I Hate Religion
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”1
In younger days, when I was in youth ministry, one of my main ministries was to teach RI (Religious Instruction) in the public high schools in Adelaide, South Australia. In every new class I would write in large letters across the class room board, “I hate religion.”
"Man, in this class, you'll get shot," gasped one student in amazement.
"But I'm sold on real Christianity," I responded.
"Well, what's the difference?" several chorused.
"Let me explain," I replied.
True, Christianity is considered a religion but in reality it is profoundly different than man-made religions.
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary religion comes from the Latin religare (re meaning “back” and ligare meaning “to bind”). In other words religion means “to bind back.”
In a real sense religion is “back to bondage” that is applicable to most, if not all, man-made religions—so many of which enslave one in bondage to extreme legalistic rules and regulations with little or no personal freedoms. In another sense religion (man-made religion) is man’s search for God through man-made ways such as good works and/or religiously adhering to certain rules, rituals and regulations.
On the other hand, authentic Christianity is God’s search for lost mankind by giving his Son, Jesus, to come to earth as a babe and then die on the cruel Roman cross to pay the penalty for your sins and mine. Authentic Christianity, more than anything else in the world, has given mankind (and especially womankind) freedom. Just compare I'lam to Christianity and keep in mind that Islam is a man-made religion founded by Mohammed while Christianity was founded by Jesus, Son of the living God.
Our sin has separated us from a holy God and as such it is impossible for mankind to save himself. All his efforts to devise his own way to God are doomed to failure. We can only find and know God by following his way and that is by believing that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died to save us from our sins and sin’s devastating consequences, which is eternal separation from a holy and Just God. As Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”2
To be sure you are a real Christian and not just a religious person be sure to read the article, “How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian—without having to be religious,” click on the Know God button below or on http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you that you so loved the world (me) that you gave your Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins so I could be freely forgiven by you and given your gift of eternal life to be with you in Heaven forever after my life on earth is finished. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV).
2. John 14:6 (NIV).