Sunday, September 20, 2009
Why I'm into Organized Religion
When I was in the U.S. during August I was perusing the shelves of the local Bible book store. Ignoring the promotional display for the #1 book by Jon & Kate Gosselin on marriage and family (are you kidding me?) I grabbed a little book whose title caught my eye, Why We Love The Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion. by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. I grabbed it!
I for one am a little tired of the church becoming the whipping boy for every perceived injustice, real or imagined, since Cain slew Abel. I'll be honest, when someone says to me, "I'm spiritual, but I'm not into organized religion" I quench the need to throw up right there and then with a straight face usually respond, "That funny because I'm not really into spirituality, but I LOVE organized religion." (Yes, I do have fun at other people's expense but they make it SO easy and the Lord is dealing with me on it :)
Another group of people that need a re-boot are the "I love Jesus, but have serious problems with the church." crowd. If someone came up to me and said, "You know Steve, we really like you, but Tammy, wow, she can be a real jerk" how positively inclined toward that person am I really going to be. You can't love me and hate my wife.
Now thats not to say that if someone was hurt by Tammy that they can't come to me and discuss the situation. Honest critique done in love is God born but...
...don't you get the feeling that many who bash the church (and some even make a living doing it) really enjoy doing it! I mean they make it sound like they are doing the world a favor by exposing and critiquing certain issues but you don't get the feeling they are doing so to see the Bride of Christ cleaned and ready for the Bridegroom...
...rather it feels more like the smile an assassin gives when he plunges a knife into his victim's back and turns.
While some see the church only as a hotbed of boredom, hypocrisy, and scandal I instead see the people who tirelessly give of themselves day after day around the world, often in harsh conditions, to feed the poor, heal the sick, defend the downtrodden, and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The book of James says this in Chapter 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
And so that, my friend, is why I'm into organized religion...