ARE YOU RELIGIOUS? with ACHUCKAllen
I often hear people describe themselves as “not very religious”, when asking if they’d like to check out Sugar Hill Church. Upon hearing this, I always reply “that’s great! I run as far as I can from religion!”
And that’s when a real conversation gets started.
Somehow, we’ve learned to connect dots that were never intended to be connected. Rules like how you dress, wear your hair, wash your hands, what you eat, what you drink, and thousands of other man-made rules.
Jesus saved His most harsh corrections for the most religious people. He used terms like “brood of vipers” and “They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.” He went on to say, “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues.” The list could go on for days!
Religion demands that you do something to earn the Divine’s love. It demands that you become a certain kind of person, a special kind of rule follower. I’ll bet you have had a person or ten cross your mind as you’ve read these words.
Jesus came and offered a simple, easy, grace-filled way of life. He was Waterford Crystal Clear on this. When asked “what is the most important rule?” He said ” Love God and love others as you love yourself.” To be even more clear, He offered another religion-shattering statement – “All the laws of the Prophets hang under these two.”
In other words, run as far as you can from the rule book toting, graceless, pharisaical, religious folks and churches as you can!
Instead, run to the way of Jesus. Measure everything you do, not by a churches rules or orthodoxy, but by how pleased Jesus might be as you make your day by day, minute by minute choices.
Here’s a thought, if your view of a life with Jesus starts with how you have to follow a rule, or get your junk together, you’re probably looking through a life lens of religion.
If you see Jesus as a better way to live – a better life of simplicity and peace, then you can enjoy His promises for your life. A life without preachers and priests heaping mounds of guilt on you to become something religious, rather than letting Jesus, and Jesus alone live within you and let you freely pursue His divine plan of peace, fulfillment and joy.
One last thought. This isn’t about the “style” of your church. It’s not about a denomination. It’s simply about allowing Jesus – His living and dying for you to have a life of guiltless, eternal and purposeful joy. That can easily be measured by asking this one question: Does your faith system work for a single mom in Haiti or Syria? If not, try the religious free, Jesus way. He’s delivered on every promise, so far. That’s better than any priest, prophet, preacher, pastor, mullah or rabbi.
It really is that simple.