9/18/06

Limbaugh on Religion

Rush Limbaugh, for the first time since I've been listening to him, finally announced his view on religion. It's amazing to me exactly how much one's personal worldview affects their view of religion. First I should set up how the subject came up on Rush's program. He was talking about the Pope's apologies toward the Muslims for apparently defaming them by reading from an ancient text describing an early pope's views of the Muslims as warlike, violent people. Rush was talking about how a particular newspaper (I believe it was the New York Times, but I may be wrong) is calling for another, better apology from the Pope because what he said severely offended the "peaceful" religion which is, consequently, rioting in the streets.

Rush said that this call from the newspaper defined for him the liberal view of religion; how it is for the practitioner to make him feel good and make sense out of this crazy world - a fluffy, warm, fuzzy idea of religion for the fluffy, warm, fuzzy Left. He went on to explain that he thought religion was all about fighting evil, combating sin and defeating Satan - a strong, violent, combative idea of religion for the strong, violent, combative Right.

When you actually take the time to study the Bible, however, you come to the realization that both of these ideas are wrong in and of themselves, but may be combined to make something closer to the truth. There certainly are elements of euphoric, lovely and poetic beauty, but you can't get past the Old Testament without finding death, sin and holy war.

So what does this mean? Both ideas are mere symptoms of the truth. They are parts of the whole, and not its definition. Religion is not meant to make you "feel good," and it's not meant to "fight evil." These things happen, yes, but the whole of religion is to worship God in the way interpreted through the study of His Word. Organized religion is directed toward God. Songs are for His praise, sermons are for teaching His standards, fellowship is for telling others about Him. Personalized religion is deeper than warm feelings, it's deeper than the struggle against evil. Personalized religion is a relationship with God that produces these things as you mature within it.

It's interesting to me how the Lost, regardless of their social or political views, see religion. The geeky outsider, the guy who always hugs you, the war monger, the closed-minded idiot; all these things may be used to personify religion in the eyes of The World. But when you love someone you will wish to gain a deeper, "geeky" knowledge of them, you will love those who that someone loves, you will fight for him and you defend his view. All these things are not what religion is about, they are what religion produces in the hearts of those who fall into a deep relationship with their God.


The Pretenders - Learning to Crawl - My City Was Gone
"My City Was Gone" by The Pretenders
(Rush Limbaugh's theme song)