A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

Religion verses Relationship

on August 27, 2011
Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

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I’m going to be bold here and write about….religion. Yes, you can all take a deep breath here with me because some things I just have to say.

Let me begin by saying the only thing I hate almost as much as abuse to children is false christianity. Now, before you go rolling your eyes, hear me out. I just might have something different to say about this.

I love God with my heart, mind and soul. I am also the most IMPERFECT person I know. I stumble and fall just like everyone else. I know what God’s word says and I know how to interpret it for myself.

Are we clear on that? Good.

Let’s get to the meat of this. It’s so easy for Christians to have a bad experience with someone and say, “Oh, you’re not producing fruit thus you must not be in the word.” (I’ve actually come to detest that phrase “in the word”. What the heck does that mean anyway?) It’s easy for Christians to see someone stumble and quickly disassociate. “Well, that person isn’t believing God, therefore they are now unworthy of my time.” No one wants to do God’s dirty work, it would seem. Piety taketh over and the self-righteous run amok! Then they begin to talk about how little fruit the little stumbling person is producing and they go their merry way.

Consider this. Consider you are the one that brought them into the fold and after so many years, they are not only still fruitless but have adopted duality as a way of life; acting the Christian in public while in private….not so much. Consider how pious this self-proclaimed Christian feels when they, as part of the non-denominational chain, see every other organized religion as a weak link. Yet their fruit is sour, old, stale and unproductive.

I have been in four non-denominational churches. I bear the scar of each one on my heart. These scars run deep, way past the blood. When I came home, I found my home again and my place in the church of my youth where I’m happy.

Now you may say, well, people aren’t perfect and it’s true. You would be correct. After all, shouldn’t I keep my eyes on God and not on man? However!!! God works through man….always has….probably always will. I am not naïve enough to think that Christians should be perfect. Nor do I find any organized religion to be perfect. After all, these organizations are peopled with….well….people! And people are not perfect!!!

Quite true. But when appointed and anointed leaders can dismiss a struggling, true-to-heart Christian and allow a hypocrite to preach, there’s a problem! When the lack of fruit is so easily seen yet so easily overlooked, one must wonder. When the wondering starts, people, doubt infiltrates and breeds dissension.

The problem is that most people never see the hypocrite; they only see the struggling, true-to-heart Christian whom they deem as ‘faithless’ or ‘not in the word of God’.

Please, don’t tie me to your post and whip me for speaking my mind. I know for every false Christian, there’s at least 50 true ones. That is my comfort in all of this. I am Catholic because I choose to worship in a Catholic setting. I choose to raise my girls in the Catholic traditions all the while teaching them that this is only the beginning. (I also know that no church, BUT NO CHURCH is perfect. I also know there are some really genuine churches of all organizations out there. This really isn’t a diatribe against non-denominational churches.)

The true gem is in the relationship. It’s being so close to God that when you call on him, you don’t say,”Father” – you say, “Daddy”. That’s the true difference. It’s knowing that you’ve hurt someone and you go to them and you say, “I’m sorry” with the conviction of changing your ways. To allow people to see you as human yet be Godly in a way that encourages them, where you can be approached without the fear of judgment….that is a blessed thing.

I am afraid to say I’m not quite there yet. But at least I can also say that I don’t pretend to be either. And therein lies my ingenuity.

I always find it amusing that the only people in the Bible that God showed such little mercy to were the false prophets. You’d think the Church would pay close attention to this in appointing leaders yet they do not take heed. Too often, they choose the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing EVEN KNOWING IT IS A FALSE SHEEP!!! They should for the time is coming when the whole world will be watching them to see what color smoke comes out of the chimney.

As for false Christians…well, “ye shall know them by their fruit”. When all you leave behind is hurt and destruction, who can know that you have the favor of God to such a degree as to go to you for counseling or prayer.

I have a lesson to teach to my kids concerning religion. Don’t be all about it. Relationship first!!! Always keep connected between you and your heavenly “Daddy”. And remember that every time you raise you hands in prayer or praise or worship, a Father’s arms are reaching down to pick you up, to comfort you, to hold you and to “make it all better”.

I am hopelessly flawed.

 

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5 responses to “Religion verses Relationship

  1. The T says:

    ooooh….I soooo love this… to me religion is a poison. Yes a strong statement, but hear me out…

    If God created all of us…(and i belive He did), then how many different names can you call the same God? This is where religion comes in…a man made device to give us some bit of rational category to place faith in….

    People are killed in the name of religion, not necessarily in the name of the God that we all worship… The God that I know and love, loves me no matter what name I call Him…he also knows that my relationship to Him isn’t based upon a standard by which others might define Him…it is a personal relationship that I have with Him…

    Love of God…that is holy….love of a religion? Well we are all humans living on this little tiny speck on a planet….I want to know which religion is the right one…. for me there is only one God…many religions…many wars…many poisons…

    T.

    Like

  2. Beth says:

    A very thought-provoking article… I find myself swimming upstream against labels and jargon that are tossed around in my community. The words I concern myself with are John 3:16-18; Romans 3:23, 6:23, and 8:38-39; Ephesians 2:8-9; and Hebrews 12:2.

    Funny how folks forget that David was known as a man after God’s heart and he was a royal (literally) screw up! Adultery and murder, to name two glaringly evident sins he committed. But the man repented and sought to follow God’s will. He knew he was a sinner and still sought the Lord time after time.

    They also forget that Jacob, the master deceiver and shyster, was blessed abundantly in life and through his descendants. He was a complete and total rascal, but He wrestled with God and eventually sought forgiveness from those he had wronged. And God blessed him. (I think we can safely say he “wasn’t in the Word” on a daily basis!)

    Also, in John, Jesus stopped the masses in their tracks when he said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” They were ready to stone the prostitute, but his simple statement stopped the actions entirely (and wouldn’t you just LOVE to know what he was drawing in the sand?).

    There’s only one unpardonable sin–rejecting Christ–and the sooner Christians stop ranking every other sin in their quest to raise themselves above others, the better.

    (Thomas told me to tell you he sent me here to read your post. I came to visit and wanted to respond.)

    Like

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