Unorganized Religion

Oh, here’s a fun one:

Q: Just what exactly does unorganized religion look like, anyway?

A: Unorganized religion is personal beliefs were you do not allow someone else to tell you what you believe or to “interpret” what you should believe.
(edit) A group of people telling someone what to believe is a scam and has led to many great evils in this world.

You hear a lot, even in Christian circles, about the evils of organized religion. Yet, I question even the veracity of the term, for in some sense, isn’t all ‘religion’ organized by its very definition? Granted, there are many individuals who live and practice their religious beliefs individually, apart from any structured group or circle. But their very beliefs are generally part of a far larger religious system already in existence.

Now, what people are really thinking when they talk about unorganized religion is having the freedom to believe whatever you want about God and to live your life however you see fit. The scorn toward organized religion is, I think, two-fold – it’s a rebellion against the idea of having anyone tell you that you are not living your life the way you ought to be, and it’s a reaction against the religious groups that _do_ get it wrong on a very public level. No one likes to be told they are wrong, and no one likes to be associated with fanatics and bigots.

Personally, I take some amount of comfort in organized religion because it means that I am _not_ alone in my faith. It’s usually much easier to live and practice your faith consistently when you have someone else to walk beside you as you go. Sure, there are those who are going to get it wrong and who are going to get it so wrong that it makes the rest of us look bad by association. But it sure doesn’t mean, necessarily, that we should forsake that organization, especially when the fundamentals of that organization are sound and biblical. It just means that we have to work harder to show everyone else the way it _ought_ to be done and demonstrate that, while this fanatic group that has so messed things up rallies under the same banner, they do, in fact, have no part with us.

Organized religion is not, I think, this great evil that it has come to be seen as. But with all things, it is made up of imperfect people and so it will rarely ever look perfect.

Have anything to add to the conversation?