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Berni - ceo, Christianityworks

Religion Leaves Him Cold

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John 1:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! (NRSV)

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Religion Leaves Him Cold


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There’s something comfortable about rituals and traditions. They provide a familiar cadence to life and there’s nothing wrong with that per se, unless and until those rituals and traditions become the main thing. That … that’s something Jesus has a real problem with.

One of the biggest turnoffs for me in life is organised religion. Now that probably sounds a bit weird coming from someone like me – I’m supposed to do “religion” for a living. But honestly, religion leaves me cold.

That word “religion” conjures up pictures of musty old buildings and musty old people and musty old rules. Maybe that’s a bit unfair, but who said it had to be fair? That’s just how it is for me.

So imagine my surprise when I opened up this musty old book they call the Bible and started reading about a radical, edgy, subversive, post-modern, here-and-now God by the name of Jesus.

You know the best thing? He deplored musty old religion and rules and all that stuff even more than I did – at least to the extent that religion displaced the more important things of God.

This is what Jesus said to some of the religious leaders of His day:

Matthew 23:23,24 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! (NRSV)Look, there’s nothing wrong with religious traditions – until they become more important than God’s love, God’s truth, God’s Son.

Following all the rules to the exclusion of justice and mercy and faith simply didn’t work for Jesus. It still doesn’t. Christianity. It’s not a religion. It’s a relationship. Jesus.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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