It's Not Just Religion, It's a Relationship!
I am a Christian and against religion! Well, in a sense, anyway. This may sound like a contrary statement to some but if you really understand what Christianity is and what religion is not then you will better understand what this statement is all about. I'm not against religion in the sense of pertaining to Christianity - but rather depending on religion and leaving out Christ.
It all started as a child. I was raised in a Christian home but that didn't make me a Christian. I sinned and that sin had separated me from my God - just like it has everyone else that has ever been born. There was only one remedy that could reconcile me to my Creator. I had to realize my need for a Savior. I had to confess that my life was headed down the wrong direction. Even though I was just a child of five years old, I began to feel that familiar tug that has been with me throughout the years. The tug of my Creator pulling at my heart strings. (Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. Proverbs 20:11)
So many people misinterpret what this tugging means. They think it's discontentment. They begin to feel discontent with their husband or wife or they may try to fill the void through other things trying to get this feeling to stop. They could turn to a number of things including alcohol, sex or even over-eating and over-stressing. All the while they are needing to reconcile with their Creator.
So why am I against religion in itself? Religion is man's own attempts to fill this void in his heart. It's man's search for God though he may or may not know it. That's why religion is so confusing and why it varies so widely.
Christianity on the other hand, is God's pursuit of man. It's His way of drawing His beloved Creation back to Himself.
In the beginning, God created man to have fellowship with Him. He could have made us to be robots and demanded our love but he wanted us to choose to love Him. So he created us with the freedom of choice. He allowed evil to tempt us so we could decide which we love more. He could have banished evil forever but again that would have taken away our choice.
When the first man chose evil over fellowship with God it created in every human being since a fallen nature. It is now the nature of man to choose evil. God was very displeased but he wasn't willing to give up on His creation. He knew of only one remedy - someone must pay for the crimes by death so that the human race could be reconciled back to him. It must be someone who wasn't tainted with the fallen nature of man - someone who could provide a spotless sacrifice. God knew that only One Person could ever fill this task - His own Son. (For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16)
That is when God allowed His Son to take on the form of human flesh and dwell among us on the Earth. He was born to a virgin therefore to prove to the world that he was not the Son of a man but of God. He lived with the same world and the same temptations that you and I face every day - but he was without sin.
Although He performed mighty miracles and although He had a heart of love that reaches out to every human being, still so many never recognized Him for who He was. (He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:10-13)
The same is still true today. The Creator is pulling at the hearts of those He loves and the world refuses to see Him for who He is.
God allowed His Son to become human flesh because he knew that humans would relate to humans. He allowed Jesus, His Son, to personally experience the things that humans face.
Jesus was killed by those who rejected Him. In the process He took on every sin that had ever been committed as well as any that would be committed in the future and while he hung there he did something that made Him the ultimate sacrifice - He forgave.
His heart went out to His tormentors because He knew that Satan had blinded their eyes and kept them from seeing who He really was and while he hung there in agony he called out to God, His Father and said, ("Father forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34)
When Jesus died the price was forever paid. We can accept God's gift and give our lives to Jesus and we will be eternally saved but if we reject this gift then we must pay for our sins in Hell.
Just as God knew that people can relate to people, He now chooses for those who know about Him to share about Him with those who don't. So if you've felt Jesus pulling at your heart while you read this, then look to Him and call upon Him. He is clarifying to you through this writing what you've been needing all along - a relationship with Jesus Christ. Even if you are already a Christian sometimes discontentment can set in when you begin to stray from Jesus and daily prayer. So if you feel out of sorts go find a place of prayer and let Jesus love you - His precious creation.
--By Carisa, through Jesus