Islam is not the only religion that contains a “right wing/extremist” faction. These kinds of sub-groups exist in most religions, to one degree or another.
It seems there are always those fundamentalist/literalist types who tend to need the safety of absolutist forms of dogma and doctrine in order to assuage their anxieties regarding the perceived ambiguity of noetic concepts. The problem is that these folks tend to want to make life miserable for those who are seeking to live and practice a balanced and rational approach to matters of Faith.
I recently had dealings with a local group of this nature who had accused me of being “New Age,” which is a term they use pejoratively to criticize anything they feel is too far out of their own doctrinal “comfort zone.” It seems these folks are happy to have a new member, or a new church building, but a “New Age” is far too frightening for them. I guess they are fully content with the current one where materialism and wars predominate?
This experience inspired me to reflect upon the person and ministry of Jesus the Nazarene, whom the aforementioned people claim to follow (except for the judge not, love others part). 🙂
The New “Testament” (Sign, Evidence) itself presents a scenario of an established religion (Judaism) that was challenged by the presence of a man (Jesus), claiming to teach something new and different from what their own doctrines promulgated. Consequently, Jesus was labeled a heretic by these “right wing” pompous Jewish “authorities.” It is interesting to note that these same kinds of arrogant self-righteous authorities exist to this day, but under a new name, and wearing slightly different uniforms.
If Jesus were here today, I posit that there would be many who would not even recognize him, and who would most likely dismiss him as a “New Ager.” The shocking reality here is that in his day and time, he actually was! Nearly everything Jesus ever taught referred to the ushering in of a “new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) for humanity, where PEACE and LOVE would reign as the new paradigm.
So, if by “New Age” the previously mentioned group is accusing me of an “anything goes, white light and bunnies, unicorns and glitter” type theology and philosophy, then they are grossly mistaken, and are guilty of defamation (which they are).
However, if by “New Age” they (correctly) mean that I believe in a transformed and illumined (two words they despise, by the way) human race, devoted to GOD, full of PEACE and LOVE, and no longer prone to greed, hatred, manipulation, and war; then they are, as the British say, “spot-on.”
I learned it from Jesus.