For the past few years, I've not really been going to church on a normal basis. Why? Because I really disagree with the ritualistic crap that has nothing to do with the core of the TRUE religion. What do I mean? I'm talking about faith. Faith is not religion, and religion is not faith.
Simply put, religion is the rituals that one man thought were necessary to practice his faith, carried on throughout generations. Today, the rituals have pretty much been bastardized and no longer exist in their original form. Regardless, though, rituals are NOT needed to practice faith.
Matthew 6:1-8 (KJV) 1 "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Taken from http://www.bible.com/
That portion of scripture was referenced in the sermon at the church I went to this morning. I know I've read it before, but I never could remember where. Quite frankly, I'm glad I at least caught that portion of scripture, because I can use it, not only to justify why I don't pray using big fancy words, but also to justify my utter disgust with religion.
No, I don't live a perfect life by any means. I am, however, a "born-again believer", as it is put by the standards of the world today. I have accepted Christ as my personal savior, and I believe that without him, we would all be sinners destined for Hell. Although, with him as my personal savior, I know that I'll be spending eternity with him in Heaven.
Yes, I know, it sounds preachy, but that's my faith. I know some of you who read this don't believe that Heaven or Hell exist, nor do you believe that there is such a thing as a savior. The point is this: I believe it, it is my faith, and I am simply sharing it.
There are many things in my life that I feel can't be judged by other people, which I will not go into this time. For example, I know I use some language that is not accepted by our culture and ethics (or at least it never used to be), but I don't use it all the time, nor do I do it in a way that is sacreligious or slanderous towards God or the bible. Because some people find it offensive, I refrain from using it around them.
So, back to the title of this post... The preacher today said something that set him apart from all the other preachers in this area, and allowed me to respect him more than I respect the other preachers I've encountered. He said this: Faith is not religion. Religion is not faith. By basing faith on religion, you are lowering the bar of what faith is, making it seem less important and easier to obtain.
I have a feeling I may call that church my temporary home church, until it goes into the downward spiral that most good churches go through, or I move away from this area.
Which church did you attend? What is the pastor's name?
- Posted by Jenn (Guest) on September 15, 2004 at 02:53:09PM
The church is "Heritage Bible Church" and it is in Remington. I know the pastor's first name is Dan, but that's all I know.
- Posted by tim (Guest) on September 15, 2004 at 11:07:15PM