Mar 13, 2011

Our Inability to Handle Freedom

The gospel today reminds me of one of the novels we tackled in school - Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brother's Karamazov, especially Chapter 5 the Grand Inquisitor. Before I go to discussing it's connection to that Russian novel, let me start by saying that the gospel this Sunday is about the three temptations of Christ after the forty day sacrifice he made.

I won't go into detail but the chapter depicts a confrontation between Jesus returning back to Earth and the Grand Inquisitor during the time of inquisition. The Grand Inquisitor condemns Jesus' return as an interference with the mission of the church today.

"The Inquisitor states that Jesus rejected these three temptations in favor of freedom, but the Inquisitor thinks that Jesus has misjudged human nature. He does not believe that the vast majority of humanity can handle the freedom which Jesus has given them. The Inquisitor thus implies that Jesus, in giving humans freedom to choose, has excluded the majority of humanity from redemption and doomed it to suffer." - Wikipedia

Jesus is said to interfere with the role of the Church because its mission now is to give directions to what the people must follow. Which are morally acceptable and which are not? I'm not saying that this is detrimental, but this may be a proof that religion is the opium of the masses - those who can't think for themselves, those who are weak to handle freedom.

Because if we are indeed free, what's the need to go through a religion if we can discern for ourselves? The fact is, majority of us cannot, and this majority, according to Doestevsky, is being excluded by Jesus by being an example of free will.

For me, what we should be critical about is the role of religion/the Church in our lives. A Bible expert stated that Jesus didn't actually enforce structures or institutions among people - but relationships. It is important for us then to asses what the role of religion is in building our relationship with our families and community.

No comments: