REPOST FROM ANOTHER BLOG. I still wonder why it seems “religion” has become the poster child of all that bad in spiritual matters.
The first poem that I shared here is in the form of a question – A Christian or not?. That question is one that has kind of been on mind recently, as I have observed different people that profess to be Christians, in different circumstances; I sometimes am left wondering – what does it mean to be a Christian?
To be a Christian, as I understand it, means – to be a follower of Christ, yet sometimes how far from that as people we seem to be. Christianity for some people is almost like a badge of identity, instead of a way of life; what do I mean by that? Growing up, if you asked me – “are you a Christian?” – I would have without hesitation said “yes”, but if you asked me – are you a follower of Christ? Well, in that case, I would have been more reticent to give an affirmative answer.
Did I read my Bible? Hardly, did I attend church? Seldom, Did I pray? Maybe when I said grace. So now, looking back I can’t say that I was a Christian, one that desired to be, sure, but not a Christian; it was an identity, not a part of me.
Now the question than is – did my non-conformity to Christianity, make Christianity not worthwhile? Or something to be looked down upon? No! Of course not – what a silly question you may think. Even if the great majority of Christians are not Christlike, you don’t judge Christianity by its people, but rather by it’s principles.
But here is something that I find interesting – in our day and age – there are so many people that are against Religion, not because of what any specific religion teaches, but because of how people that are seen as “religious” conduct themselves.
Now that is something I have a gripe with. It is something I have heard quite a lot. People like to say, I’m not religious, I’m spiritual. Personally I’m left wondering – what do you mean by that? Religion seem to be like a plague to be avoided. Generally, I am just left bewildered, and say nothing, but what got me to write this post is a poem I listened to – where the poet said Jesus hated religion and that Jesus and religion are opposites, and I’m like – how do you get that??
Here is why I have a gripe with that. As Christians, sometimes, because of not wanting to be associated with what is viewed as bad – we throw out the baby with the bath water. The concept of religion being bad, is a view trumped by the world, then, not wanting to be associated with this “bad thing”, we act like – hey I’m not religious hey.
Here is an issue though, if we going to cast disdain upon religion for everything done in the name of religion, then to be consistent, we must do the opposite as well. As Razer Aslan puts it (I don’t particular agree a lot with him, but this he stated well):
“If you going to blame religion for violence in the name of religion, then you have to credit religion for every act of compassion in the name of religion, you have to credit religion for every act of love in the name of religion, and that’s not what people usually think, they focus very much on the negatives”
Let’s be consistent!
Second point, this disdain of religion can lead to extremes. To explain that. Christianity is a religion that arose from a Jewish environment, and Jews were not particularly favourably looked upon in the Roman world of the days of the apostles, anti-Semitism is not new. Christians, because they shared commonalities with Jews – had the same scriptures, worshiped on the same day, were both monotheistic,etc. were classed in the same box as Jews. So seeking to distance themselves from this categorization, Christians later went so far as to change the day on which they worshiped from the Sabbath – to Sunday – no authority, or warranty was to be found in the Bible, but it helped separate them from being viewed as Jewish.
That is the same thing som
- e have started to do – because they don’t want to be seen as religious, they won’t even attend church, might pray, might not seriously read their Bibles, because they base their experience on being “spiritual”.To close, the biggest reason I have against this movement, is the fact that it is not Biblically sound. The Bible, in James 1:27 speaks about “pure religion” – which means that it’s acknowledged that there is not so pure religion. Here is what it says about pure religion “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” – I don’t see how that is opposite to Jesus.