Secrets are those bits and pieces of knowledge that someone does not want the world to know. When anyone thinks of secrets, they think CIA, military operations, your health records, Microsoft and the Vatican. Wait… the Vatican? The Vatican is a shining representation of what is holy-at least for Catholic believers. The Vatican is a Christian religious institution which in the last month or so was ‘rocked’ with scandal that the Pope’s trusted personal assistant was caught with and arrested for stealing secret documents. The question that is on everyone’s mind is that he could not have pulled off such a caper by himself therefore who else is behind such a heist and what was the intent? The first thing on my mind is why do churches have secrets?
The Vatican is a very public religious institution and therefore any misdeeds will be magnified. The problem is the Vatican is just a more visible example of many Christian religious institutions in which the organizations are more like a business than a place of spiritual healing. Of course no man and therefore no church is perfect but when there is something to hide in the houses of God, then there is a problem that has instantly put God out of the picture. Whatever is done in the dark should come to light is a known (paraphrased) verse in the bible. What can any church, in God’s name, keep as a secret that they deemed to toxic for the believers’ ears.
In the old testament, God commanded that the Arc of the Covenant be built and he ordered that specific items were to be placed inside. Back in the bible day, only select few were able to touch the arc or you would be killed instantly. The point is that even though close proximity to the arc could cost someone his life, everyone far and wide knew what was housed in that sacred box – The 10 commandments. I mean everyone knew it’s ‘secrets’! The devout and the heathens alike. There was no secret when it came to the Israelites religious institution, each man might have their own secrets but not the institution of God. So the real question is what in God’s name could any modern day religious establishment hold much more precious than the items in the Arc of the Covenant that needs to be hidden except from a select privilege few? What?
Churches with secrets are the ultimate oxymoron. The Christian ministry was not founded on secrets and mysteries or the bible would have strategically indicated that certain things were not for the believers eyes and ears and should be guarded by a select few. Can you imagine any aspect of the Christian bible being deemed ‘secret’ and only for the eyes of a certain few? I recognize that many people do not question their religious institutions. I recognize that believers find it almost blasphemous to point out discrepancies or even ask questions. I recognize that many believers tend to feel and believe that attending ones church is the same as believing in God or Christianity. However, I tend to believe very differently and they are not mutually exclusive. Back in the day, the early Christians were missionaries. They were commissioned to travel, preach, and teach. The new believers congregated wherever available in order to share the new teachings and support each other. Later, church institutions (Ephesus, Laodicea etc)began to form and even Paul had to address some misleading information and questionable behaviors of the members and leaders of these new churches.
No religious institution is too holy for mistakes and correction. No church is perfect and believers need to recognize that and ask yourself if the church meets the Bible criteria not the other way around. If it does not, then feel free to question the church NOT your belief in God. The Christian churches’ purpose is for spiritual enlightenment not for secret keeping, human judges, indecipherable tongue babbling nor snake charming or any such nonsense. Christianity in and of itself is a very simple concept - Love God with all your heart and might and love your fellow-man. The bible even added a few guidelines to do both. Jesus knew his Jewish heritage and traditions and he knew his Torah. However, when Jesus quoted a passage, it came from the Torah not the ever-changing traditions. Secrets are for man not for God.