The Old Testament mentions kings who “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” Manasseh, Amon, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, were noted in the Bible as crappy kings. How did these leaders stay on the throne if they were so bad?
One reason could be that many human beings don’t know bad from good. Even today, with almost 14 billion eyeballs on this earth, there is little vision and we have a hard time seeing the consequences of our current behavior.
Because books in the Bible were written posthumously, it was hindsight that inscribed how certain kings “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
And, hindsight teaches me I owe an apology to people. My behavior, disguised as a love of church and God, makes for the ridiculous. I keep trying to learn from and correct my mistakes.
I’ve learned: I need to be more open-minded. I need to listen instead of assume I already know what I’m going to hear. I need to stop thinking, talking, or writing as if a dead person is still alive. I need to stop pretending I am more spiritually minded than I really am. I need to stop insisting on using only certain words. I need to work hard to express God in understandable, welcoming ways.
I too easily, and uncomfortably, can recall times when I acted as if I recently had a conversation with Jesus or Mary Baker Eddy. But, I can’t think or act or write as if I know what a spiritual leader would say, do, or teach today.
To do otherwise is to try to force myself or someone else to walk the narrow thorny path of a religious ideology rather than stick to the facts.
And religious ideology does die. It will go down in history as “evil in the eyes of the Lord.” But church won’t die.
I still attend church services. I can attend many different denominational services and feel the presence of truth, life, and love.