Just To Clear The Air...
(Originally posted on www.ThePagesBleed.com November 4, 2015…part of my archives)
Recently, I was inspired by Holy Spirit to blog about a beautiful encounter. Like my Father, I create with words and He impresses upon me to write quite colorfully at times. As a writer, I also know that my posts won't always be received by everyone who reads them--and that's okay. I refuse to write for likes or even my own gratification because it's not about me. This is for edifying and encouragement and drawing others to my King. My heart is Galatians 1:10-12.
With that being said...
My post said "Christianity is not religion." For my Bible scholars out there, I'm sure you just cringed and felt a punch in the gut...perhaps even raised an eyebrow because it would seem like I'm contradicting the very Word of God that I follow. I definitely get it. You probably immediately thought of these verses...
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:26, 27 KJV
Just follow me for a second...
The presentation of the Body of Christ in the western world adheres more to the traditions of men than the leadership of Holy Spirit, similar to what we saw with the Pharisees, etc. as described in the Bible. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes were educated in the letter of the law, but they were not abiding in the Father. They upheld the rigor of the Old Covenant but couldn't get pass their rituals to embrace the King of glory who was right in front of them. Sometimes we can get caught up far too much on what seems right to us based upon the words on a page and we can err largely if the Spirit of God behind the words hasn't breathed revelation so we can understand with His wisdom what those words mean. How do I know? Because I've been there too.
Remember 2 Corinthians 3:6?
If religion is presented as a stiff, bondage promoting, encouraging the doctrines/traditions of men over the truths of the Word of Jesus Christ type of system, then it's not real Christianity. Yet if religion is presented how it should be--worship expressed outwardly by our lifestyle based upon the inward transformation that has occurred only because of Holy Spirit, then yes, Christianity is religion. I'm not a Christian based upon my eloquent speech or the ability to have signs and wonders follow me but because of grace through faith. I'm a daughter of the King! Because I know who I am and Whose I am, I choose to express this great salvation in my love. Love is how the world will know I'm a disciple of Christ, not my arguments.
I'm super excited about this because I'm free to be who God has created me to be. Free from my own inclinations, free from my opinions, free from opinions of others, free to forgive myself and others, free from myself. Only one thing is needed and I have chosen the better part. None of THIS could be possible if not for Holy Spirit leading, guiding, and doing the work in me as I submit to Him.
Basically, I'm just saying this...Let's not allow the words we say to bring division; instead, let's allow Holy Spirit to shine His light on what is being said--for we all only know in part. We have different approaches; so did the apostles. To be clear, Christianity is religion that is pure and undefiled that screams of the love of Jesus that's shed abroad in our hearts that we choose to live out on purpose for His glory (worship). Christianity is NOT religion that is based upon traditions/doctrine of men that holds to the rigidity of the old covenant (legalism, condemnation) that was designed to show us our sin and not our sonship.
I'm not changing my stance from my statement in Jesus & Coffee Shops, just wanted to clear the air and provide understanding just in case.
Be encouraged to show the heart of Jesus today. It's such an awesome thing to know that we're loved exclusively by a mighty, majestic, perfect God and that His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness towards us every night! Let's extend that same heart with each other and with the world around us so that others will be drawn to Him and not repelled from Him.