Cynical views of religion is something that always puzzled me. People that make such remarks normally have never had any type of spiritual experience, and their understanding comes from others who have had no spiritual experience. They only know religion from what they see in the lives of those who practice their beliefs in their particular religion. When I hear cynical remarks directed toward God or the Church, His body, I think how do you criticize something you don't know? Puzzling. I then can think of many things I never really thought to be true, most of which I cannot experience, like biological evolution. Here are a few comments made by noted people in regards to religion.
'Praying is like a rocking chair. It'll give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere.' Gypsy Rose Lee
'To profess to be doing God's will is a form of megalomania.' Joseph Prescott
'Life begins when a Babtist you've never met says it begins.' (reference to life of an human) Bill Maher
'Religions are all the same. Religion is basically guilt, with different holidays." Cathy Ledman
Is that how these folks really feel, or their mentors? Perhaps Gypsy Rose Lee, prayed earnestly for something that never happened, so her belief was lost. Or, maybe God didn't answer the way she wanted, knowing what's best for her. That statement is troublesome for an unbeliever. "I know what's best for me! How could he not give me my desire!" Then you have the "megalomania" comment. How is it that knowing and doing God's will is delutions of greatness, visions of grandeur? God's will is that we love Him with our entire being, and our neighbors as ourselves, that we live humbly for Him, and show mercy. I can see this man has no spiritual experience. I know all of these statements are made to pierce our hearts because we pierced theirs. The cynics, their mentors, and those who despise religion, depise what religious people have said and done. Let me clarify that. It would be wrong to think that everyone that is cynical is that way because of the Christian's conduct they've witnessed, but it's true for some. We have, by our lack of Christian character harmed, and caused many to think of us as hypocrites, and deny God's existence. But the times of our "playing off" the remarks should be at an end, and we should not be angry at these remarks, but seek to win those who make them. How?
These words by the apostle Paul are used at weddings, and heard by nearly everyone at some time or other. 1Cor.13 is known as the "love chapter." This is the characteristics of love found in verses 4-8:
Love endures long and is patient and kind, love is never envious or boils over with jealousy, is not
boastful or haughty. It is not conceited or arrogant, it is not rude and doesn't act unbecomingly. Love
doesn't insist on its own rights or way, it isn't self-seeking, touchy or fretful, it takes no account of evil
done to it-pays no attention to a suffered wrong. It does not rejoice at injustice or unrighteousness, but
rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under any and everything that comes, is ever ready
to believe the very best of EVERY person. It's hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and endures
everything without weakening, LOVE NEVER FAILS. (Ampl)
I can hear it, read it, say it. Do I live it? This is the way to cause the cynic or the simple to understand Christ's love in us. Arguments will not, knowledge or wisdom will not, miracles will not. Love unconditionally, and if you struggle to do so, read this passage aloud for 30 days. Everything will change. You won't see others as you do today, God will open your eyes to their brokeness. It will work in your home, if you and your spouse are having difficulty with one another, try it.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all, Keith.