What is our true religion? What is our true faith? What is the god that we worship?
I think the answer varies. For some, the answer is pretty straight-forward: an established, traditional, religion or denomination.
In some cases, the answer is a bit more complex, subtle, and hidden. Sometimes I think there is an overlap between the two where the true faith is hidden beneath what one can see on the surface.
And of course, there are more than just these two simple answers — it is a range of answers really.
For example, one could argue that one of America’s true religions isn’t Christianity, so much as it is Comfort. Sometimes the religion of Comfort can take on the outward appearance of Christianity — having all the trappings of the faith. A passing glance, and sometimes more, would easily confuse the two. There are worship services, churches, pastors, organizational structure, etc. Often, the religion of Comfort co-exists and uses the church institution for its form. You can even hear the words of Christianity that make it hard to discern the difference. The religion of Comfort has no need to create its own structure — it can just piggyback off an existing structure. Creating it’s own structure would be too uncomfortable anyway.
But the religion of Comfort is different from Christianity. The religion of Comfort proclaims a message of status quo — that salvation comes through the maintenance of the status quo. It proclaims that a person’s life should not change. The religion of Comfort is happy to talk about Jesus, but only certain aspects of Jesus — the nice Jesus, the friendly Jesus. Not that Jesus who calls on followers to deny themselves daily, pick up their cross, and follow Jesus. Not the Jesus who tells the rich to sell their possessions and give to the poor. Not the Jesus who calls on us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned. Those are not comfortable.
The religion of Comfort has boundaries for God. Comfort believes that god can have limited access to a person, based on what the person wants and desires. If the person wants to close god off from their finances, so be it. Same for relationships, or health, or work, or anything else. The main practice of the faith of Comfort is to avoid stirring the pot or upsetting the status quo. Or anything that would require a change in one’s life. That would be uncomfortable. (And yes, I am using lower-case “g” to refer to the…