Friday, October 20, 2017

Snake Oil Religion

There has been a productive tactic used by the purveyors of darkness ever since the first humans walked upon the face of the Earth. The tactic is really simple and continues to sell to this day. Lies are crafted using fear and doubt to create a product. Once the product is ready for market advertisers try to convince us why we need what is being offered as a remedy for our problem. These well-crafted lies are inserted into the hearts and minds of people using human logic to make the lie seem believable and rational. Once a product has a perceived value to the consumer it becomes a needed product in every household.

Fear-driven products sell. This was the tactic used by the snake oil dealers on the American frontier. When a snake oil dealer pulled his garish wagon into a naive small town, fear was hawked from the back of the wagon creating the consumer. “Good for what ails you!” was the promise. When the carnival-sounding words of fear finally took hold people begin to push through the captivated crowd with money in hand demanding their personal bottle of deception convinced it would ease the pain of their fear.

None of us move forward with fear, judgment or doubt. These things freeze our faith in a place of disbelief. This is why the voice of the Church must be one of hope and a better future. This way of thinking and living invites individuals and cultures to take the next steps needed to move us forward into the goodness of God and the hope of something better. Our other option is to dig deeper into our foxholes of disbelief swilling the potions of fear never finding true relief from what ails our soul. The enemy is always “out there” just beyond the no man's land of our fears. We continue to drink in the lies and toss our grenades at shadows.

Today, go to your spiritual medicine cabinet. Toss out your bottles of doomsday eschatology. Throw away the pills of separation that make you better than others. Flush the medicine of doubt about your future that crept in when you failed miserably. Sweep your hand across the shelves with the same intensity demonstrated by Jesus when He cleaned house that day in the Temple driving out the moneychangers.

This is a new day for you – a day created and intended to not have fear anywhere in your thinking or in the planning for your future. Anything that does not line up with faith, hope, and love needs to go.

1 comment:

  1. I love this so much! There are so many voices that are instilling fear and hopelessness in people. It is not the heart of God. I come from a long line of gloom and doom scare tactics being taught and it caused me to walk away from my faith in my early twenties. God brought me back at 31 and I expected a stern chastising. Instead, God met me right where I was and gently bent down to groom me. I was overwhelmed by his mercy, grace, and love for me. And I've never been the same since!