The Religion Racket
by Norman H. Wells
Former Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Cincinnati
Now With The Lord
© 2005 James H. Dearmore/Gospelweb.net

The Late Dr. Norman H. Wells

[GospelWeb.net Globe]

Printer Friendly Page.

Chapter 23

Sunday Sickness or Always on a Sunday

It is embarrassing that the promises and precepts of today's religion are failing and they never seem to become a reality in the life of the adherent. This situation makes it necessary for religion always to be explaining why it is failing. There are several standard excuses and explanations that are used a great deal.

One of the methods that is widely used is to add so many conditions and qualifications to the promises and precepts of religion that they become unattainable. The fact that no one can meet these conditions provides a fine explanation as to why the promises and precepts are not a reality.

For instance, religion is supposed to exercise a great deal of influence in the home and much religious instruction is given for parents and children. Religion holds out the promise of solution for the many problems that plague the home today. The continual rise of the number of broken homes, juvenile delinquency, divorce, etc. all witness to the fact that these promises are failing. Rather than look for the source of the failure, religion will simply keep adding conditions that give an excuse.

Religion joins with psychology and gives impossible conditions for the parent. The conditions that have to be met before the promises become a reality are almost impossible.

Don't dominate the child! Don't hold the child in check. Let the child have free expression. Don't insist upon obedience because it may cause frustrations and antagonisms against the parents.

Exercise firm discipline! The parent must teach the child a respect for authority. Don't insist upon obedience but teach the child a respect for authority! The parent could certainly walk a fine line trying to maintain this balance.

Over protection! The parent must never overprotect the child. This stifles the child's' realization of inner security and sometimes makes it impossible to break the ties that bind him to the parent. Belonging! The child must feel he belongs. He must be protected, sheltered and made to feel secure. The child must be protected but not over protected. He must feel he belongs to the family yet be independent. He must feel secure but not bound to the family. The parent is held responsible for maintaining this kind of balance!

Excessive manifestations of love! This is a horrible thing. Untold evil comes from this. The child will fret, cry, and be unhappy. In all his life he will never be satisfied and will only demand more and more. Lack of demonstration of love! This, too, is a horrible thing as the child must feel he is wanted. He needs and must have love. The parent is faced with the bewildering choice. Should I express my love or should I avoid such expression? How much love is excessive? When does a demonstration of love become excessive?

Rejection! This gets a lot of attention today. Every kind of wrong imaginable is blamed upon the fact the child felt rejected. The parent should never leave the child with a feeling that he is unwanted. Over indulgence. Don't reject the child but don't give him too much material expression of love. Again the parent is in a quandary trying to find the middle ground.

Excessive condemnation! Wrong should be censored but not excessively. Again ... where is the line?

Parents are told never to be shocked by anything that the child does. This takes some real doing!

The child's feelings are to be respected. Fear and punishment are to be avoided. Parents should be consistent. Parents should never make the child feel inferior. Parents should never force the child beyond his capacity. Parents should answer the questions of the child but never beyond the child's understanding. Parents should show interest in the child's activities. Parents should never expect perfection. Parents are not to be antagonistic, dominating, or over identify themselves with the child. And on and on it goes!

About the time a parent has finished wading through all these conditions of being a success as a parent, he accepts being a failure, spanks the child, and forgets all about it.

Another method used by religion to excuse itself for failure is to blame someone else. Pass the buck! It is very convenient to blame the un-religious for all the failures of the religious. Our morals are at a new low, crime is increasing, juvenile delinquency is out of hand, lust rages, sex is distorted, and drunkenness is a national scandal. All these are evidences of the failure of religion but are accused of being the cause. This is like blaming pain as the cause of the injury.

Of course, each religion can always blame another religion for the failure. This is done a lot.

The pastors can always blame the people and, in turn, the people can always blame the pastor.

One of the really surprising things is that weather has so much effect on religion. A lack of attendance at church is always listed as one of the reasons for religious failure. A great percentage of folks will not attend church when it is raining, snowing, when it is hot or cold. In the southwest part of Ohio it is estimated that it will rain about ten Sundays a year, snow on at least three and it figures to be hot twelve Sundays, cold for at least nine. This makes thirty-four Sundays these folks cannot attend church. They will have company visiting their home on about eight Sundays and will be away visiting for about another eight. This makes fifty Sundays a year these folks cannot attend church. It leaves two Sundays a year they do attend ... Faster and Christmas, if it doesn't rain or snow.

