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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Religion is a good thing [ducks, waits]

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dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Religion is a good thing [ducks, waits]

Truly, (and my subject line is light hearted, by the way) religion is a good thing.

The word "threskeia" is translated as "worship" and as "religion" in its 4 or so appearances in the NT. The English word 'religion' is from the latin "religare" which means "to tie".

I think of James's description of "pure religion and undefiled" and of his "this man's religion is worthless". Both happen. Worthless and pure. But, I go further than that in my own heart and mind about the word and it is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Religion comes from the same Latin root that our word "ligament" comes from. What do ligaments do? They hold bone to bone. Or, put another way, they hold joints together. Sound familiar?

Eph. 4:15, 16: "...speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." Or, as the NIV (not my favorite, but useful for this illustration) says it in v. 16, "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

We really ARE religion, if you think of it carefully. We are the body, we are the joints that hold together, we are the ligaments that hold the joints together, and each of us properly works as God sets us in the body according to His pleasure. Christ makes this body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Religion IS relationship, too, if you think of it carefully.

It is that careless, thoughtless, cold exercise of formality, or that equally thoughtless self-righteousness that robs religion of relationship with Christ and one another that chaps us, rightly. Think of how it offends our Lord!!

Pure religion, undefiled is the living binding of ourselves to those whom God loves. First, to one another, then to the orphans and widows as those whom He loves, and then to the world who rejects Jesus, for whom He died and rose again.

The old hymn lines are so true still:

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts, and our cares.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

-- John Fawcett, 1782, Public Domain


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Tim

 2014/10/17 15:33Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re: Religion is a good thing [ducks, waits]

Quote:
We really ARE religion, if you think of it carefully. We are the body, we are the joints that hold together, we are the ligaments that hold the joints together, and each of us properly works as God sets us in the body according to His pleasure. Christ makes this body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Religion IS relationship, too, if you think of it carefully.

It is that careless, thoughtless, cold exercise of formality, or that equally thoughtless self-righteousness that robs religion of relationship with Christ and one another that chaps us, rightly. Think of how it offends our Lord!!

Pure religion, undefiled is the living binding of ourselves to those whom God loves. First, to one another, then to the orphans and widows as those whom He loves, and then to the world who rejects Jesus, for whom He died and rose again.


Amen. If a word is in the Bible with a good meaning attached to it why should we completely oppose it or try to do away with it simply because the word has been abused? The same applies to other words like repent or Christian. Some say they don't call themselves Christian because of abuses of that name among false believers. Yet the Word of God calls us Christians in in 1Peter 4:16. So any argument against using those biblical words is an argument against the Word of God.


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Oracio

 2014/10/17 17:34Profile
Sidewalk
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Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re: Fresh brick, coming in low to the right...

Just as the makers of Kleenex lost the battle to make everybody else's product "facial tissue," so the word religion has been stolen and re-assigned. I tend to recoil when someone asks "What religion are you," meaning to what denomination do you subscribe.

I define religion for conversational purposes as that system of beliefs and behaviors men lay upon themselves to keep God off their back. By adhering to some system, they believe their obligation to God is fulfilled and they are then free to pursue the things they really want to do. They just don't want the Guy with the keys to heaven and hell to be mad at them!

Your post suggests better thinking on the word than this, and I don't argue that. But the world is what it is, and any chance to move men's thinking away from that which I have described as "religion" to relationship with a loving Savior needs to be taken.

If they can turn from sin to a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, and still call it religion, more power to them!


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Tom Cameron

 2014/10/17 23:12Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

While it is true that the world confuses false religion with genuine Christianity a lot of the time, I believe it causes more confusion in their mind when we try to say Christianity is not a religion. The reason is because for the most part the word religion to them simply means a system of beliefs about God. That's how the dictionaries define the word. So when they ask, "What religion are you part of?", they simply mean, "What system of beliefs about God do you hold to?". I usually just tell them I'm a Christian or that I hold to biblical Christianity, rather than confuse them more unnecessarily. Then I go on to explain the gospel to them.

I think many of us avoid using that word for the sake of sounding super spiritual and it's a turn off to many non-believers. Just sayin.


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Oracio

 2014/10/17 23:29Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

Sidewalk, no brick, and good point. I totally get that reasoning.

Like the word "marriage" has been taken from the church, though, with our acquiescence, and co-opted by the lost world to be equivocated with things that are not marriage, so "religion".

I suppose, and not sarcastically, maybe we ought to give those words up for publicly dead and use them quietly among ourselves in hushed tones. At least then when we do use them we can do so rightly. After all, they are "terms of art" for the practicing serious professing believer. We should be the last to toss them around casually. I do cringe when preachers, including my own pastor, stands up in the pulpit -- having wholly bought into the incorrect definition of the word -- and says "religion means bondage!"


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Tim

 2014/10/18 8:38Profile









 Re:

But brothers we are called into `relationship` with God. That is the whole story of redemption from Genesis to Revelation. God is redeeming a people for Himself to be His people. To walk in covenant relationship with Himself.

Yet the idea of relationship is resisted by those who woukd suggest that our walk with Christ is `regulational` and not `relational`. They even resist the idea that the indwelling presence of Christ Himself lives in us though His Spirit to guide us as we move through out the day.

I am finding even in this forum an opposition toward those of us who hold to the reality that our walk of faith is based on the indwelling presence of Christ Himself living in us and not on religious dogma. I forsee a day when we will be banned from this forum because of our belief in the things of the Spirit. Even banned from the organised churches. But then we go outside the camp gladly bearing His reproach.

My thoughts.

Blaine Scogin

 2014/10/18 9:29
proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 Re:

RE: ///Just as the makers of Kleenex lost the battle to make everybody else's product "facial tissue," so the word religion has been stolen and re-assigned.///

This is a good point,

I always found Finneys phrase the "Revival of Religion" odd,
but it is probably as you say the word as been stolen and re-assigned since his time.

 2014/10/18 10:14Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

-quote-
But then we go outside the camp gladly bearing his reproach.
-quote- Blaine

Brother, I and many others have already gone outside the camp gladly bearing his reproach.

-quote-
I am finding even in this forum an opposition toward those of us who hold to the reality that our walk of faith is based on the indwelling presence of Christ Himself living in us and not on religious dogma.
I forsee a day when we will be banned from this forum because of our belief in the things of the Spirit. Even banned from the organised churches. -quote- Blaine


Blaine, how do you and some others continue to make comments like this, are you some how living more close to God than others on SI including the moderators. We are blessed to even have such men as Greg and the moderators who are walking in the Spirit of Christ.

I have been observing and posting occasionally since 2008 and I haven't always posted in the right attitude. I have learned some things that everybody does not see a like on everything but we must learn to respect and love one another. I believe this site is the best Christian site with the best moderators who are spirit filled men who love God and strive to keep unity among the brethren.

They have a very difficult job because of the childish accusations that they have to put up with! I have seen some who will not listen to reason but all they want to do is teach others, but they want listen themselves...and end up either banned or getting upset and leaving on their own. This is sad!

This is a very good site with lots of messages...where lots of hours have been put in by Greg and others to get the word of God out to bless many people all over the world! We should be thankful and appreciate having such a site as this! The forum can be used to be such a great blessing to others to encourage them...even to sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron...but we need to also respect and love one another without accusing and condemning one another.

Blessings to all!

 2014/10/18 13:33Profile





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