Monday, May 28, 2012

Religion is Irrelevant

Religion is irrelevant.

There you go. I said it.

Actually, I'm not claiming that this is my opinion. Nonetheless, it is the opinion of millions around the world.

Maybe it's their understanding of the dark hours of Church History. Maybe it's the rules and regulations of most religious institutions that give them this opinion. Could it be the people that represent the message of the religion today have represented it badly? Or is it the strict moral code that Christianity aspires to? Whatever the case may be, the consensus among many is that religion is irrelevant. Based on its history and its actions, it is quickly dismissed among many. They claim it to be irrelevant. Though IS religion irrelevant?

When I consider what religion is, I think of an institutional body. A church building. An ordained priest in weird looking garbs. I think of a man-made construct that gained political power in the 4th Century and began 1700 years of what we call Christendom. Religion in this sense may well be irrelevant. But let me pose something for you.

God sent Jesus into the world (John 1:14). He was radically subversive and controversial. He did not go with the status quo. He in fact quite often infuriated the religious leaders of the day. Jesus began a movement (Acts 1:8). A movement of followers. I am not sure that Jesus even intended that an institutional construct would develop in the years to come, that we would label 'Religion'.

I am urging us to not confuse 'man-made' religion, with the breath-taking, intriguing nature of Jesus, who claims to offer salvation to the lost, and who offers opportunity for people to follow him and embrace all that he teaches.

Religion or Jesus? Are they mutually exclusive? It is not that simple to simply separate the two, but lets not confuse what really matters: A relationship with Jesus that in turn affects the way we live our lives.

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