Let’s Talk About Religion

I’m more spiritual than religion

Jesus is MY religion, man

Keep your theology, keep your doctrine, keep your religion: Just give me Jesus

It’s about a relationship, not religion.

We’re even hearing it in contemporary Christian music. The song “The God I Know” by Love & The Outcome has a similar message. Religion is bad. That’s not what Christianity is about.

Religion is man-made.

You can’t cram God into a box.

Religion divides, Jesus unifies.

I could go on…but I think you get my point.

 

I hate to be that person, but if we look at the dictionary’s definition of religion, Christianity does fit.

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Just in case Webster’s definition doesn’t tickle your fancy, I’ll throw in Strong’s as well.

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.19.39 PMScreen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.19.57 PM

 

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:26-27 (ESV)

And just to really put the final nail in the coffin, there a passage of Scripture that suggests religion is not inherently bad. There is a difference between true and false religion.

So, what is the point of all this? Isn’t this just an issue of semantics? Well…kind of.

My concern is there seems to be a line drawn in the sand. There are two types of Christians standing on either side of that line. On one side you have those Bible-worshiping, doctrine-loving, rule-following, legalistic Christians. On the other side, there are sin-loving, constantly-apologizing, politically correct Christians. The two sides seem to be at war with each other and Jesus gets lost in our chaos.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and you have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! – Matthew 23:23-24 (ESV)

It would seem that Jesus is suggesting that we can find balance. We can follow the “rules” spelled out for us in Scripture, while simultaneously paying mind to the weightier matters (justice, mercy, and faithfulness.) We don’t need to do away with religion, but if we follow rules while simultaneously having a heart full of hate, we’re missing the point.

To wrap this up: this was very much an opinion piece. I’m so discouraged by all the infighting. Nothing beneficial ever comes from it. If you have anything to add to this topic, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks and God bless

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