Its Time For Truth in Religion!
Religion wields tremendous power in our world today. One reason for this is because it provides answers to those age old questions:
Another reason for its power is that religious institutions actively, and many times very aggressively, promote their theological model of God. Some tell us that God is loving, forgiving, and merciful. Others tell us that God is always watching us and recording every mistake we make. If we dont do what they tell us, this angry vengeful God is going to get us - and their God is the only one who can get us after we are dead! Our theological model of God can play a very powerful role in our lives.
Religious institutions also exert a great deal of power because of the role they play in shaping the moral and ethical values of many people. They use high tech media resources to reach millions of people every day of the week. Religions audience makes some of the world's top-rated television shows seem small indeed. Religious institutions have been very important vehicles for political movements - Civil Rights, anti-abortion, and more recently, the conservative takeover in Washington DC.
One last reason that religious institutions exert so much influence is because they control vast amounts of assets and economic resources. Not only do many of them teach their members a message of tithing, but they are recipients of estates and large endowments. They own prime pieces of real estate and engage in many funds-generating activities. A large number of American religious institutions are very wealthy, and use their wealth to exert power and influence in many areas of society.
Whats in Our Future?
Alvin Toffler wrote some very prophetic words in his book Power Shift:
Religion is not the enemy of democracy. In a secular multi-religious society, with a clear separation of state and church, the very variety of beliefs and nonbeliefs adds to the vibrance and dynamism of democracy. Tolerance of diversity is the first commandment of the demassified society, including tolerance of the intolerant - up to a point.
Religions that are universalistic, that wish to spread all over the world and embrace every human being, may be compatible with democracy. Even religions that insist on totalitarian control over every aspect of their members' lives, but do not try to impose their control on non-members, may be compatible with democracy. What is not compatible are those religions (and political ideologies as well) that combine totalitarianism with universalism. Such movements are at war with any possible definition of democracy. Yet some of the fastest-growing and most powerful religious movements in the world today exhibit precisely this lethal combination. They are determined to seize power over the lives and minds of whole nations, continents, the planet itself. Determined to impose their rule over every aspect of human life. Determined to seize state power wherever they can, and to roll back the freedoms that democracy makes possible. They are the agents of a new Dark Age.
Accurate Information is an Absolute Necessity
Accurate information is an essential requirement for making good decisions in life. But when it comes to possessing accurate information about their religious institutions, almost all people fail - especially some of the most radical fundamentalists. Let me ask you a very personal question before you continue. I want to warn you that your first impulse will probably be to deny the truth of what you may discover about yourself. However, I would urge you to read Billy's story if you want to know exactly whats at stake.
(1) How much time do you devote to religious activities?
(2) How much money do you give to religious organizations or causes?
(3) How many friends do you have outside your religious circles?
(4) Do religious teachings influence the way you relate to any of
(5) How strongly do you believe that a person should always do
Gods will? Should they do it:
(6) How do you know Gods will?
(7) How much of your life is controlled by religious beliefs?
Get the Facts About Your Religious Institution or Group
Full disclosure has been one of the most powerful instruments of change in modern times. Regardless of whether it came about through voluntary efforts or through tough investigations, once the public saw the facts, change came. Full disclosure is an instrument that was fashioned and shaped in our democracy. Full disclosure has been used to make some of the most powerful institutions reveal facts that they would rather have kept to themselves. There was a time when financial institutions weren't required to disclose the interest rates they charged their borrowers. It wasn't that long ago that warning labels were not required for harmful products. Only recently have food companies been required to accurately disclose the contents of what we eat?
The time has now come to let the light of truth shine into the dark recesses of the institutions who declare that they are the ultimate pillars of truth - religious institutions. I would hope that they would volunteer to provide members and prospective members with a full disclosure of all facts concerning their organization. However, I seriously doubt that they will. If they dont, I am not advocating that a law be passed to require it. Instead, I am urging you to do two things. (1) You get the facts by doing a little investigative work. (2) Share what you find by sending us a copy (including your sources).
Information You Need to Know
History of Organization
When you answer the above questions accurately you will have the basic information you need to make good decisions about your religious institution and its doctrines - you will be an "informed believer". We have confidence in you and your ability to make the right decisions when you have accurate information.
Be sure and send us a copy so we can make it available to others who will benefit from it. Just think how helpful a library of this kind of information would be to those who are contemplating becoming a member. You never know; a copy of someone elses report might be there when you need it in the future. There are only two kinds of believers - an informed believer and the other kind. Wouldnt you rather be an informed believer?
Thank you for visiting