I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.Exodus chapter 20, verse 2; from the New Living Translation (NLT)
I can’t understand IT. I mean, REALLY don’t understand IT! Is there anyone out there who can help me? Now before you start referring me to therapists or psychiatrists, allow me to define IT! Why Is Religion More Important Than The Relationship? When Did That Happen? HOW Did That Happen? It only took me a half of cup of coffee when the Spirit planted that question in me. See, even the Spirit waits until I have that wonderful “living” water. And so, He and I talked a while about my question.
So, what is a “religion”? Well, according to Google, it’s “a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance”. If it’s indeed of supreme importance, how does one acknowledge it? How does it manifest itself? Well, here’s a partial list that I’ve come up with; maybe you can add to the list:
- You’ve got to have beliefs/doctrines about it (something there must invoke convictions otherwise it’s not of supreme importance)
- There must be some set of written or unwritten rules (how can it be a “religion” without some rules, right?)
- It’s got to shape your opinions
- It must control your attitudes
- It creates your perspective
- It demands your attention and loyalty
- It gives you priorities
- It must have outcomes ( also known as consequences)
But on the otherhand, A Relationship provides us one thing a religion can never give us. Personal Presence! Religion is cold and indifferent. It can never give us the assurance of that Personal Presence! After God delivered the Hebrews from what He called the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery He assured them of His Presence–in them and among them. I am compelled to tell you something this morning: Verily, verily, give up on religion, thus saith The Preacherman! Religion may tell me HOW to live–But The Relationship shows and helps me to live–to live the life He created for me. Oh yes, there are rules and expectations–we call that Holiness. But because of His Presence, He teaches me and He enables me. A religion can teach you–but only His Presence enables us to live out This Relationship! So, why is religion so important? Until you can convince me otherwise–I’ll stick with The Relationship!