Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’


Operation Shocktober The Sequel 011

Operation Shocktober The Sequel 011 (Photo credit: Anonymous9000)

Unlike your college textbooks, this 2nd edition costs you nothing more. The first edition outlined some simple paths to see if the religious organization you have affiliated with is a cult, here are two more advanced ways to tell:

1) Forced tithing/giving/pleding – that is the group forces one to disclose how much they earn and then bullies/coerces into one giving 10-25% for “God‘s” work to the organization whether the individual can or not.

Pre-1970’s this type of shenanigan was more common, and was actually coupled with quite a bit of spiritual abuse from the pulpit of the hell fire and brimstone type that tied one’s giving to their ability to get into heaven (indulgences in pre-reformation Catholicism, pew purchasing in Protestantism which led to the “Free Church” movements).

2) Spying – Members befriend you to get information for the leadership to control you through bearing down on one’s self-worth. This monitoring and “friending” has become easier with the rise of blogs; Twitter; Linkedin; Pinterest and Facebook (to name a few) where individuals can be monitored and/or added to groups without one’s approval. This information is then forwarded on to see who is “inline” or not with the leadership.

3) This one is either a sign of a cult, or that your spiritual support is burnt out– everything must be ran by them and no one else.

Two more advanced points, but one needs to remember that with God there is no labels, there is no hierarchy…So please if you are involved with any religious organization that practices these 2nd edition extremes or those listed in yesterday’s article, RUN!

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Just a good laugh…Franciscans using the wealthy to bless the poor 800 years and counting 🙂


Eric Butterworth is quoted as saying that once everything is said and done, a lot more has been said than done. I have to concur with these thoughts, reflect on history, not just religion, but history, and there is a lot more talk than action, much more promised than actualized, yet if the principles we as the species humanity say are those we truly believe then why is there such dissonance within our actions? Why is our world so dysfunctional?

This is the principle of living our beliefs, if we say we believe in the Golden Rule, regardless of its incarnation, do we actually live it though? St. Francis of Assisi was disparaged by his peers for being non-academic, yet it was not that he was against learning. What Francis wanted was for each Gospel learning to be memorized, internalized, and lived out before his followers moved on to the next one. How different would the world be if each follower of their own faith followed this methodology of learning?

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I ponder next steps in my ministerial journey, prayerfully discerning where the Holy Mystery is guiding next.

I look out at the current landscape of the “church” and see pain, suffering, abuse, that has grown out of  a surface level, indoctrinated faith of “rightness” or “righteousness” not a true discovery of Sacred Practice to commune deeper with the Holy.

I ponder what ifs, and wonder of interest for something that goes beyond westernized academic spirituality to a true communal sharing of experience, a community that comes together.

I wonder if there is interest in a montly gathering, that goes beyond labels to those that authentically thirst and seek the holy.  Not some academic exercise, or protratcted or elongated dialogue, rather a gathering time.

A simple potluck meal shared.

All ages welcome, embraced.

A time of discovery and learning of a new sacred practice, a new way of understanding ourselves independently, communally and within the Holy Mystery that created us.

Followed by a time of sharing.

I wonder, if there is interest for this? If so, let me know, and we can perhaps dream, or better yet make happen.