with half a brain can understand the benefit and even need to taking care of the world required for one’s survival. Beyond that, simply maintaining an existence is not desirable; we should strive to have the most beautiful, clean, pleasant world possible. However, that reality becomes a perversion when people in power begin to use it as a justification to control others.

The same is the case with the relationship that people of faith have with their creator. The Bible teaches that such people are made new, they are given the desire to strive to live as God intends and to fulfill His purposes in their lives. To impose additional requirements on people in the name of God that God Himself has not demanded—that is where Religion goes wrong.

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