Monday, June 04, 2007

iSlam: The feelgood religion of the new mellinium...

This is the ultimate in natural religion.

What do I mean by this? It has all the natural human tendencies for religion simplified to the point of elegance. Here's how it works. First of all, since "Allah" is unknowable and far away, he is a very safe distance from his followers. Second of all, iSlam gives you all the rules you need to follow to keep "Allah" happy, which keeps him unknowable and at a safe distance. Third, if something goes wrong in your life, it's because you didn't follow the rules or someone nearby you didn't follow the rules. If it's not you breaking the rules, all you need to do is find out who around you did and deal with them.

By the way, there are rules on how to deal with people near you who are sinning and messing up your life. And if it's not anyone near you, it must some evil "great Satan" that is messing up your life. And by the way, there are rules for dealing with that as well.

OK, there's a possibility I'm setting up a huge strawman here, but what I'm doing is applying the average american's tendencies to make everything either thereputic or about status. Think about modern Evangelicalism's view of God. It's been called by people way more intelligent that I "Moralistic theraputic deism", God is a commodity, present to make you happy, make you prosperous, and make you moral. When things are not going well, you go to God who is very far away in any other case and ask for help. Once you do that, the next step is to locate the source of your problem and eliminate it. If it's sin in your life, you deal with it, and there are rules you need to follow to deal with that sin. If it turns out there isn't anything wrong with you, it must be someone around you or the world in general, so you need to lash out against either that someone or the world. That means getting interested in politics, running for office, joining the "moral majority", fighting the latest "moral outrage" that will make God angry... Wow, this sounds an awful lot like Islam.

That's why I'm calling it iSlam. Now, Steve Jobs is probably going to sick his lawyers on me, but I don't care. He should have thought of this! iSlam! It's the new "Moralistic Theraputic Deism", with a god who gives you the sharia law and makes it easy to keep him happy! Who tells you how to deal with those who make him mad!

Unlike the Holy Triune God who cannot be appeased by anything we do. Who has judged the world and in his love has poured out his wrath on his Son, Jesus Christ to appease that wrath against us. The Holy Triune God who is so just and so holy that he didn't spare even his own Son in order to forgive us. The Triune God who, before the foundations of world, set his will for his people and placed them in his Son's hands who lose none of them. Who, by His mercy and grace, through faith only He can give, for the sake of the innocent and bitter sufferings of His Son, Jesus Christ, has reconciled the world to Himself.

To Him be the Glory, forever and ever. Amen.

the big test

Since someone, somewhere, has seen fit to deprive the world of Issues etc and take a huge bite out of confessional Lutheranism at the same time, I will not take up the mantle of working to see that those who did it answer for their actions.
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