12 thoughts on “Religion Isn’t a Bad Thing

  1. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. – James 1:27

    I always think of this verse when I hear statements against religion. But I try to understand that some who say this mean that they aren’t into formalities and want a living relationship with God. Religion without relationship with Christ isn’t what I would want. A living, loving relationship will cause us to obey James 1:27 with the heart of our Beloved, Jesus, the Christ.

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  2. This is a good point, Maria. The church I joined after accepting Christ also generalized by saying “religion” was bad but a “relationship” with Christ was the key. 100 years ago there probably was a very good understanding among evangelicals of the difference between false (c)hristianity (often labeled as “religion”) and a genuine relationship with Christ by accepting Him as Savior and being saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. But these days I think there’s many “evangelicals” and (c)hristians who say they have a “relationship” with Christ who have no clue what the Gospel is. These terms have become so twisted and diluted that they’re almost meaningless. One of my five agnostic sisters is starting to get nostalgic about her Catholic upbringing and is starting to attend church again. She says she doubts that Jesus was truly God and yet claims to be a Christian!

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    • Tom, yes, the terms change sometimes for good reason, for example, Christians were trying to communicate that the Lord had opened their eyes when He saved them and distinguish between this – being born from above, born again – from being a pew warmer. In the process, the real and right word “religion” was given the negative connotation of external and lifeless. We must stay with the Biblical meaning to prevent this and return to James., as Sherry noted.

      About your sister’s nostalgia but lack of faith, did you ever think of nostalgia as a “sweet”? We can’t eat too much sweets before they’re kind of sickening. Perhaps she will desire real food – may the Lord Jesus give her the desire! – and want bread, milk, meat and potatoes!

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      • Thanks, Maria. Yes, my sister is one of the many who love the ceremony and ritualism of the RCC. I’m sure it brings back sweet childhood memories. All of it was no doubt created to appeal to all the senses and to present the priests and God in a theatrical reverence. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think we should worship and honor the Lord but Catholicism got tangled in the weeds focusing on the externals (lavish buildings, utensils, robes, etc,) rather than the Gospel and simple faith in Christ. Naturally, it was the clergy who benefited the most from the RC system.

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        • Glad to see you’re back online, brother! Hope all is okay! Yes, the reverence has appeal. I just finished reading a book on The Antichrist by Baron Porcelli. He explained Antichrist according to the historical view as the papacy: just as the King of England is both an office and individual, so with Antichrist. He gave tons of information and descriptions of rituals, for example, of the papal “enthronement”. Perhaps if your sister read some things from the past from Catholic sources, she would see that it wasn’t pretty and not something to long for nostalgically. You can buy this book at Amazon, Tom.

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          • Thanks, Maria! Good to be back! Yep, we’re all doing good and the Lord blesses us even in trials. I checked out this book at Amazon and it looks interesting. All my 5 sisters claimed to be agnostics/atheists but this one, #4, is getting the nostalgia bug, She believes the Bible is fiction (although she has never read it) and that Jesus was just a man, not God. Like many Catholics or ex-Catholics, she has no Biblical foundation. We pray the Lord will give us more opportunities to witness to her and that she’ll soften her heart.

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