I don't like "organized religions". What does this mean??

I’ve run into more people who say this to me, including my own mother. What is it that people mean when they say this, do you think?

My own take is that they have issues with authority, but maybe I’m missing something else.

Anyone here have issues with “organized religion”? What does that term even mean to you?

Thanks much - just trying to understand this way of thinking.

~Liza

I agree with your idea about this.

Is dis-organized religion better:rolleyes:

It means they want to decide what is right and wrong for them self. They want to decide if abortion is right or wrong, for example.

I think that some people feel that organized rekligion is more about being seen than believing or doing. They also see many nominal members and people who say one thing but do another and think it is all hypocritical. Finally I think that they see many organized religions involving power and a struggle for position. These things can turn many people off of churches.

If the Church did not have a teaching on abortion, would you be incapable of deciding whether it was right or wrong on your own? Would you be in favor of abortion if the Church was not against it?

I believe it has something to do with organized religion telling them what they can and can’t do. It does seem like an authority issue.They don’t like “rules”. I’ve had people tell me “hey as long as I love my neighbor, I’m fine” "you can live by the Catholic Church’s rules, not me"
Also, it’s a pretty good excuse at getting out of going to Church Sunday morning and instead sleeping in. You can go out Saturday night, get drunk and sleep in on Sunday with no guilt. :rolleyes: I know a few fallen away Catholics like this.

Man is capable of realizing abortion is murder because it is taking of a human life, however definitions like when life begins are not as clear and that is when a church definition is necessary so the issue can be settled.

Would you be in favor of abortion if the Church was not against it?

I would still be against abortion even if the Church was not. But your question doesnt really work because issues like abortion are intrinsically evil and thus always wrong, the Church never makes exception for actions that are intrinsically evil, thus the Church would never be against it so the situation you describe would never come about.

Yes - this seems to be the case, with my mom in particular. She does have massive issues with authority, is what she fondly calls herself a “cosmic cupcake”, and does not ever like to be told what to do. She was born in 1948, what more can I say. :rolleyes:

But the thing that bothers me about this is that then everyone is just doing their own thing, there really is no truth or reality, it’s just whatever one wants it to be. So they go along living this life of no direction, no purpose, and no end goal.

I asked her once, since she doesn’t really believe in anything, not even an eternal soul - where do you get your hope? She didn’t have an answer. How achingly sad. I’m not saying that within “organized religion” lies hope, but without some sort of organization of some sort, where do you go with that? It just seems so pointless to me. Like a blind person walking in the dessert alone.

And, as someone pointed out, what IS organized religion? Is it a bunch of people who get together and believe the same thing? How organized is organized? If there’s more than one of you, is that TOO organized? Or must everyone just be on their own doing their own thing to avoid the dreaded evil of “organization”?

:shrug:

~Liza

Some people would decide it is ok. Others would say it is wrong. I think that’s called relativism or situational ethics. Some religions (like the Catholics) say there some things that are, in themselves, objectively good or evil. They say there is such a thing as objective truth. Some truths are evident from nature (which you can figure out) and some God has revealed to us (which we can’t otherwise know). God’s holy Spirit guides the church to truth so that we can have some certainty about it.

Some people just have a hard time trusting the ‘organizers’ of organized religion. Or they think of a church as an ‘organization’ instead of the body of Christ.

I was born in 1946 and I love the church, it’s the bride of Christ but it sure isn’t perfect yet. I believe it teaches truth and brings us the sacraments and we just have to overlook the defects in the organization and be patient with each other because we aren’t personally perfect either.

Maybe your mom doesn’t know Jesus. Some people come to know Jesus through the church. Others come to the church after they have come to know Jesus. Maybe you should pray for God to send her someone to lead her to the Lord.

Then again, some people are very introverted and/or shy and just don’t feel comfortable in large group settings. It always takes me some time to get comfortable in any environment with lots of people around, so I understand that.

Paul

I was simply stating a hypothetical. I used abortion because you brought it up. :wink:

It does, like others already mentioned, sound like an authority problem. It’s basically falling for the same old lie in the garden. (and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil - that is, deciding for yourself what is good and what is evil).

