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Thoughts and Prayers and Bumper Stickers

There is a bumper sticker you have probably seen around with the word “co-exist” spelled out in the symbols of various religions, Christianity included. I get the feeling that the person who displays this is chiding the one seeing it, believing that they are morally superior to the ”children” and small-minded who still believe in such fairy tales. 
The message it carries is to my thinking a pernicious devaluation of sincerely held beliefs by many of the practitioners of these faiths. It ignores the doctrines of every belief and suggests abandoning them in order to coalesce into.... what, exactly? One world religion, perhaps. You cannot take diverse and often contradictory and diverse beliefs about the nature of God, how to relate to Him, his activity in the world and just force them into a one-size-fits-all belief package. Instead of bringing together everything the outcome would be that what remains of the original is nothing.
This pompous instruction to "co-exist" suggests that we are equally culpable in undermining World Peace. We are not. In fact for the most part followers of deities true and false already co-exist and have for centuries, even in places where you would be surprised to know that was the case. For some of us the faith that we follow requires us to do so. For others it is a matter of expediency for now. It is largely those of no faith who foist their intolerance on others. I still know and believe that Jesus is the only Way to find and know God. With this belief so deeply rooted (I feel like its knowledge based on experience of God in a tangible way) I cannot abandon the experience because of your bumper sticker, but I’m not hurting anyone.

Another one - a bumper sticker, that is - instructs, “Imagine World Peace.” Why? I never did understand this one. But the more I hear those in the public view, as they lament the latest large scale tragedy, committing to thinking about people in dire circumstances (“our thoughts are with you”) I realize that this is a religious dictate too. I feel the same reflexive recoil in my mind as when I heard recently on the radio the Toronto Real Estate Board, in response to the current pandemic*, encouraging people in a very worried and concerned voice to “keep everyone in your thoughts”  An act of faith, but not my faith.

Thoughts are not prayers. The idea that thoughts make any difference is based in false religion from the East. It is the kind of thing the Bible speaks of when referring to people following “things taught by demons” and we are fully immersed in it in our culture. If you think I am overstating it, a quick search on “what power is there in thoughts?”will take the lid off for you. 

For example, this from https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/mind:

”The Power of Thought
One of the topics that spirits often speak about through mediums is the power of thought. Reality is subjective in many ways, and you have control over these subjective areas by the way you think”

Or this from https://www.one-mind-one-energy.com/Power-Of-Thought.html 

“The Power of thought is incredible. Every time you think you are emitting a unique electro-magnetic unit going into the ether - to The Universe. It´s a vibration - a personal vibration.We have to be aware of our thoughts - they are powerful cosmic waves in the universal sea of energy we live in.”

These claims are lies. They are things taught by demons to distract the gullible, the un-enquiring, the offended and the self-righteous from the Grace of God.

I so appreciate it when leaders distinguish between the two and offer prayers for those in trouble. That can make a difference. The thoughts idea just keeps people away from God. Creates false hope and fosters a generic, ‘co-exist-based” false spirituality. It seems innocuous, but it is rancid. This is eastern mysticism and even if you believe it it is still not true. Offering “thoughts” seems like a nice non-controversial way of not offending and not forcing religion on people. Turns out though that is exactly what is happening - keeping people from the God whom we implore to keep our land glorious and free. I suspect that’s a thought He is not currently impressed by and even a prayer he won’t hurry to answer when the leaders of our nation and those with the public's attention in media abandon Him at every opportunity, deride His Word and scorn His people, while exalting the beliefs and thoughts of those who are far from Him.

God forgive us. As a nation. We should think and pray that.

 

* For future readers, we are, in 2020, in the middle of an unprecedented imposed closure of society, with the bare minimum of activity allowed. We are to "stay inside" because of a virus called Covid-19. Don't know whether you will have heard of this or not.

 

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