Archive for April, 2019

Is Your Christianity a Sham?

The Recovering Legalist

Adorable Sin

It may come as a shock to some, but many who claim to be Christians are not, actually. It is obvious because of their unrepentant love of sin.

For example, I know a person who willfully admits his failures and flaws (which is a good thing), but happily continues to do the very things he knows are wrong. He says, “I know I have a problem with (blank), but I know I’ll never change, so I’ll just have to keep asking for forgiveness.” In reality, the problem is that he loves his sin, and therefore refuses to truly repent and “turn from his wicked ways.” His particular sin is his claim to fame, his identity. Without it, he wouldn’t be noticed.

Am I suggesting that Christians NEVER sin? Of course not! The Bible plainly tells us that if we say we never sin, “we deceive ourselves…

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VerseD: Revelation 4:11

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 4:11, ESV

God deserves all praise, honor, and glory, if for no other reason than He created everything.

Further, He saved us through His Son. That deserves our love and devotion.

Reason for the Warning

Another reminder of the other blog I contribute to: Proverbial Thought. Head on over, subscribe to get the updates, and be warned: it is not all easy to for our sinful minds to accept!
Daniel

Proverbial Thought

Proverbs 5:10-14

[10] Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; [11] And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, [12] And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; [13] And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! [14] I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.”

Another’s Spouse

How many times have we heard about a man or a woman pursuing a married person saying “We are so in love, and he/she is going to leave his/her wife/husband”? Most of the time, we later hear that, no, they did not leave their spouses. The adulterous spouse received gifts and favors, and now those gifts and the fruit of the jilted lovers’ labors are…

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VerseD: John 16:33

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33, ESV

Christ proved through His resurrection that nothing can stop Him.

This world may beat us down, but through Christ we shall arise on the New Earth in glory. This hope gives us the courage to face whatever comes our way.

VerseD: Matthew 5:4

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4, ESV

Foremost, we mourn our sin and rebellion against God, then we will be blessed with the comfort of our Savior.

VerseD: John 10:11

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:11, ESV

Jesus offered Himself to rescue us from condemnation for sin.

Likewise, we should be willing to lay down our lives to share the Gospel, love on others, and bring many to faith in Christ.

If anyone reading this is a Christian who considers themselves pro-choice, be warned…

VerseD: Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 3:23 ESV

We are all equal before God. No one is without shame, but all are welcome at the foot of the cross where redemption is found.

Religion Madness

It is time to look at that super-non-controversial word “religion”!

Some claim religion is for unthinking idiots or contrary to a relationship with God.

Some Christians claim “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.”

Atheists and other irreligious folks claim that religion is an opioid for the masses (Marx) or for those who don’t like to think.

Are these claims true?

Many scholars agree that our word for religion comes from the Latin:

religare: to bind, to connect

And therefore …
religio: obligation, bond, reverence

We therefore can understand religion as binding oneself to a set of obligations. Is this helpful?

Both Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries have several definitions (look them up!), but I will focus on just a few:

Merriam-Webster uses:

  • commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
  • a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
  • a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

With some definitions of religious being:

  • relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality
  • FERVENT or ZEALOUS

Oxford defines religion with:

  • A particular system of faith and worship.
  • A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

Personally, I would also clarify with a religion being:

  • A set of guidelines and beliefs that order life
  • or a shared collection of beliefs and practices.

This all should quell the religious fervor with which Christians deny that Christianity is a religion. We still set boundaries for any relationship which we faithfully follow, so this particular relationship is a religion. (But I get their meaning, so I will not harp too much on them for it … unless it gets in the way of or directly refutes firm doctrine.)

Conversely, this all implies that even atheism is a religion. Why?

The argument some atheists offer, that it is a lack of belief, is, frankly, stupid. It is a belief. It is incredibly difficult to prove scientifically that something supernatural (Beyond the natural) exists, so a lack of evidence in something beyond our understanding of space-time can only lead to one believing something … without evidence.

And before anyone argues atheism is not a blind faith, how did the universe or life on Earth begin? No experiment or evidence has yet to reveal these from a naturalistic origin. To claim we know how either of these began (apart from God) is being intellectually dishonest and anti-science. You must believe on faith that we may someday find these answers, even with little to no evidence supporting any of the myriad of claims for each beginning.

How is atheism (and along with it evolution and the climate change movement) not a religious belief, especially with the cultish celebrity-worship, demand for strict adherence to the teachings, and excommunication of people who disagree (or raise challenging questions, even from a sincere perspective)?

No matter the religion, Christian Scripture tells us what our religion should look like:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

Matthew 23: Basically, Jesus tells us that hypocrisy is setting rules and demands on others while not holding yourself to them. Do not make it more difficult for people to follow, make yourself look good, and take care of your own needs, yet neglect mercy, justice, and true faithfulness without really changing yourself.

Religion is not relationship denying nor for unthinking idiots.

Wise people have religion, for it sets the boundaries to live by to protect relationships and truth. To remove those rules and guidelines is to allow for any “truth”, and this leads to cultish behavior and/or anarchy. Just look at the state of the Western Church and pop-atheism and the global climate change scare.

Madness.

VerseD: Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17, ESV

Whether work, school, chores, driving, teaching, preaching, vacationing, relaxing, reading, writing, giving or following directions, sitting quietly, running a marathon, going to the hospital (for good or ill), or whatever

Give God the glory and thank Him for everything.