The Gross National Debt

Friday, September 25, 2015

Coming to the stage, Living Colour!

If you are about my age or older you may remember the song recording by Living Colour, "Cult of Personality."

This song rolls through my head on a regular basis when religion and religious leaders come up.

The Pope's recent visit to the US underscores this to a tremendous degree. Mel tells me parts of New Jersey are shut down for his visit. Millions are expected to try and see him.

This morning on NPR one lady said she saw him roll past in the small car he was in. She was giddy.

Certainly people like the message this Pope brings. But too many people see the message and make that equal to the man.

It's not.

It's a problem people have. The person and the opinions & positions become the same.

Years ago Lamar Lee opened a sermon with a shot of Michael Jackson in concert in Hungary. It was the closing bit. MJ was scooting out with a jet pack on his back (in the vid anyway).

The crowd was ballistic.

"You are made to worship," Lamar told us.

And we are. Humans are not logical, rational beings. Emotion rules us, sways us and leads us.

For all their insistence on evidence and the scientific method, Bill Nye and Neil Tyson are also ruled by their emotions. You can see it in their interviews. They warm topics they believe in. They register negative emotions when confronted with topics they do not like.

Too many churches are led by charismatic leaders who inspire because of the force of their personality.

This creates problems. When that leader dies or moves on, the church can split, collapse, fail or so forth. I've seen it happen. When Lamar left, some people left. Some who left when he arrived came back.

The cult of personality.

That's not the way it should be. We should believe in ideas and follow people who can help us to implement them. Believing in the person and then implementing his ideas is a recipe for disaster.

And I don't know how to change it.

1 comment:

  1. A dear mutual friend of ours (JB) once told me that churches are designed to focus the congregation's spiritual energy upon whatever is front and center; the altar point, if you will. You can tell a lot about the church by what this focal point is. Some places it's a bible. Some places it's the cross. And a lot of places, it's the preacher.


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