Rev. Ernie Johnson
March 7, 2013
What is religion? This is a disturbing question and the best way to start an argument, or a war, is to ask someone about his or her religion and then disagree with them. Does it not seem strange then, that the peoples of this earth would spend so much time talking about and practicing a particular religion? One cannot read and believe the Bible and still cling to religion. Religion is not the way to God and with all the religions in the world one can easily see why that is so.
Wikipedia defines “religion” as follows: Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their ideas about the cosmos and human nature, they tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.
Wow! That is scary is it not? 4,200 religions. Which one is right and which one is wrong? In truth, one can set up an empty bottle and worship that bottle, and have a religion. Of course, should one choose to do so the argument would immediately arise as to which bottle should be worshipped. This argument alone should show that any religion, in and of itself, is useless. The worship of a religion is but a futile attempt to find answers to questions we cannot answer. The human race has struggled for years with the question of where and why we came from. This has led to the worship of many ideas and things science has now dispelled. Some almost worship science, yet it seems that the more scientists learn, the more intelligent design appears to be the logical answer when the data is honestly assessed. Many believe in the “Big Bang” theory, but this leaves the question of “What exploded and where did it come from.” This in turn raises two even larger questions: If the universe and humankind really are accidents, what purpose do they serve? The answer of course is simple. If the universe and humans are accidental, they serve no useful purpose and everything becomes pointless.
What is needed is a relationship and not religion. That relationship is a relationship with Jesus Christ. He does not ask believers to follow a long list of laws and rules, but rather He summed up the law in two sentences. In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to love the Lord God with all the heart, soul and mind. He then said to love others as oneself. A believer must strive for, a pure and intentional love for the Lord God of all. There is no “religion” involved in doing this. One cannot love God without having a personal relationship with Him. Accepting God as creator answers the question of why the universe and the human race exist. Humankind is here to glorify Him.
Yes. There are and will be, many denominations, but these walls denominations have built need not separate believers. Different denominations should only differ in the way they worship, not whom they worship. It is only through Jesus Christ can we come to God. John 14:6.
Let me close with this thought, Christianity is not a religion, it is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Available to speak at your church: firstname.lastname@example.org 614-702-3132