Monthly Archives: January 2012

Why I hate religion…

So…this video has been making its rounds on Facebook and I am finally inclined to provide my opinion on it in a little bit more depth.

First off, the kid is spot on in a lot of areas. In general, the church, or people in it, do and say things to make themselves appear better than they are despite being sinful and wicked and truly in need of a Savior. To an outsider, these people appear shallow and judgmental and, above all, hypocritical.

Second, “religion” does not, under any circumstance equal “Christianity” or “faith” or anything else. Religion, according to Webster’s Dictionary is about the institution, the rules, etc. It has nothing to do with the heart. When the actor in this video says that Jesus came to abolish religion, it is most certainly true by this definition. Christ wanted the religious “elite” of His time to get real and stop being fake believers. They worshiped God with their mouths and with their outward actions, but their faith inside was DEAD. Truly, this is what Christ came to remove from the world.

Third, the actor speaks about the church having lavish houses of worship while not feeding the poor. I can agree with this point to a certain extent as well. I have seen churches so concerned with building a new sanctuary while neglecting the poor outside its walls. However, I have the fortune of being a member of a church that did both. We have a beautiful facility and regularly send missionaries, both locally and around the globe, in order to share the word of Christ.

Essentially, this gentleman is partially right. Actually, he is totally right if he is basing this off of his experiences in life. We cannot discount one man’s feelings about religion simply because “that’s not how my church does it.” Do I agree with him 100%? Absolutely not!  I have been blessed to not be exposed to so much negativity in the church. We have our problems, that’s for sure, but I cannot wrap my mind around the church or belief system that has hurt this man so much.

That brings me to my final point: I have been DISGUSTED by the stance taken by some of the religious on Facebook and elsewhere. Instead of loving this man and trying to understand, many have taken to railing against his position, calling him a “fool,” “uneducated” and flat-out wrong. To be frank, I find that position to be most ignorant. How can someone be wrong when sharing their experiences? I would also submit that those most offended our the most convicted. I mean, why would someone be so upset about the video unless they felt they were being called out? To be very honest, the actor was right (based on responses) when he said Christians don’t back up their words with actions. The same Christians who “believe” that we should be “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) are the ones insulting this guy and making him out to a liar and a crackpot.

The moral of the story: When somebody doesn’t agree with you on the basis of your faith and gives a laundry list of negatives as reasons, do not denigrate their opinion. Find out why. Try to understand. Most of all, SHOW THEM LOVE.

PeACE<><

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It’s a new dawn…

Well…today, Friday the 13th, marks the end of my first week as a DCE intern. So far, I have noticed a few things about this job:

 

1. I love it. I have a lot of freedom to do what I want and I find that I am genuinely interested in my work.

2. I hate it. I am not accustomed to desk work and I really feel like I am wasting time when I just sit at my desk, peruse social media sites, make phone calls, or burn through To-Do lists.

3. I have noticed a change in me. I have never been one to talk about my religion, but this past week has put me in a position to openly speak on my beliefs in a number of places. These brief conversations are what I find most important.

            a. I spoke at some length with a homosexual man at Hasting’s about Christianity, religion, and philosophy. He brought up some points that still resonate with me now. It was interesting to get that perspective on religion and religious people. I invited him to come check out our services on Sunday.

            b. I spoke in depth with the young lady that rung up my purchases at Family Christian. She is an active member of another local church, but is interested in checking Trinity out as well. More exciting news.

            c. I spoke with an older gentleman about what I did while at the grocery store. He praised our (the church’s) effort in trying to reach the youth of today as he felt they are totally lost and wandering around.

 

Now…I realize this post isn’t terribly insightful and is more or less a list of facts and otherwise boring events throughout my week, but I think it sends a clear message to us as Christians: You never know when God will put someone in front of you who needs to hear about Him. Always be ready. I am not talking about making sure you have a handful of “salvation tracts” available or having a spare pocket Bible on hand or even having an immense amount of Scripture memorized to share. Now, these are all good things, so do not mistake what I am saying. But being prepared is more than that. Being prepared involves willingness. It involves a level of commitment. It involves a plan of action. What I mean is this: be ready, at all times, to carry on a potentially SOUL-SAVING conversation with anyone you meet. Know your material, but also know that you will lose people if you check your cell phone or look around nervously while engaged in conversation. Know that a person may need to hear more law or Gospel than you are accustomed to sharing. Know your AUDIENCE that they may know your Savior. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be ready to defend our faith but to do so with gentleness and respect. This, to me, is more important than being able to quote Scripture ad nauseum. 

Ordinarily, I would have avoided these conversations and tried to extricate myself from the situations, but I did not. I felt compelled to stay and discuss even when I was tempted to make up excuses to leave. Instead, I followed the lead of the Holy Spirit and let him speak through me. I hope and pray that we all do the same.

In closing, keep strong in prayer and Bible study and in faith that you may be ready for when God puts you on a collision course with His lost sheep.

I pray God’s richest blessings on you, this day and always.

 

PeACE<><