This beautiful valley of Jezreel/Megiddo will never see an end-time battle
In defence of the sidelined God Jehovah, Creator of the Universe and Father of Humanity
Religion had its beginning with Family
the best of things and the worst of things:
It is the best of things as the ideal and perfect haven for progeny to grow into responsible adults.
It is worst of things in that it is the very genesis of all that is bad in human society. It gave rise to tribe, tradition, culture, nation and religion with feuds and wars at all levels. Instead of being the source of unity, peace and comfort, it has proved to be the mother of division.
Family's greatest and most atrocious outgrowth has been the religious mindset of a set mind which has entrenched itself in all human groupings and associations with theological religion the foremost, as it generated more conflict and spilled more human blood than any other cause.
Other than the basic nourishing family unit, none of these divisions, let alone their theistic outgrowths, are of God.
"Religion is regarded
by the common people as true,
by the wise as false,
and by the ruler as useful"
——Seneca the Younger
All religion are manmade.
How did all this get started?
Lack of experienced or taught education other than the skills required to survive in the chosen or coerced environment a family is situated. Natural phenomena, food sources and intellectual leanings of the family patriarch result in fear of something or someone greater and more powerful. Because bad things seem to also arise from these sources, some appeasement tax needs to be paid. The recipient may initially be the patriarch, but even he has on occasions been out-gunned by forces greater than he. Soon, names are ascribed to these forces which are thus anthropomorphised, possessing individual personalities in keeping with their demonstrated capriciousness, not unlike family members.
Guilt complexes, fear, punishment, retribution and appeasement 'tax' already had a beginning in the basic family, where the patriarch and his assistant matri-almost-arch, assumed that every misdeed of their offspring was deliberate rather than a mistake based primarily on ignorance and part of the learning process.
They also blamed each other and even themselves, especially when untoward natural phenomena seem to have thrown a spanner into the survival machinery. Blame became the game in vogue.
It followed therefore, and logically according to their perceptions, that these anthropomorphised forces, whom they had already given name and stature, had to be appeased. Family images were soon fashioned and became the focal point of some form of worship where gifts and solicitations were presented in a gradually more ritualistic format.
These images soon had a life of their own in that even the forces they represented assumed other-worldly personalities and presences up there somewhere, acquiring divinity. They must necessarily be immortal, because they seem to survive successive human generations without diminished power and caprice.
Religion, the progeny of family, thus raised its ugly head to become the monster that has domineered and terrorized man ever since.
Someone once said that Religion is the opium of the people. True enough, it's like a lobotomising drug; the numbing of humanity. It does the same to theists, atheists and agnostics alike, since they have all fallen victim to Religion's doctrinal delusions. Ah, but doesn't it do ever so much good for humanity, neighbour loving neighbour, healing the sick and helping all those in need?
Yes indeed, but that's adverteasing.
Adverteasement has always been good for business in any potentially profitable venture, religion no exception.
It is natural to help and be good neighbours in any family and tribal situation. Works both ways.
That was built into the mental and emotional framework of humans by our Creator. Don't need religion for that
For all manner of inappropriate* selfish reasons these natural tendencies are frequently overridden if not completely overwritten.
Tribal and national laws have generally incorporated these natural tendencies even in countries far removed from the so-called Christian ideals.
*Appropriate selfishness is an essential requirement for survival and happiness. Jesus reference to the Mosaic Law clearly shows self-love to be a prerequisite for loving others: ‘you must love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39) In this manner he also reminded the leaders of Israel of their personal obligation under the Law not only to obey that law: ‘you must not take vengeance nor have a grudge against the sons of your people; and you must love your fellow as yourself. I am Jehovah (Leviticus 19:18), but also teach the flock of Jacob to do the same.
But isn't God involved with Religion here? No, not at all.
No religion was ever founded by the Creator of the Universe!
It is entirely of human origin, sponsored by and integrated into secular governments to facilitate population control. As the principal facilitator, Religion created a beautiful framework for the Guilt Industry to function effectively.
Religion followed the geographical path trodden by family and tribe. Diverging tribal paths, conquests, marriage alliances and sundry disassociation spread tribal religious culture into specific geographical regions.
When the first man -yes Atheists, take a deep breath here- refused to take the first dietary advice seriously, humankind was set adrift on the ‘Independence’ and allowed to continue unhindered without continued guidance. No laws whatsoever were ever given to mankind by God, except a measure of basic programmed conscience, easily overwritten by culture. They just remained as they were made and died -time for Christians and every other theist to take a deep breath now.
Israel's constitution, comprised of administrative guidelines, regulations and laws, was never to become a religion.
