Hypocrisy or Pageantry. There is a tough line between discernment and criticism. Look for the good and find it.
The Art of Balance in Faith
When the ritual is an exercise to get us right to receive the blessings from above, it is generally good. When the ritual is considered a requirement to receive,, then it most often goes to far. However if a church goes to far and others find faith in it, be happy yours is not. Pageantry is fun, religion should be.
The pageantry and beauty of a mustard seed come to maturity
Religion and Pageantry
Sometimes I wonder how many folks out there do not get to worship in a community like I do. I mean they do not go because they are bitten somewhere somehow. Bitten by the hypocrisy that goes along with so much religion. Oh do not get me wrong, there are many a church or temple that I would not attend in general, and there are many a sect that turn my gut by their moronic preaching. In my life I have stayed away from group worship.
But now I find beauty even in the services or traditions of men. Hypocrisy is bad but does not make me stay away. I think the first thing I had to overcome in order to start enjoying church again was guilt. Guilt for not going and for thinking bad about those who did attend. I never should have had those thoughts. Not because they were wrong, but simply because they kept me from seeing the beauty. Because someone fails to perfect a doctrine or way of life, does not make them bad, just human. If a man preaches one thing and does the other, well, there but for the grace of God go I.
Jesus had some harsh words for these folks that run services for their own aggrandizement. Perhaps I am right to dislike certain services.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
I reckon now I see the doctrines of man and accept it as a human condition. Heck and gee whiz I have trouble enough discerning and following the doctrines of God. When I get that down maybe I can judge again these doctrines of man. Until then I think I will just enjoy the services and ceremony as so much pageantry. A whole lot better pageantry than is on TV.