My Trifecta writing challenge post on Friday, about a demon led to a church sanctuary by the poor mapmaking skills of an intern demon, was meant to be a funny tale about a beast outside the “comfort zone.”
I think some read more into it than what I intended, which is fine. Great, in fact. I want others to relate to my words. Even more so, I want my words to promote thinking. What I don’t want is for my words to be made into something they aren’t and then attributed as my thoughts. So, more fully than I could explain in a comment reply, I’m going to clarify (I hope) my views on religion.
I believe that Jesus died for our sins. I go to church, but I’m reserved and stay on the outer fringes of the mass. I enjoy going there to learn with others who are supposed to be of like beliefs. I grew up in Baptist churches, but in adulthood, I’ve chosen non-denominational churches. I don’t want my belief in God to be firmly attached to a sect of Christianity; I want it attached to the Bible.
I don’t like the clique feeling of some congregations. I don’t like when worthiness is based on whether or not you wear a fancy church dress. I don’t like the looking down perfectly powdered noses to cast judgment on strangers. I don’t like the insulation from community, whether from non-believers or those in need of a helping hand. Not every church is like this, but I’ve seen enough to know they are out there.
God’s intent of believers congregating: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”—Hebrews 10:24-25
I heard a quote on the radio that expressed what I felt more eloquently than I could. I found the following on Lysa TerKeurst’s blog:
God doesn’t want us to have a religion. A religion is where we follow rules hoping to do life right, and we serve God out of duty because we think we have to.
God wants us to have a relationship. A relationship where we follow Him. And we serve God not out of duty but out of delight because of the realization of who we are in Him.
Biblical reference: The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”—Isaiah 29:13
When we live with the purpose of strengthening our relationship with God, love just happens. We have compassion for those ignored by society. We follow Jesus’ lead and embrace those who have been scarred by sin. (That’s all of us, by the way. No matter what Christians want others to believe, none of us are free from sin.)
I stumble. A lot. Perfection isn’t even on my horizon. But I find comfort in knowing that God doesn’t expect it. He expects me to follow not by sight, but by faith.
That, I’m learning to do, every day.
Thank you for stopping by and taking time to read this. If you have any thoughts/opinions, please share by leaving a comment. Have a beautiful Sunday!