Bored with that law, coupled with the titillating religions of the neighbouring peoples,
soon allowed Israel, God's firstborn son* to rebel and His beloved wife-like companion,
to prostitute herself into adultery. Under the Mosaic Law, termination awaited both
* Exodus 4:22.
Please read Ezekiel chapter 16 for the intimate details . . . noting Israel's ultimate atonement, though connected here with Israel's spousal alias Jerusalem, her execution in the Messiah Jesus was permanent - a one-way ticket to oblivion.
As for Israel the firstborn son of God, there was to be a final atonement, verse 63 NKJV; NWT, after a long line of annual events of repurchase or redemption via celebratory feasts.
More about that on other pages on this site.
From earlier essay:
Religion, the Family and the Tree
Once upon a time, there was no religion.
Adam and Eve had no religion. All they had to do was to stick to the right diet.
God never told them to sing songs of praise to and about their Creator Father.
He knows He's OK.
He does not have a personality problem or an inferiority complex that needs mitigating.
Just doing the right thing is enough praise.
In future time there will likewise be no religion.
All humanity will then also only need to stick to the right diet, keep breathing and not take stupid risks with their lives, if they wish to keep on living indefinitely even forever.
Not my idea. The workshop manual that came with the human machine says so.
That first and only original dietary advice God gave to Adam assured him of the absolute certainty of his own personal, irrevocably permanent death if he ate from that Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad.
Nothing wrong with that tree. Great looking and beautiful tree that praised God by just being there. It was even good for food. The fruit did not kill them. Did they not keep living for nearly a millennium after eating it? Great tree that.
Decay and Death being inherently natural for all living things on earth, it was also the default condition of generic Man. However, man was the only creature on planet earth to be given the unique opportunity to keep on living indefinitely without ever needing to die. Alas, there were certain not-so-small-print requirements like, would you believe, eating, drinking and breathing.
If they wish to voluntarily sing praises to God, as they ever more perceive His creative Genius to a greater degree, wonderful. They will, however never be forced, cajoled or pressured into doing so by religiously-minded unthinking fellow earth-dwellers. God won't make them either. It's voluntary. Life does not depend on it.
It however depends on heeding God's good advice. But that is also voluntary. Rejecting or ignoring some of that advice is not necessarily life threatening. It will however bring unpleasant if not adverse effects in its wake. Some advice will be of the or-else kind with unavoidable consequences, whereas not complying with still other advice in the form of clear instructions or commands will terminate one's life without redress.
Religion with its plethora of rituals and practices is the invention of man. It is a way of making some feel better as they compare themselves with others not of their ilk.
It starts off with the most wonderful of all human groupings: Family. This most basic unit of relationships was designed to nurture the young and to provide a haven of peace, joy and satisfaction for all. Unfortunately its way of doing things soon acquired religious overtones in that the way it does things differently from those in other families is deemed superior and better.
Family members themselves may see its practices at odds with their own desired way of doing things. Soon intra and inter family friction and conflicts escalate into feuds. Jealousy and envy over relationships and possessions then add fuel to the feuding fires with injury and/or death frequently the result, further inflaming negative passions.
Through isolation and estrangement from other families, each group then increasingly differentiates itself from the others in belief and practice. As the families then grow and extend their geographical reach, they become tribes, kingdoms and nations while retaining some or most of the differences in belief and practice of the original 'founding' families. The lines between family, culture and religion thus blur to almost invisibility.
The worst thing about all this is the religious mindset of political correctness that foments hate between the groups and their pet Gods with each claiming ascendancy over all others.
Ah, but what about the Bible God Jehovah? Did he not provide religion for His people Israel with attendant practices and rituals?
Well, within the prevailing glut and variety of religious practice of those days, Jehovah God founded an organised structure of nationhood for the people He had chosen for Himself as a solution for mankind's problems. No religion was created. He gave Israel a constitution, an administrative structure of an organised priesthood, the definition of the original Hebrew word Kohen being: principal officer or chief ruler.
Though this may seem initially odd to you reading this, God was literally dwelling with Israel as if they were with Him in person in His Most Holy heavenly presence. The initial rituals and practices were nothing more than what one might do by way of house cleaning etc in preparation for a distinguished visitor.
God later added other cleansing rituals and practices due to their failing to maintain their cleansed condition by obeying the constitution, their family's body of law given to them by Jehovah through Moses on Mt Horeb/Sinai, adherence to which was contingent for God's continuing presence with His Israelite Family.
Religion has been the means for individuals and groups/classes to gain prestige, power, control over others and wealth for themselves. Religion's unholy matrimony with the ruling classes always ensured their survival in that they provide God's blessings for the sacrificial killing fields as extended national families continue to do battle with one another under all manner of pretexts.
May I encourage you to continue to search through this site for the big picture.