Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Talented young preachers are putting forth a message lifting up Christ while putting down religion.
It sounds good. I know I certainly worship Christ and not religion.
But at its heart the message of Jesus versus religion is wrong.
Many keep embracing this message while saying, "Yes, this is wrong but we need to excuse it because of his youth."
I'm sorry but that is just not right. We need to lovingly correct this mistake not excuse it!
Please read, think and pray about the words of Kevin DeYoung as quoted in a Christianity Today article by Glenn T. Stanton posted 1-20-2012:
If you want Jesus, you have to take him for who He was. You can't re-construct a stripped down, organic anti-corporate version of what you think He should be. Jesus' gospel is a scandal to all of us, the hipsters and the geezers. It's different than your fabulous pair of pre-worn skinny jeans.
James tells us about religion, that there is some religion that God is quite big on.
So it's not a question of Jesus and religion or Jesus minus religion. It's Jesus and what kind of religion. And this is a bit of the problem with the "Just give me Jesus" and the "Jesus Plus Nothing" approach to faith. We'd like to make it all that simple. Jesus never did. He just didn't. He gives His church certain trappings for good reason.
Does the system of religion (of belief and practice) take you regularly to Christ, compelling you to cast yourselves before him in adoration and upon him in desperation? Or does it given you a false sense of your own self-sufficiency and superiority based on the system itself because it fits with your sense of right?
One is what each of us need. The other is rooted in the original and devastating sin of pride. So no, religion is not the problem. Our rewriting the script is.