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The Kosher-ness of Hating "Religion"

You see it seemingly everywhere…Music, movies, books, etc.  It’s popular to bash religion. Typically, it’s preceded by the word “organized”. Many, even in the Christian community will say something to the effect that it’s about a “relationship” not about “religion”.  Okay, I get that.  I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years now. I understand that the overreaching important thing is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s a given. However, let’s not throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, religion is not always viewed as a bad thing in the Bible, something some Christians might be surprised to find out if they would actually read the scriptures…

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27 (NIV)

You can boil this down to two basic points…First, pure religion is to look after orphans and widows. While looking after an orphan or widow can take many different forms for different people, it’s still a pretty straightforward statement.

However, keeping oneself from being polluted by the world can and does encompass many different things, many of those things being the forms and functions that we typically assign in our minds to being “religious” in nature. Those things could be attending church, serving in a ministry, helping the poor and needy, etc. These are good things. Even if someone’s heart is not right with Jesus, i.e. the relationship, they are still good things. If the hungry are fed by people with a poor or self-serving attitude, I still praise God that the hungry are fed. Obviously, those with that kind of attitude aren’t going to receive any particular benefit from that service but the end result in this example is that the hungry are fed.

Let’s face it…Those of us who attend worship on a regular basis might not want to call what we are doing in church “religion” but the fact of the matter is that it IS religion. It’s religion, not in our selfish attempt at obtaining salvation, but religion in humble reverence to a loving God that is keeping us from being polluted by the world. That’s why we worship Him in song, in the word, and in service on a weekly basis. That’s why we serve Him in deed throughout the week, at our jobs and in our homes and wherever it is that God would lead us. At least, that’s my hope and prayer.


One Response

  1. […] Christians, view religion in a negative manner as displayed in the above photo. As I wrote in a previous post, I understand the mentality. Our culture is, unfortunately, replete with numerous examples of […]

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