A Rant on Religiosity
This is something I wrote in response to the following picture I saw on an online blog. You probably have encountered something like this in old email chains.
Why don’t we tell the world that we believe Jesus by actually modeling Him (John 14:12, Mark 16:15-20, 1 John 2:6) instead of guilt-tripping people into feeling better about clicking button so that they feel better about being able to mention “Jesus” on their blog?
Jesus also said, “By this, ALL will know that you are my disciples, that you love one another.” (John 13:35)
But. To answer the questions.
1. People sleep during mass because there is no life on it (John 6:63). There is a whole lot of “vain repetition like the heathen” (Matthew 6). There is a lot of religious form, but no power that actually transforms people. There’s a lot of “saying prayers” but very little prayer.
2. It’s hard to talk about God because the common association God has with “church.” People don’t need to hear religious phrases like, “don’t have sex before you get married,” “don’t get drunk,” “you’re a sinner,” “you need to get saved.”
People don’t need church, they need Jesus. People don’t need be told they’re sinners, they need to be told they have been forgiven. People don’t need your judgements, they need to be shown the Love Jesus has demonstrated.
Go talk to almost any secular person, and they will tell you that they like the person of Jesus. Immediately after, if you ask them what they think of Christians, most of them have had a sour taste. Why? Most Christians look nothing like Jesus.
It’s easy to talk about Jesus when it’s the fact that you’re starting to look/act/talk/walk like Him and you’re a “friend of sinners,” not when you’re a “nice church-goer.” When your goal is “to love people” you get a much better response than when your goal is to “get people saved.”
3. It is hard for most to read the bible because it is frequently taught as a religious you-should-do-this-because-it’s-good-for-you-tradition, instead of the fact that is a letter from someone you can actually know, and it is through this letter you discover the heart and character of a loving Father. It is also an owner’s manual on what the New Covenant, New Creation is capable of doing with grace under the law of Love.
4. Just because message talks about God doesn’t make it “Godly.”
5. If you’ve ever been into a bar, you would know why. There are no masks there. Everyone in a bar is real. There is no facade. There is no performance. There is no illusion of performance. No one there has an agenda to change you.
Churches are getting smaller because no one can be real, and because most churches don’t help people get free. Most people in church are dealing with the EXACT same problems and sins that people who aren’t in church deal with.
I think a lot of secular people who read this note-thing will laugh because it’s all so artificial. People shouldn’t need you to reblog in order to tell if you’re a christian. They should be able to look at your life, the way you speak, the way you treat people, your integrity, your actions etc etc and be able to tell whether you are following Jesus or not.
To post this kind of thing up is very similar to what Jesus rebuked the pharisees for being clean on the outside of the cup, but were inwardly full of greed and wickedness. Your inward heart is not consistent with your external reputation.
To guilt-trip people into putting on a religious appearance when their life is not consistent with what they preach is setting people up to become exactly what the world already thinks. “Christians are hypocrites”
So stop it. Stop talking about this stuff. Go. And actually be. like. Jesus. Love someone. Show mercy to someone. Forgive someone. Heal the sick. Care for the poor. Be filled with joy. Don’t slander and gossip and praise and worship God with the same mouth. Care for people who are hurting and broken. Have compassion for someone. Reach out to someone with no friends. Actually care about someone instead of preaching at them.
Actions will always speak louder and clearer than words.
This is the original link.