A good friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning (Graham Nicholson in case you want to look him up), so thought I would share, to me he made a very compelling and truthful summary of the history of faith.
"Why is it that religionists can accept the founding spiritual predecessors of their own religion's Founder, but never the spiritual successors of that Founder? It is like embracing a succession of earlier founders leading to their own religion, but from the coming of their own Founder the spiritual process is seen as coming to a complete and final stop, for all time. Doesn't matter if global circumstance radically change thereafter, the process is seen as being at an end for all time. Spiritual truth is seen as being final, exhaustive, exclusive, and everything seeking spiritual recognition thereafter is rejected without enquiry as being false. And this despite the promises of their own Founder of a later return, a promise that can never be recognised due to confining preconceptions of the Founder's followers.
The idea that the "return" is a spiritual concept is usually rejected and interpreted literally to mean a physical concept, a return in the imagined physical form of their own Founder, perhaps floating down in a cloud or in some other miraculous physical way. It is really designed to reject all-comers without investigation so as to preserve the accumulated religious status quo. No wonder the spirit ossifies. The concept of ongoing spiritual renewal is rejected even though this is inherent in their own teachings.
The end result? Religions become havens of exclusivist dogma and ritual, form rather than substance, bigotry and prejudice, spiritual argument, religious division and decline. The risks of global disunity and even violence increase. In an increasingly interdependent global human community surely this not a healthy development."
That really does say it all.