Thursday, March 17, 2005

ARE YOU RELIGIOUS?

Peter writes that Christians are to defend what they believe even if it means being persecuted. In these times the anti-religious chorus seems to be getting louder and the opponents are becoming bolder. One such example is when the former Governor of Minnesota made disparaging remarks against "organized religion" in a Playboy interview. Many more examples like this could be offered.
Are we religious? This chorus against religion has caused some to shrink away. The pressure has gotten to some so that they distance themselves from what Jesus established: the Gospel and the mission to save souls. When so-called Christians say, "I don't want religion, I want a relationship", they ought to rememeber that God established true religion. There is nothing wrong with being religious. Religious people avoid sin and tend to point out sin when they see it. This can make them unpopular because they refuse to participate in the sinful deeds of the world. Our goal should be to find the right religion as revealed by God.
Not all religion is right. The Apostle Paul praised the Athenians as being "very religious" (Acts 17:22). He then showed them their religious error and pointed them to the true religion. The Apostle Paul, referring to his past, said he lived according to the "strictest sect of our religion" (Acts 26:5; cf. Acts 25:19). On the rise is a form of religion that makes no moral judgments and recognizes very little to be sin. This kind of religion is popular because it doesn't judge modern culture. But Paul says, it is, "of no value against fleshly indulgence" (Col 2:23). The outcome of false religion is that people might be more "religious", but they do not live holy lives before God. This religion is worthless (James 1:26). Only "pure and undefiled religion" can change lives. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are religious.
-Dan Mayfield
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