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The motivators: G** Religion Ideology

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour has drawn near. The Son of Man is given away into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my giver-away has drawn near. Matthew 26: 36-46
Remembrance Day was only four weeks ago. How soon we forget. First world War Amnesty Day. The guns fell silent across this sad world. But do the causes of that horrible conflict remain in our world today. And do you think that G*** and religion might have been one of the main causes? 

In 2014 the BBC asked 10 present-day historians about the causes of WW1. According to one of those contributors, Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German Emperor and absolute king of Prussia was convinced “that his Germanic G** had predestined him to lead his country to greatness.”  Another contributor wrote that many of the other European statesmen “were disposed towards war, in part, by Social Darwinism.” Apparently, those European national leaders subscribed to Darwin’s doctrine - “Survival of the fittest” - and went to war because (obviously) they were the fittest to survive….

Matthew, the eye-witness first century biographer of Jesus has faithfully recorded the increasing religious hostility towards Jesus in AD 30. The Pharisees and Sadducees were religious, political law-enforcers, convinced that they were G**’s men. Like ISIS today their “G** had told them to rid the world of this man Jesus. They were the “fittest” to live, not this healer, teacher, restorer and life-giver.

‘One adopts a G**, a superior power and a religion eventually to benefit oneself; one follows Jesus to benefit others, to love our enemies, to be like him.’ (Anon.)
How did this this Jesus react to this G**-driven, religious threat? Outside Jerusalem’s walls in a place called simply Gethsemane - “Oil Press”. Jesus was terribly distressed to the point of death – but he knew that it was His Father Almighty, the omnipotent one, who would strike him. Three times he prayed to his Father that this awful cup would pass from him. Every time he ended with, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Imagine you’re absolutely convinced that you know the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, all-righteous G** of the whole earth. Would you trust that G** to act for you? Or, instead of trusting that omnipotence, would you go off to fight and to win and to get what you want? 

In that Oil Press Jesus asked his followers three times to pray and to trust in him and his Father above – lest they be tempted to fight. Three times he asked them to watch His Father then do whatever His Father knew was right. They were not to fight, not to win, not to gain or retain what they wanted. 

Then the prayer time of Jesus (and the sleep of his disciples) came to an end. “See, the hour has drawn near,” Jesus said, “The Son of Man is given away into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my giver-away has drawn near.” The hour planned by Jesus and his Father had  drawn near – so had the follower of religion.

Among all the religions which cause such terrible harm in our world, should we include ideologies like Darwinism and atheism? And has not Christianity morphed into a religion in the past - supporting aggression?  Is it not so often a religion now? 

‘Jesus calls people to follow him with their obedience, and instead they try to fob him off with their religion.’ (John Hercus, Australian doctor, 1912-1986) 
This Jesus, born in a stable, laid in a feeding trough for cattle, crucified on a cross, risen again - is he a religion or is he real?

Sinner Syvret

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