Christianity, on the other hand, was never meant to be a religion. Christianity is the dynamic spiritual life of the risen Lord Jesus indwelling the spirit of man so as to create functional behavior to the glory of God. Granted, men have attempted to force Christianity into the molds and forms of religion. That is evident by all the steeples and sanctuaries and ecclesiastical programs that dot the landscape of our society.
What a broad question. So, ‘it depends what you mean by religion’. I’ve often said that Christ’s rules were very simple, but meant complex things when it came to christians relating to themselves and others.
This “preacher” or whatever is scripturally dead wrong.
26: If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
(James chapter 1)
I see nothing here that says that God hates religion. In fact, I see directions from an apostle on what religion is approved of God.
Am I the only one here that notices that there is a very clear statement that our works play a part in the religion that God approves?:shamrock2:
I used to spend time on a Protestant forum. It seems that many Protestants consider “religion”, meaning traditions, churches, buildings, schedules, bulletins, hymns, etc. as a BAD THING.
Many of the Protestants on that board insisted that church is not necessary, and that traditions are something that Jesus condemned. (I think they taking verses out of the context to make this statement.)
I found this extremely frustrating and I never was able to successfully refute their arguments. It’s really hard to grab hold of someone who believes that all traditions are “anti-Christ.” If anyone has any approach to this “jello” thinking, please post them. Thanks.
It’s certainly not the Protestantism that I grew up with (I was raised in a Conference Baptist Church.) I am nearly 50 years old, so I am hardly an old fuddy duddy. But I love traditions and I always have.
Interestingly, two evangelical paragons, Shirley Dobson and Gloria Gaither, co-wrote a book back in the 1980s called Let’s Make A Memory, which discussed the dire importance of traditions for raising healthy children.
I guess Ms. Dobson and Ms. Gaither are considered old biddies now. Too bad. I agree with their book, and I think that Protestants are wandering into dangerous territory when they throw out the wisdom of the ages in favor of “personal Christianity,” which, IMO, is largely in their own minds.
The most relevant thing I can think of is Jesus’ attitude towards the pharisees - adhering to their interpretation of the law in such a narrow way that it amounted to treating the faith like a legal system to find technicalities in. When your faith amounts to a book of soulless rules, that’s the kind of religion I imagine God would frown upon.
On the other hand, I think engaging in philosophy and examination of aspects of the faith looks similar to this, but in reality is very different. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is an extremely simple and wise command, but people can interpret (and twist) that to mean various things. If you study it long enough, if you ask what it means to love someone or one’s self, you can end up with books-worth of discussion and consideration.
It comes down to true intention with regards to the aspects of religion. Having rules and theology is not something I would see God hating. Manipulating rules and theology? I could certainly see it as empty and harmful, even if it’s done under the guise of religion.
So, I think Christianity is a religion, but the whole of the religion isn’t what that person would argue it is. (Besides, isn’t ‘God hates religion’ a religious mindset?)
Anybody who says Tradition and liturgical worship is anti-Christ has never read the OT. Since the beginning of time God has commanded man to worship Him through sacrifice. People seem to forget that the God of the OT is the same God as the NT. If incense, bells, vestments, buildings, and the liturgy is worthless, then why did God tell Moses to tell the people to worship Him in that way??!!?!? :rolleyes:
I spend time on a similar Protestant dominated forum. The basic answer is to point them to the fact that what they subscribe to, when they typify all physical based ritual and gatherings as “evil”, is the historical heresy of Gnosticism.
That’s what it really is. That’s what most who subscribe to this “all religion is evil” notion are, whether they realize it or not. Specifically the Gnostic heresy here is that “the physical world is evil, only the spirit is good”.
I’m often reminded of the addage, “nothing new under the sun” when dealing with various Protestant notions. 90% of what I’ve encountered on other fora are encompassed and described by the ancient heresies, whether Gnostic, Nestorian, or Arian.
The usual response to this charge by the opponent is, “Well the only reason Gnosicism (Arianism, or whatever heresy you are talking about) fell out of existence at that time, was because the Roman Church persecuted them, and killed them all off.”
Putting aside the fact that this is historically untrue, it’s untrue to say the Church killed ALL Gnostics (Nestorians, Arians, etc), putting that aside, the opponent is still left with the fact that, by whatever means, THEIR “church” failed! This is in direct contradiction with Scripture, which states, “…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, meaning the Church. (cf. Matt 16:18)
So since the heretical doctrines fell, they cannot be part of the True Church, for even if they endured such persecution, they STILL SHOULD have survived if they were REALLY from God, because no device of man can ever squelch the TRUE Church. So by admitting Gnostics (or Arians, or whatever other heresy) fell into extinction, the opponent is forced to admit that the doctrine itself could not have come from God. God will protect what is TRULY His.