So what is faith? How does God fit in to our lives? What is religion and how does it affect our lives?
I have been a believer for many years. A believer, in God, and in Jesus Christ. I am not, however, much of a believer in religion. But what’s the difference?
Many people have grown up in “religious” households that now want nothing to do with God because of their “religious” upbringing. Why? One of the reasons is the rigidity of religion. The rules, the regulations. The threat of hell if your good doesn’t outweigh your bad. Hypocrisy. Empty traditions. Corruption in organized religious systems. Stogy, boring, meaningless “services” that rival a visit to the dentists office for a root canal. Or maybe a flashy, entertainment based religious “show” on Sunday’s packed with lot’s of pie in the sky feel good messages about living the best life you can, all with “God” being the engine that drives it all. Or is He… since He said to find your life you need to lose it for his sake.
Is any of this a true representation of God?
Well, He’s everywhere, but is he signing off on a lot of this activity?… not really. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s not about religion… it’s about a relationship.” This is indeed true, but am I not supposed to be able to go to a “church” or temple of some kind to find out how to have that relationship? Well, it ought to be that way, but many times that reality gets lost in translation, and gets entangled in the political or corporate system the church is caught up in, or the rules, regulations, pomp and traditions.
This is a huge topic, but my goal of this post is that someone will see that God is fully available to them right now, and that His desire is to be found by them. Let’s look at a few scriptures that reflect what I believe God would like us to know as it is in His Word:
Mark 7:13 “Thus you nullify the word of God by your traditions that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.”
In Luke 14, references are made to when having an event to take the lowest place and honor the poorest available. But in many churches, it’s the other way around. When you have money, look good, act like you’re all together, you will likely be greeted with the obligatory welcome, handshake, and greeting, while the not so prim and proper is usually last in line. This is not an indictment on the entire church, but the backwards, corporate, political religious institutions that masquerade as the church. (Luke 14 is a great chapter to read on the subject).
We are told to go and make disciples of all nations. Real believers who live wholeheartedly for God in a genuine way in a genuine relationship that is life transforming. Not a religious mortuary, or nightclub version of a real church the way God intended. A place where we are all welcomed, not judged, and can become part of a genuine community of authenticity, vulnerability, mutual help of each other, where rules, and traditions don’t supplant the life transforming power of God that He intends to bring into all who would seek Him.
BH/. These are my opinions. They are not necessarily the opinions of EI Solutions, Kairoslife, or any other affiliate.