Why Are They Against Religion? by alan ballou
Today I read an article in Time Magazine, but you can open any Christian publication today, and find the same thing. Professing Christians seem to hate religion. Many are saying that they have been liberated after years of being held in bondage by what they are calling religion.
The article clearly set religion on the wrong side of things, and grace as the alternative with words like “Religion says give 100%,” but grace says “Rest on the finished work of the cross.” I’m not sure if I can quote it directly, because that might be a copyright infringement, but you get the picture.
To sum the article up, it says, “Religion is bad, and grace is all you need.” The truth is that absolutely none of the quotes in that article about religion, or grace are even in the Bible.
Religion doesn’t say to “give 115%,” or “don’t dissatisfy God,” or “if you sin, you’re out,” or “you cannot trust your own heart,” or that “you have to please God,” or any of the things that I have seen in other articles about religion.
Grace is not a license to sin either (Jude 1:4). Read the following passage.
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? NKJV
The Bible is asking, “How can we who died to sin live in it any longer,” but we are quoting grace as if it means sin is okay with God. Imagine that. What does the following passage mean to you?
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. NKJV
Can we receive grace in vain (verse 1 above)? In other words, receiving grace should have an intended effect on the person who receives it, unless they received it without effect (in vain). What is the effect grace should have on us? Read it for yourself below.
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. NKJV
Grace itself teaches us to “deny ungodliness, and worldly lust, and to live righteously, and godly” right here on Earth (verse 12 above). Jesus gave Himself for us in order to “redeem us from every lawless deed,” and to make us into His own special people, who are “on-fire” (zealous) for good works” (verse 14 above). We were actually created in Christ “to do good works” (verse 10 below).
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV
Saved people were created in Christ, to do good works. Imagine that. In fact, the Bible warns us “not to give up” sowing to please the Spirit. Read it below! Those who sow to please the Spirit will reap everlasting life (verse 8 below).
Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. NKJV
We will reap a harvest, “if” we do not lose heart” (verse 9 above). What does that mean for the man who says, “Religion, I quit you!” That depends on what religion is. Read it below.
James 1:26-27 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. NKJV
That’s God’s idea of religion. If you have experienced God’s grace, you will do religion. God’s religion is to help people in need, and stop conforming to this world (Romans 12:1-2). If your definition is different, do you need to change, or does God need to change His Word (1 Timothy 6:20-21, Romans 10:6-8)?
The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22). Faith in Jesus Christ will make us love one another (John 13:34-35), just as faith in God made Noah build a boat (Hebrews 11:7).
If we love one another, guess what we would be doing? Religion! Read it below.
1 John 3:16-19 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. NKJV
If we obey Jesus, we would be doing “religion.” Jesus wants us to give “alms” (Luke 12:34-35, 11:41). Alms giving means giving to charity, which amounts to assistance or handouts, and not for things that don’t help people with basic needs, such as research.
Your local Christian based soup kitchen, and homeless shelters help the least of God’s people. Why local? It is because the Word says “if you see your brother in need, but have no pity on him, how can the love of God be in you” (verse 17 above)?
Most Christians tithe to a building, which feeds no one, but the greedy. In the Bible, the tithe was never used to build buildings, or temples, but it was always food to feed people. Please see my post “The Truth about Tithing.”
In the end those, who are righteous by faith in Jesus, will hear something different from those who are not. Read it below.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” NKJV
Time for repentance my friend. May the Lord have mercy on all of us. Father in the name of Jesus Christ forgive us for our sins, and wash our conscience clean with the blood of Jesus. Forgive us for speaking against the faith, and restore us I pray. Lead us in ways everlasting, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, for Your compassions, they fail not. You alone are worthy to be praised. Amen.
Who am I to judge? I’m a nobody; a high school dropout, but my Lord says to “warn (admonish) everyone” according to Colossians 3:16, and Colossians 1:28. According to the Bible, the church judges the church (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). The Lord tells me that after I have gotten the plank out of my eye, I can help my brother (Matthew 7:3-5), to hopefully restore him (Galatians 6:1-2), if he will listen (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
James 5:19-20 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. NKJV
If he will not listen, then that’s on him. However, after he learns what religion is according to God, and what grace is intended to do for us, then he will see how they fit together, like a hand and a glove.
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant. If my wife Lucie and I may be of service to you, in keeping with 1 Peter 4:11, please contact us.