12/01/2012 by Shalim
In one of my earlier posts, I closed by saying Christianity was and is a religion. Before coming to that conclusion, I divided the word religion into two halves and placed Christianity on one corner and every other conceivable religion on the other. Then I said that although Christianity remains a religion, it is based on the free, underserved and generous grace of God, making it radically different from all of mans techniques to craft religion. Not to go into much detail, I referenced a few Bible verses that say Christianity is a religion. You can read it in your own leisure.
The Bible teaches that positive works which stem from us–the little good in all of us, as it goes—is actually like a filthy, polluted and stained piece of cloth that holds no spiritual value in God’s eyes (Isaiah 64:4). Every world-religion apart from Christianity stresses that we must do to receive, it makes your walk with God a contract based on mutual agreements. Sadly, this thinking has crept into some corners of modern Christianity too. We think if we go to church, behave ourselves, read the book of Psalm now or then, tithe consistently, not watch specific movies or listen to particular music, that on that basis, God will accept our ‘sacrifice’ and surely secure our salvation. Amusingly, I had a school friend say to me once that he always kept his Bible under his pillow: To him that was probably a righteous work. However, true, Biblical Christianity teaches we can’t ‘do’ good enough to please God because our natures are so corrupt. Therefore we need someone to do that on our behalf. When Christ does the righteous act for us, God takes Christ’s finished work and imputes (gives) it to us, sort of like an employee who credits money into your account. It’s yours! (with the difference being you didn’t earn it). So now, when God see’s the goodness of another, i.e. Christ his beloved Son, not ours; He accepts.
What do I think of Christians who say they hate religion? Do I dismiss their claim because of my conclusion that Christianity is a religion? Do I think when they show detestation for religion; they are, in effect, putting Christianity into that category? It is important to allow that person to define what they mean. Christians live amongst those who think religion is all about fulfilling conditions. They think religious people must follow certain conditions and the ‘divine’ unknown will give us some reward. If the only people who lived on earth were true Christians, we wouldn’t have needed to say we hated religion, we already would’ve had the right one. However, we live, work and evangelise around people who believe or think that way. Therefore, I feel it is okay to show our hatred of religion, as long as we define what we mean by that. If Christians said they hate religion because it brings the attention on us, says we must do to receive, and leaves us uncertain about whether what we’ve offered is good enough; I hate that religion, too. And if you’re a Christian, so should you. That form of religion comes in the second group I talked about; the me-centred religion. On the other hand, if someone does not want to have moral restrictions and plays the ‘I’m saved card’: my works don’t save because Christianity isn’t a religion, we have a problem.
The video below shows a good example of the religion we should all abhor. The enslaving, doubt-producing, pride-inflating religion, the religion that makes us the centre attention and not Christ’s work, the religion that Jesus, who was highly religious, condemned!
These are my post-blog comments after I have seen what other posts have had to say. The phrase “I hate religion” is perhaps too wide a statement to call your title, and it can make people confused. However, as we go on, we can appreciate his point. Let him define the word ‘religion’ first. Do not be so hasty to write posts against this video. I have seen a couple of other posts that have called the video out for saying it is wrong to say, “Jesus came to abolish religion” What religion might I ask? If we don’t let him define himself, we are not being fair. Around 2:50 he defines religion according to his view: “Religion said do, Jesus said done.” I am sure you also oppose that religion. Would I have gone so far as to create a chasm between religion and Jesus? No. But give the guy a break!