Paredolia is the curious phenomenon of seeing familiar things that are not really there. Its what happens when we see a particular shape in the clouds or mistake a stranger for an old friend.But how often to we see this same phenomenon in our churches. We see it most in liberal churches who see their own social gospel and demand for tolerance in passages that either don’t exist or that say nothing of the kind. But this is not a liberal sin, it is also the sin of the pharisee who reads traditions and enculturations into scriptures in order to create puffed up rules and requirements. We see it in conservative churches who play a numbers game, mistaking large attendance for souls fairly won and in the prosperity gospel that tells us God just wants us to be happy and wealthy, and then often conflate the two.
SO the next time you enter a church, read your bible or devotional or attempt to engage in apologetic ask yourself am I seeing what isn’t there?