Thursday, October 1, 2015

Organized religion

“I believe in God, I just don’t believe in organized religion,” goes the popular line.  I don’t believe in religion either, but I do believe in and structure my life around Jesus Christ.  Yet most people label my faith in Jesus as an organized religion because it is, in fact, a spiritual belief (religion) that is based on an ancient, written, organized document, the Bible (organized).  

So according to most people, my down-to-earth, practical faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is considered an “organized religion.”  That’s fine—they can categorize it however they want, but that leaves a lot of questions about the kinds of gods they’ve come up with.

If your god is a product of your own intellect, you have a pretty pathetic god.  He’s limited to your tiny imagination, and shaped by the mood you were in when you came up with him, changing his nature and power according to what is most convenient for you at any given time.  People can easily believe in a God of justice and truth, until they decide to cheat on their taxes or spouse or final exams.  Then the rules bend and buckle to accommodate their new set of values.  But if they’re the ones that get cheated on, their belief system is all for vengeance and ruthless justice with no mercy.  After all, homemade gods will never be consistent. 

The God of the Bible is and always has been unchangeable, extremely loving, and extremely just over millennia.  We’ll never grasp how great and awesome He is, yet He makes Himself accessible and understandable to even the simplest child.  The human race is selfish and rotten, so the standards of the true God are impossible for us to live by without divine intervention.  That came in the form of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and continues in the form of His Holy Spirit, patiently guiding us and revealing Himself to us as we trust and obey.  

He is so consistent, that He is inextricably obligated to fulfill His own promises when we do our part.  The evidence of God is all around us, in answered prayers, miracles and fulfilled promises.  The Bible can be verified if you really want to take the time to analyze the evidence throughout history.  But you don’t need to, since He makes Himself evident to you personally when you surrender your life to Him. 

The popular idea that God is who you make Him to be, is worthless.  A demonic force is behind that idea, making it “feel” right and politically correct, appealing to the call of tolerance and acceptance.  The more generations are born and raised without the knowledge of the God of the Bible, the closer we grow to the coming of the anti-Christ.  We are in one of the most godless generations in recent history, and it’s only going to get worse if we are passive about the spiritual battle we’re in.  Our daily calling is to be such a light to this world that we impact those lost in paltry religions, and bring them to salvation.  Not through religious talk or forcing them into churchy activities, but showing them the real results of real faith in the one and only God.  

Be encouragers, be agents of God’s mercy, be servants, uplifters of faith, and fighters against the devil.  Fight for those who are weak in the faith, rescue the suffering. The earth’s days are numbered, and so are ours.  Let’s make the most of this time by becoming all He wants us to be.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-21 ESV)

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