Friday, July 22, 2005

How's your "Religion" working for you?

That title "How's your Religion working for you" was borrowed from Peter Hiett, the author of a new book titled, "Dance Lessons for Zombies". I had a chance to meet Peter (my paperback book was not only a gift but he gave me his autograph!) and let him know I enjoyed his first book as well.

So how is your religion working for you? One of the verses that I read all too infrequently is in Colossians. It says in Col 2:20-23 (ESV), "If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"(referring to things that all perish as they are used) Aaccording to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh." What I think this verse is telling us is that all too often, we find ourselves falling into legalism. This can be true not only of the usual suspects (you know the denominations I'm talking about), but also some of our more contemporary, non-denominational, non-traditional churches as well.

If we think that doing all the right stuff is somehow going to get us closer to heaven, we have missed the point. Jesus came because "Religion" wasn't going to get us there. If keeping the faith, staying faithful to the wife, not cheating on your taxes and not voting democrat (I kid of course) could get us to heaven, there would be no reason for Jesus to die for our sins and exchange our unrighteousness for His righteousness.

You know, the sad thing is that if people could really understand that they are set free two things I predict would happen. First off, they would be happy. No, really happy! This is why we are to be joyful because we already know that we are accepted and counted as a member of the family. Secondly, we would be more willing to go the distance, go for the gold ring, become all that God wants us to become.

Peter Hiett says this of course much better than I could. That's why gets paid to write and I Blog. We as people that are called by his name should understand that what we have in Christ is so much more than religion, so much more than keeping the law.

So how is your Religion working for you?

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