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Ever heard a fellow Christian say that they hate religion/Christianity/the Church?

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Ever heard a fellow Christian say that they hate religion/Christianity/the Church?  I once had just such a conversation with a person.  This person said that he hated religion and that his wife also hates religion and/or Christianity.  I challenged him on this comment.  I said that we have to be very careful when we make such a statement.  Most often when a person makes such a statement what they really are saying is that they hate what some Christians do.  Now I agree that there are some abominable things that some “Christians” do such as: treating their pastor(s) with disrespect, lying, aborting children, abusive, misusing the Bible and the like.  But that shouldn’t mean that we hate the church, Christianity or Religion.

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Let’s back up here a moment.  What does the person mean that they hate religion?  What does the person mean by religion?  If the person means that they hate religion other than the truth that God has given us, then fine.  All other religions deceive and lead people to hell and not to God.  If they mean Christianity is the religion they hate then they in essence hate God, because true Christianity comes from God.

Now let’s continue on.  If the person truly hates Christianity/the Church then there is a problem, because Christianity came from God and God loves the church.  The Church was His creation in order to reach the world with the gospel.  She is also His bride.  Now, as I talked with this gentleman I said that true Christianity are those Christians who not only read the Bible but also apply it in their lives; they act upon it.  Here is what Jesus said to this regard, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it (Luke 11:28, ESV)!”  Jesus also says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  If we truly love God we will obey His commands, which means we will do what the scriptures say.  One of the scriptures tells us to love the brethren and not to hate them (1 John 2:9-11; 3:14-15).  If we hate the brethren we are essentially not Christian.

Next we must have a good foundation.  I had written that if we are true Christians we will do what the Bible says.  Here is why.  

Jesus says, “Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?  Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:  he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great (Luke 6:46-49, ESV).”  

Here Jesus gives the example of building a foundation of a house.  The good foundation is unshakable and the house will withstand the storm.  The house with a poor foundation will fall in the storm.  The good foundation for our “spiritual” home is the Word of God.  It is not just the mere reading and studying of the Word, while that is all good, but it is also the practicing of what we learn in the Word.  This is why Jesus asks why they don’t do what He tells them, while they call Him Lord.  Our religion, our Christianity is no good if we do not practice and obey what Jesus has commanded us to do.  This leads us to the next question.  

What has Jesus commanded us to do?

Jesus has commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20).  

When we obey this command we are evangelizing and discipling.  We evangelize because of the heart God has given us for the lost, to give them the opportunity to accept God’s salvation.   

We also disciple.  When we disciple other Christians we put into practice all that we are commanded in Scripture.  We can only truly disciple disciples when we ourselves are being a disciple.  

You cannot teach what you do not know and practice.  This is why we must study the scriptures and practice it.  When we study and practice we are being a disciple and thus are able to disciple others.  

Well, what about all the details we are to do in scripture, you may ask?  

Don’t sweat it, as you study God’s word and seek to apply it, you will end up fulfilling those details, because the Holy Spirit will remind you of what you have learned and prompt you to act accordingly.

In closing let me remind you to make sure you are not too quick to say that you hate religion/Christianity/ the church.  Not only are you hating and disrespecting your fellow Christian, but you are also hating yourself and more importantly you are hating God.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30, ESV).”

 

Photo by Stefan Kunze on Unsplash

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