Sunday Sickness is given as another contributing factor to the failure of religion. Many folks are very fortunate as sickness never seems to come on a week day when it could cost them money by losing work. It never comes at a time when they have planned some pleasurable event. Always on a Sunday! Then they can just lie around in bed and sort of enjoy being sick.

A lack of money is always listed high among the excuses for the failure of religion. No doubt this is a real problem, but one cannot help but wonder how much money it takes to make the love, peace, joy, assurance, etc. of religion a reality in life? How many more expensive church buildings will have to be built before America becomes religious?

Some of the excuses that religion gives are a little contradicting. Some are saying that if we could just get back to the good old days everything would be all right. The "old time religion" is the answer. Others tell us religion is failing because it is dragging behind the times. It needs to be modernized that is the answer.

Brainwashing is sometimes used to cover up religious failure. Brainwashing is the procedure whereby an individual is convinced that what he has always believed to be the truth is a lie and what he has always believed to be a lie is the truth. The individual is exposed to a constant repetition of a lie told as the truth and a truth told as a He until it is accepted as such. Brainwashing has been going on a long time in the name of religion. The general attitude of the public toward religion has been molded by this procedure. Some lies have been repeated long enough and loud enough that just about everyone accepts them as truth. Religion itself has been guilty of propagating some of these lies and some have been imposed upon religion by outsiders. As has been noted, this brainwashing can reverse the meaning of religious words and terms. Right becomes wrong and evil becomes good. In order to cover up its failure, religion simply brainwashes people into thinking failure is success and success is failure.

Many times these lies that are accepted as truth are presented in little standard cliches with which everyone is familiar To suggest that these much used expressions are not true is to evoke the wrath of those that are using them as a shield, but it still needs to be done. Most people are familiar with these cliches.

"You do not have to attend church to be religious."

"You can be just as religious outside of the church as you can in the church."

This has been said often enough and loud enough that most people accept it as the truth without giving it any thought. One little question exposes this lie. If this statement is true, why was the church established? Using this line of reasoning, the church becomes excess baggage and should be discarded and yet people who use this expression would probably be the first to protest if this were proposed. Religious truths have been preserved through the church and yet religious folks can adopt the lie that the church isn't needed.

"It doesn't make any difference which church you attend. One religion is as good as another."

This statement is widely accepted. It seems such a good, loving, tolerant attitude to take. As has been stated, all religions are obligated to accept what they believe and teach to be truth. Too many times the 'truth' of one church contradicts the 'truth' of another church; in fact, everything that any church believes is denied by another. To look at all these contradicting creeds and say it doesn't make any difference is to reveal how successful this brainwashing has been. Creeds that contradict cannot all be true. Some have to be in error. To say there is no difference is to eliminate the distinction between truth and error! This is foolishness.

"There are so many different religions it is impossible to know what is right."

This lie is readily accepted as the truth because it seems such a good excuse for rejecting all religion. Are we to assume that the God of religion was not able to preserve the truth and make it available to all? Has God been defeated and His truth hidden? No! The very fact that we have a God assures that we have His truth and the responsibility of recognizing and believing that truth.

"The Bible is so complicated that no one can really understand it."

Too many people have been turned from the Bible because they were brainwashed into accepting this lie as truth. This statement can also be shot down with one question. If the Bible cannot be understood, why was it given? The very fact that we have the Bible establishes that it was to be understood and believed. What purpose would God have in confusing or in keeping us in the dark?

"The Bible doesn't really mean what it says."

People find a comfort in this lie because they can write off anything in the Bible they do not like. If the Bible doesn't mean what it says, then why did it say it? Why didn't it say what it meant?

"It is best to allow a child to pick his own religion without any influence from the parents. It is best not to force the child to go to church and Sunday School."

No one would use this kind of reasoning anywhere else but in religion. Do we allow the child to decide whether he should go to school? To the dentist? To the doctor? Do we allow him to pick his own medicines? If it would be foolish to allow these things, then it would be doubly so to apply the same reasoning to matters of religion.

"Too much religion can drive you crazy."

"Too much religion" would be a condition so rare in America as to be almost non-existent. Trying to maintain the pretense we disguise as religion can endanger our sanity.

"You can't be religious and happy at the same time."

The caricature of the church goer as a miserable, straight laced sour-puss has been well established. People have been brainwashed into thinking that being religious and being unhappy are synonymous.

What is really needed is a willingness to turn from our excuses and find the source of the failure of "religion".

If you have comments about these pages of Bro. Norman Wells works, you may send them through the Webmaster: E-Mail , Webmaster, or send directly to David Wells, as you may wish!