I think this is a pretty good guide. Of course this advice requires someone who is observant, self disciplined, and responsible. It wouldn’t work for those who are always making excuses for their actions or who refuses to recognize cause and effect. It is a good guide for developing awareness, sensitivity to others and compassion.

"Whenever you want to do an action, you should reflect on it: ‘This action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful action with painful consequences, painful results, then any action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction… it would be a skillful with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing an action, you should reflect on it: ‘This action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both… you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not… you may continue with it.

"Having done an action, you should reflect on it: ‘This action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it… you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction… it was a skillful action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.

I grew up in a household that believed this fervently. Both my parents had left their respective churches before they had even met.

Both of them felt that whenever a religion becomes organised - ie has a heirarchy, that heirarchy is open to being corrupted due to the power it exerts over peoples’ souls. Absolute power corrupts absolutely therefore no organised religion can ever be free of corruption. It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic, any variety of mainstream Protestant, or any other organised faith, any organised church will always end up corrupted. This is what I was taught while growing up. While they said this, I think there is an element of rejection of authority in their stance. 'No one is going to tell me what to do." So they refuse to do anything.

I think this belief is one of the more subtle of the devil’s misdirections. I pray for my family all the time. They believe that they can ‘just believe’ at home, without doing anything else, they don’t go to church, I’ve never seen them pray, I don’t think they can even remember where they put the Bible, they don’t give to charity or volunteer time - they literally do Nothing. It is like they feel that any religious observance is religiosity and to be avoided. My brother once told me, when I exhorted him to at least pray, that God doesn’t want us to pray. He will give us what He wants us to have without us begging and pleading on our knees, and won’t give us what He doesn’t want us to have, so begging and pleading on our knees is useless. I have tried to set him straight, that prayer is a lot more than just asking God to give you something, that Jesus prayed all the time, but he won’t listen. Priests, pastors, imams, rabbis - all are corrupt in his eyes. Anything they tell you to do is therefore suspect.

I’ve seen way too many examples of the above in my life and tend to view the “organizations” with suspicion. That doesn’t mean that I think everything organized religion has done is bad or that no good can come of it or that all the folks in it are bad. But, yes, religious hypocrites are numerous and they do a lot of damage. Plus, if you study history you see how many “churches” have been involved in power and money and scandal and war and oppression and, ad nauseum. It is definitely enough to make a person not want to be associated with such organizations. IMO, this is way more relevant than the opposition to authority except in cases where the above corruption would make one skeptical, to say the least, about the morality of the suppossed authority (as in "you’re going to tell me how to live a moral life! Ha!).

“organized religion” to a protestant (who in fact believes in an organized religion in an organized church) = Catholic, Anglican, or any other that is traditional or exhibits any of their characteristics which is foreign to them.

to what extent of organization must they have, even though every religion has some sort of organization? to the extent that makes the person uncomfortable, or anything outside of the comfort of their own ideals or organization.

how about, i don’t believe in “religious religion” :rotfl:

Actually, the Quakers/Society of Friends have very little organization - and that is where I am leaning at this time. :slight_smile:

Another thing that has created distrust is televangelists and their money-raising marathons. Some people that I have talked to that reject “organized religion” do so, and they have said as much, because they believe that religious organizations (and they include ALL organized religions) are there to take your money.

Of course moral relativism, distrust of authority, etc., may also be present, but these people also have a skepticism that every church is out to get money. The fact that they have very little, if any, factual basis for this belief doesn’t matter.

Linda Marie,

I disagree that a variation on the Golden Rule is the work of the devil.

I can understand how you feel that your family is not doing enough, not giving to charity, not making an effort to lead the best life possible, sort of sliding by.

But the quote is not about sliding by. It is in response to this statement:

Originally Posted by byers
It does, like others already mentioned, sound like an authority problem. It’s basically falling for the same old lie in the garden. (and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil - that is, deciding for yourself what is good and what is evil).

I think it is possible to know what is harmful and what is worthwhile by following the advice. But as I said before, it takes descernment and self discipline to put it into practice.

But the act of following any advice is the act of accepting the authority (wisdom) of another. :wink:

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