Religion: A Haven for Those Who Hate God.
The Harlequin Mask - A Gaudy & Lifeless Facade.
A Simple but Overlooked Truth.
Why Such An Abrupt Hub Title?
This Hub has been a troublesome work in progress for nearly six weeks. It began with trying to come up with a title that would accurately depict the intended subject. I toyed with - "What is the Difference Between a Millennial and a Christian Millennial? - NOTHING", followed by "Because Adam Told Me". The delays proved very profitable as seemingly every day or so new insights would add fuel to the fire. For example: the attached quote from the South Carolina coach, that it is parents that have changed and the rebellious youth we now behold is merely a product of the previous generation. Sadly, the church mirrors this formula under the guise of religion and the traditions of men. Finally, I read an article penned by one of the Puritan writers. The premise of his writing was that all men are born in Adam's sin and with a natural hatred of God. Except for the divine election and grace of God intervening into a sinners life, this hatred will never be quenched.
Starting with my conclusion: religion is not and has never been a demonstration of one's love of the Almighty but a cleverly orchestrated masquerade of man's rebellion against God. Sadly, a host of true believers have been caught up in playing church in these troubling days, thinking this is pleasing to our Savior. The Word is sorely neglected and the people are left without a vision of godliness; and as Proverbs 29:18 states: "Where there is NO vision, the people perish:..." Whom God loves, He will chasten..it is coming.
The Big Bang!
Today's Millennials = Today's Christian Millennials.
I recently watched a documentary called Everything and Nothing; an interesting but very long (3 hours) scientific diatribe that came to 2 very interesting conclusions. 1) The universe had an actual beginning, truly a marvelous discovery of the 20th century, and 2) the universe is filled with an invisible nothingness that has mass that can bend light by its massive gravitational make up, and without a better name is called Dark Matter; the hot topic for astronomy in the 21st century. Every Christian knows that the universe had a distinct beginning because "In the beginning, God..."....but now even many within the Christian community have a difficult time believing the Word because of their secular education's brainwashing techniques have made egregious inroads into their thinking. Believe God or believe the men and women in white lab coats? Likewise, dark matter is a relatively new subject for even the believer. The vast majority of church goers think that when Genesis 1:3 quotes God "Let there be light", that He created light on the first day. God did not create light, He is Light! He created darkness or for more up to date term: dark matter. One of the conclusions the documentary came up with was this: because there is so much light in the universe, if dark matter did not exist to filter this light, night time would never exist on earth. The would be lit up like the Vegas Strip or NY's Time Square 24/7. What in the world does all this have to do with the topic at hand?
The scientific community has come up with their conclusions based solely upon their preconceived "knowledge" that the universe is between 13 to 17 billion years old AND there is no god. Thus, they interpret all data according to this framework. In the same manner, millennials who label themselves as Christian, base their belief system upon a failing religious system which eschews doctrinal teaching, believes in the "will" of man superseding the will of God and easily acquiesces to the worldly in the guise of being more relevant. Obedience to the Word has now been replaced with one's own private interpretation (per 2 Peter 2:18, a dangerous position to take), egged on by the watered down drivel coming out today's pulpits and the lack of commitment within their own homes. In John 14:15 Jesus says - "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." The word for love in this passage is agapao 25 which means to do right by the other and not agape 26 which is a sacrificial love as demonstrated by our Lord upon the cross. When one chooses not to obey His Word, they have chosen not to do that which is right concerning our Savior. Not once does the Word command or ask of any man to agape God the Father, God the Holy Spirit or God the Son. We are to learn to agape one another within the body of Christ, but we have a terrible time even doing that which is right concerning our Savior.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Because Adam Told Me.
The question is - how did Eve get the notion that just touching the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would result in death. In Genesis 2:17, Adam was commanded prior to Eve's creation, not to eat of this tree but nothing in the command concerned the act of touching. Had the act within Adam's own mind of avoiding the tree included also "Do Not Touch"? Whatever he eventually passed on to Eve became in her mind, the touch was just as deadly as the act of eating. This is the first example of man(kind) adding to God's Word with disastrous results. You and I can easily reason within our own minds to help ourselves be obedient adding additional conditions, personally motivated, to keep ourselves in line. Here enters the disease known as the traditions of man which all too often have precedent over the written Word. Easily, a church can start adopting rules of do's and don'ts which quickly evolve into a religion that supersedes the absolute authority of the Bible.
Another interesting thing about this event is when Eve "took" (not ate) of the fruit, she didn't die and her eyes were not yet opened to the terrible Truth. This is the same with traditions; nothing disastrous happens at the first when extra-biblical practices are instituted, but now pragmatism has crept in the door, and like a cancer soon grows into godlike importance. Whenever we institute a practice that is neither condoned nor condemned by Scripture, we tread a very thin line between obedient love of the Savior or supplanting Him as the final authority in our lives. We know the warning found in the book of Revelation concerning adding or taking away from His Word, but when our practice is doing just that we have become religious and the love of God is not found in us.
Thank GOD For His Faithfulness!
Rejoice, Our Salvation Depends Upon GOD Alone.
Not one believer is immune from religion" within their own lives, but as we grow in wisdom and knowledge of our Lord and Savior we must learn to discern the difference between religion and godliness. As Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:5-8, a life that pleases God grows by adding virtue to one's saving faith, knowledge of His Word, self-control, patient suffering, godliness (letting Him have His way), a kindly gentle love of the brethren and a sacrificial love (agape) for the sake of the Kingdom. Today's organized religion makes this nigh on impossible for we war with one another oftentimes over the most trivial of differences and the traditions of men have erected walls that are the opposite of obedience to His commandments. To add insult to injury, we have opened a door into the world through which has flowed some of the most ungodly practices and myriads of the unsaved which have found a haven in religion without any true requirement of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Religion has given multitudes a false hope and when the end does come, no cries of Lord, Lord will be of any avail.
All of us have been caught up in religion at one time or another and quite possibly a reader of this hub may be at this moment questioning their own religious practices. If anyone questions what is pure and undefiled religion, James 1:27 puts it succinctly and tersely. There are no extra-curricula activities, memberships, doctrines, gifts, styles of worship or communion, dress, song but God ordained works that display His love to those in distress and OBEDIENCE to His commandments alone. Today religion displays the opposite of the genuine love of God but to those of us who have that intimate relationship with Jesus and have been or now are caught up in the system we have a great Scripture of comfort:
2 Timothy 2:13 "If WE believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself."
Our salvation remains secure, even when we act like the unbelieving religious crowd; for if our salvation depended upon our faithfulness, not one of us would ever see glory. You see - religion requires personal faithfulness to succeed; yet it harbors some of the most notorious God haters, devoid of the Truth and deceivers that are the pride of the Devil's handiwork.