Archbishop Jonathan Blake

The Most Reverend Jonathan Blake, Presiding Archbishop of the Open Episcopal Church B.A. (Hons), Dip. Pastoral Studies. Bishop's Haven, 105 Danson Crescent Welling DA16 2AS U.K. Mobile: 07767 687711 www.bishopjonathanblake.com bishopjonathanblake@ntlworld.com www.openepiscopalchurch.org www.twitter.com/bishopjonathan The Church is a member of The International Council of Community churches and the World Council of Churches. Married and a proud Dad.

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Location: London, Kent, United Kingdom

Gassed in Tehran, seized in Kabul, helped Mother Teresa, almost murdered, raised £300,000, ordained 1981, street sleeper, pilgrim to Auschwitz, Kenya + Pakistan 4 peace, began 1st inter-faith NHS chapel, wrote text on Parliament, arrested, relinquished his 12 year Anglican post 2 be independent, baptised 1000's in homes, on Mt Snowdon + in circus ring, did wedding underwater, wrote ‘For God’s Sake Don’t Go To Church’, nailed 95 Theses to Canterbury cathedral, arrested, co-founded the Society for Independent Ministry, was consecrated a bishop, co-founded the Open Episcopal Church, did 1st gay wedding on prime time TV, sued Associated Newspapers 4 defamation, co-consecrated 1st women bishops 4 England. Wales + Scotland, accommodated the homeless, took Mass 2 sex workers + posted it, elected Archbishop, arrested 4 taking kids on roof, not charged, founded ‘When No One’s Watching', became an ICV, did Jade Goody's wedding , invited 2 Downing St, wrote 'That Old Devil Called God Again', arrested 4 times campaigning against child abuse, had harassment conviction quashed on appeal, appealing a conviction for breaches of restraining order 2 stop a paedophile

Thursday, March 20, 2014

RELIGION IS A DISEASE

I had a very disturbing encounter recently.

I met a person who had suffered through their early life and who had lived, as a result, a disturbed and disordered life that had endangered them. Then they 'found Christ'.

The experience of conversion transitioned them from fragmentation into a focused and purposeful existence.

Excellent one might suppose.

No.

I realised on meeting them that they had merely swapped disordered existences. Now they were clutching their bible, speaking about God in every sentence and earnestly praying that they would know and do God's 'perfect will'. It was only God that could have rescued them from their former lives they said and they owed him complete obedience.

An untutored observer and many innocent members of the public may have been enthralled by the confidence with which the person spoke of God's will and presence and may have assumed that they were special and holy, a deeply spiritual person about God's business.

However, under closer scrutiny all the religious devotion was merely a front, a sedative, a dependency akin to heroin or alcohol, that enabled the person to mediate their inner pain and operate a protective mechanism with which they could negotiate life.

You may suggest that this is a fine way to escape from a self harming lifestyle.

No.

They were still self harming, just using God to destroy themselves. They remained pursued and possessed. They knew no peace. They lived a frantic existence always on the look out to evangelise others and draw them in to Christian commitment.

However they had no experience of God.

Their God was a fabricated saviour figure, firmly under their control, subject to their beliefs and their understanding. They had God trussed up in a book, imprisoned in their beliefs, bound and gagged in their preaching and at their every command in their prayers. This God was a distorted effigy of their own egotistical need to escape the hell of their inner chaotic world.

Their God was cruel, divisive, rejecting and angry yet all behind a smiling benevolent face. It was only in repose that the torment and torture of this person's psychological state was apparent.

It was a deeply disturbing encounter because under the guise of loving words and serving God they were busy leading others into hell and knifing those who remained unconvinced with rejection and disdain.

It made me appreciate again that religion is a disease that people often contract when their immune systems are down, when they are at a low ebb, when their lives are a mess and they have few resources left. Others are infected at an early age by their parents, their schools, their culture or their churches. Our society and the world is blighted by this illness, our productivity is reduced, our potential is thwarted and our hopes are dashed.

We must, as a matter of the greatest urgency, find a cure and learn what life can really be like free of  religion and  ensure our children are inoculated until religion is eradicated forever from our planet.


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