Tuesday, August 21, 2007

its come to this

If you've visited my facebook profile recently, you'll have noticed something... Thats right, my religious views box is empty. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to look at my profile and work out that i'm a Christian, but i want to leave my 'religious views' bit blank. Two of my favourite religious views belong to Dave Bish, who considers himself a 'joyseeker' (amen) and Tom Price who 'doesn't believe in myself'. (amen). They tell the story of what it means to be a Christian much better than the word 'Christian' does. Not only because the word has so many bad connotations (and i'm not going all postmodern and claiming we need to get rid of the word, we need to reclaim it) and also, because Christianity really isn't a religion.

Here are two things i often think about writing on my profile when i'm feeling brave:

Religion is stupid.

Think about it. Most religions will tell you that God is omniscient and omnipotent. Normally, but not always, he's holy and good as well. But here's the thing, you have to go to a certain place at a certain time to worship him. And as long as you do that, and keep the rules you'll be fine. And you'll go to heaven, Now, there is a vast charicture of the worlds religions, but not a totally inaccurate one. But isn't it stupid? Doesn't 'religion' ignore the very things about God, namely His goodness and holiness that it professes to espouse? How can our works ever be good enough if God is really Holy, like we claim and hope He is? What low standards he must have is what we claim to do in religion is really good enough. And if God is loving, how can He compromise himself by lowering His standards? His standard must be 100%, and we just can't do that, no matter how religious we are, we will never, ever live the perfect life all the time. Our consciousness gives testimony to that. Religion is stupid because we don't need rules and tasks and humans comfort, we need a rescue. We need Jesus.

Religion will never be the answer.

Our hearts are satisfaction hungry. Jesus Christ is glory worthy. The best news i've ever heard, second to the Gospel itself, is that there is no division between God's desire and right to be first and all in my heart, and my hearts overwhelming desire for satisfaction. Our hearts were designed for a relationship with Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less. Thats why we try and fill the gap with anything and everything we can; greed, anger, sexual promiscuity, all of which tragically drag us further away from who we need. Jesus. And religion will never provide that relationship. Christianity can't be something you do 'religiously' it has to be embracing the promises of God and the God of the promises, delighting in those truths and having your heart satisfied by them. Religion will never satisfy. It may comfort, it may build up, but it will never quell the deepest longing of our hearts. Religion is not the answer...faith in Christ that spills over unstoppably into good works, thats the answer.

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