One of my sisters drew my attention to this young man’s poem about why he hates religion but loves Jesus. In it, he highlights different reasons why religion kills. He points out the fact that Jesus reserved His harshest words for the religious scribes of His day, the Pharisees. He often accused them of hypocrisy and putting people off wanting to know God. While I totally agree with this young man’s views in absolutely loathing religion, I am concerned at how some might misconstrue the message he was trying to convey. In saying this, I am particularly referring to people who are quick to find reasons not to attend church or belong to a church family. If Jesus was against such fellowshipping then what would we say about the Early Churches in Galatia? Ephesus? Rome? Judea? Thessalonica? and all the other churches that Paul and the apostles gave their lives to establish.
The problem is not the church. The problem is religion. Religion has crept into the church and shortcircuited its ability to live up to the great expectations God has for it. The concept of church has been warped in my view. Church should not be confined to a building or constrained by its four walls. Church is you and I coming together in His name to establish His will on earth. The bible explicitly warns against abandoning church and the fellowship it provides. In Hebrews 10:25, the bible says, And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
The church should be a place of warmth and love that encourages people to come as they are. The love and power of Christ that should characterise His church is sufficient to transform the lives of those who come to His church to find shelter. It shouldn’t be a place filled with the hypocrisy and judgmentalism that characterises religion and puts people off Christ.
I love this video clip because a young man was brave enough to come out and boldly declare His love for Christ at the behest of religion. My favourite quote from his poem is: “Religion says do…Jesus says done”. All I can say is religion kills but Jesus saves. Just don’t neglect the fellowship of the brethren.