Skip to main content

Good and bad religion

*Reposted From 09/20/2017*

Sometimes when you're constantly around someone who studies the bible like it's oxygen (I say that because it's an amazing thing), the desire to study rubs off on you. I began reading bible expositions as part of my daily devotions and then decided to start writing lessons for Christian Education on the book of James.
Well, one section in Chapter 1 jumped out at me and I thought I would share it on my blog.

"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows' in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." - James 1:26-27

I have heard church people regularly say "I don't have a religion, I have a relationship." or that "spiritual" shirt that says "It's against my relationship to have a religion"--- for some reason, the church is quick to assume ALL religion is bad. But the book of James makes it perfectly clear that there is such thing as pure religion... but what is the difference between good religion and bad religion?
Saying that Christian's have a relationship with God is accurate, but often times I feel that saying this creates a problem. I have heard church people say that "God loves me and will forgive me" and thus excusing the behaviors and actions they have that are outside the will of God. They ask for forgiveness when they gossip about someone, or when they turn their backs on someone in need. Sometimes, they even make the excuse that a person in need must have done something wrong so they must deserve what they are getting and are learning a lesson--- and then they don't feel guilty when they stand by and watch someone hurting.
But James says to help those in distress and to not be polluted by the world.
"But God loves me and will forgive me!"
But do you truly love God? God has already made it perfectly clear that he loves you by the fact that while we were still sinners he chose to die for us (Romans 5:8). The question has never been if God will still love you or if God forgives you. The question is: DO YOU TRULY LOVE GOD?
I can say I am a Christian all I want. I can pray, I can read my bible, I can go to church--- I can claim to have a relationship with God, but do my actions, does my religion mirror my beliefs? Do I live the life that God calls me to? Do I ignore or help those in need? Do I talk badly about others or do I speak encouragement? Do I act live like people who don't know God or do I live like I am set apart? Do I act arrogant or humble? "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
The fact is that Religion isn't bad--- I want to be able to say that my Religion backs up and proves my Relationship with my savior. What about you?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Change in Tides

Well, I thought I would share a little of our personal journey with you all today. My husband, Jason, has recently accepted a position as Senior Pastor to Meadville Church of the Nazarene in Meadville, PA. We will be starting up there on the 27th of this month (August) and we have a lot of packing to do!

This week, I have also started classes again. I started "History and Polity of the Nazarene Church"-- it also has "Foundations of Women's Ordination" intertwined in the curriculum. I am so excited about taking this class! I am learning a lot and there is a lot of confirmation of the results of my own studies. Super exciting.

BUT-- the class is going to be taking place WHILE we move... so I am a bit on the stressed side. Somehow while taking care of the kids, cleaning our current home, and unpacking in the new parsonage, I will have to find time to do the assigned reading as well as the assignments-- this next month is going to be exciting.

 But God has got this…

Displacement

As many of you know, my husband has recently started the position of Senior Pastor. We uprooted and left the place where we brought my two youngest children home from the hospital. We left the people in our old church--the ones who may as well have been grandparents, aunts, and uncles to my children with how much they spoiled my kids. But we left filled with hope for this new season.

However, I haven't settled down yet. I feel anxious. We have been here almost two months and I still find myself dreading each new day. I have continuously prayed for contentment, and I have adopted a practice of "fake it til you make it" but you can only fake a smile for so long--eventually the mask wears off. Now, don't get me wrong. I love our new church. A lot of people are incredible and I have already become friends with several of the women in our church--that is not the issue. I simply feel like I am in the wrong place.

Have you ever felt like that? Like even though all the circu…

Beautifully Broken

I was abused.
I have been hurt.
I was wounded.
I am damaged goods.
But God…
Have you ever felt like your entire world has just crumbled around you? Where no matter where you turn, another event happens that was even more devastating than the last? I have been there. I have been in that place where the emotional pain is so bad you can hardly breathe. I have faced those times when it feels like there is no point in even continuing to live because the pain is just too great. I have been there.
But God…
I was wounded when I was removed from my birth family.
I was traumatized when my little sister’s dad decided he wanted to try for custody. No, he did not win custody, but I was damaged by that.
I was devastated when my brother dove into a river and broke his neck.
I was psychologically abused.
I had people I was close to die far too young.
I have experienced the pain of miscarrying.
I have had my relationships torn apart by grief, anger, bitterness, and selfishness. And it all left me bru…