Sunday, July 21, 2013

Non-denominationalism / Non-religious

A new trend these days is for Christians to call themselves non-denominational and another is for people to say they are spiritual but not religious. Today I will talk about the latter.

I was about to watch a YouTube video a few days ago when an ad by an Indian guru named Sadhguru appeared. In it he speaks in general terms about how humans must attain a new consciousness in order to live properly into the future. He makes odd claims in the commercial such as with more people on earth, we will have to eat and even breathe 40% less...

I started looking at some of his videos and a few things became clear. For one, he does not like religion. He doesn't like words like "sin" or even "morals". From what I can gather, he does not think anyone should acknowledge or even speak about sin.

He seems to have a very simple solution to all our spiritual needs. He basically advocates we "remember" who we are and then we wouldn't do anything wrong and the whole world would be perfect.

In a few places, he comes across as a moral relativist. For instance, someone asks him if there are any sins or any good or bad. He responds by asking for an example. The audience member for some reason chooses "killing an animal" as a sin. The guru then says that we kill millions of organisms when we inhale and exhale. He says we kill plants when we eat. So he says how can we stop killing things? We could stop breathing, but then we would kill ourselves and that would also be a sin. His moral relativism comes in when he asks how you can know what is morally right when different cultures and different religions have different morals.

So he seems to just throw in the towel on the whole question of right and wrong. In fact, he goes so far as to see sin as some sort of conspiracy set up by religion, which then allows them to step in and "fix" the problem which he believes never existed.

What I see from all of this is that he has set himself up as the final arbiter in issues of morality. He is the judge, jury, and executioner. I sense a certain level of pride in people like this. He sits on stage and simply answers one questions after another. He never says he doesn't know the answer, and when he says something it is very definitive. He constantly stops and asks the audience if they agree with what he just said, but it is only rhetorical. He expects a "yes".

I find it odd how moral relativists like this can speak with such absolute certainty.

Also, he is very belittling to religious people. The picture he paints of them is that all religious people are intolerant and constantly fighting with their opponents. He makes it seem like they are all hung up on technical rules.

But he is creating an unnecessary and false dichotomy. In actual fact, many religious people have deep faith and spirituality. The difference is that religious people believe God has revealed himself to humanity, not that they themselves are the revelation, like Sadhguru thinks. Most religious people are seeking answers, not claiming they know all the answers like this guru does.

In fact, in another irony, the guru claims that having morals means you "know" the answers, whereas simply being spiritual means you are open to answers and receiving information. The irony is that I've rarely spoken to a religious people who is any more "certain" than Sadhguru is. I doubt you would ever hear this guru say he doesn't know an answer. In fact, he comes across as rather cocky.

This is the problem when you place yourself above everyone else. He claims religion is a racket but he doesn't mind having tens of thousands of followers paying huge sums of money to visit him, who hang on every word that comes from his mouth. He doesn't act with humility, but rather with complete confidence and an air of superiority.

The bottom line is the new trend, which mostly springs from Eastern religions, is to claim you do not follow a religion, but rather are spiritual. But it reminds of the saying that there is a shortage of priests, but no shortage of popes. Everyone just wants to be the head of their own religion, to make it all up as they go along. Isn't it great to be in a position where you know it all and there is no person or authority above you? Throw in thousands of devotees and you can see the appeal of this new movement.

1 comment:


    If all the denominations of the world assembled and presented the world with a new translation of the Bible, what would it contain?

    Comparison of the New King James Version (NKJV) and how the Interdenominational Interpreters Bible (IIB) might appear.

    NKJV: John 16:23 "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My nameHe will give you.

    IIB: John 16:23 "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, the name of the Virgin Mary, and the names other dead saints He will give you.

    NKJV: Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlighten, and have tasted the heavenly gift , and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

    IIB: Hebrews 6:4-6 It is possible for those who were once enlighten, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew then again to repentance, because all Christians are once saved always saved......

    NKJV: Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved;but he who does not believe will be condemned.

    IIB: Mark 16:16 "He who believes is already saved and should be baptized as a testimony of his faith; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

    NKJV: Galatians 1:8 But even if we,or an angel from heaven,preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

    IIB: Galatians 1:8 But even we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other way to be saved do not judge them, because we are all going to the same place anyway. God has given many denominations, and various doctrines, and different paths to heaven.


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