So in Part one of "Avoiding Religion" I discussed the dangers of religion for the Christian. In this post, I'll be focusing on the dangers of religion for the non-Christian.
Religion is a dangerous commodity. In fact, I believe our country's push toward religion is one of the primary reasons we're seeing a lack of interest in regards to God and the church.
The fact that we, as a nation, are pulling away from God is no surprise to me. We are a people desperate for something more, yet blind to everything that could save us. The more we disregard God's word and the very existence of God, the more willingly we accept and even welcome immorality... and certain destruction.
But what is the reason behind our country's obvious acceleration to sin? Is it something specific? Could it be that our country has been so saturated with religion in politics in the past that people are just tired of it? Maybe our generation is hit hard by the hypocrisy and unrealistic impressions of morality in the church. Personally, I believe the morality children are being taught in our schools and homes is largely to blame. They are taught good and evil. Smiling, sharing, loving...? Good. Lying, cheating, and stealing...? Bad. But based on what? Are they given something to back up the reasoning and purpose behind such claims?
It's no wonder we have so many problems with our youth today. There is nothing to stop them from creating morality for themselves. Nothing to hold them back when they decide they think something's right or wrong. Notice, THEY choose. (Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.)
There is another reason that I believe has a great affect on our culture's decline in true Christianity. More often than not, those who claim "Christianity" do not really hold fast to the true meaning of the word. Many call themselves Christians, but have no clue what that really means. Or worse, the Christian knows, but looks no different from the world. So this leaves onlookers confused. What's so great about Christianity if it looks no different than everything else? What's the point?
So how does the overuse of religion fit into all of this? It's simple. Not unlike religion for the Christian, it takes the focus off of the Truth and instead, onto self; what man can do to be good enough, to fit in, to measure up, or to feel positive about himself.
When doing a good deed for others, the motive becomes self gratifying if it isn't done in the name of Christ. "Meditating" to feel spiritual only opens the doors of the mind to any evil Satan cares to slip in. Going to church just to please "The Man Upstairs" in case our good deeds weren't enough to weigh out the bad this week, means nothing when we are commanded obedience over sacrifice.
We live in a world built of religious people who have good intentions but remain uninformed. In seeking to be enlightened they have lingered in the dark. In seeking to be religious, they have become a generation who have advanced willingly towards their silent killer, and so continue to be pervaded with it's deadly poison.
Standing on it's own, religion means nothing, at least in the sense that it gains nothing. When we let ourselves get distracted with trying to be spiritual enough or appear religious enough to look good, please society, or make ourselves feel better, we miss the point. And when our deeds are not done in the name of Jesus Christ, we may as well have not done them at all. It makes us feel good about ourselves for doing these good deeds and thus only pull farther away from God in trying to measure up to the standard we've set. And I'm afraid it's a pretty low bar, people.
We are witnessing a country who completely rejects God by using religion as a mask to cover the reality of certain destruction. The irony is painful, and the day of destruction is so much closer than they may think.