You all may have seen this floating around the internet, and I'd just like to expand on what he's saying and figure out where you all stand.
"Because if grace is water, then the church should be an ocean. It's not a museum for good people; it's a hospital for the broken."
Growing up as Conservative Lutheran and attending a Free Will Baptist school from first all the way to twelfth grade, I can tell you, I've had my fair share of going to church, being deeply involved in the church, and eventually becoming separated from both of them. I've been far enough on the inside to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think anyone that's been significantly involved in church will tell you the same. People are sinful, detestable creatures, which means that we all do sinful, detestable things. The church should be a harbor of safety and repentance for all who enter, all too often, however, many churches reserve that right for those who dress a certain way, speak softly, and represent the kind of person they'd like to see in their church. Which makes it more like the Mean Girls movie rather than an actual church.
The part in the poem where he was talking about how he'd go to church to Sunday, and pretend to be repentant, and then go out and resume whatever sinful activity he had been doing previously really spoke to me. When I attended the high school that I went to, some of the most "devout" people would run to the altar, and cry and pray for forgiveness, and then walk out those doors and talk about getting drunk on Friday night. This kind of nonchalant-ness with grace truly bothers me. We all make mistakes, true...but being repentant means that we are to strive to leave a more pure and cleaner life; anything less makes it cheap grace.
I went to one church with a good friend of mine in college where the Pastor has pulled me aside because he could see that I was going through something or knew I needed encouragement and some correction; that experience has stayed with me even all these years past. Why? Because after extensive study of the New Testament and Old Testament as a child, young adult and adult, I realized that this is along the same lines as something that Jesus himself would have done.
More than not, Jesus condemned the pharisee's rather than the tax collectors. Why? Because they assumed much about their own relationship with God -- rather than actually being concerned with it. I think this is what this poem is trying to convey in so many lines.
Religion is not bad if it is truly Christ centered; however, more often than not, we find otherwise.
What do you think? Does he have the right idea? Does religion inhibit our personal relationship with God or enhance it?
Religion is like anything else in life; what you get out of it has a great deal to do with what you put into it. The sad truth is that many people in the West have stopped putting much into their religion, and in a completely unsurprising turn of events, those people are no longer getting much out of it.
I think the person in the video is very misguided. Religion is SO extremely valuable, SO extremely necessary to anyone interested in discipleship. Religion is how God's teachings are passed from generation to generation without having make up a new version of them with each new generation.
Religion is how we worship God according to his wishes, not our own. People want to do away with religion because they want the freedom to make up their own values and version of the Gospel so they can be as comfortably holy as possible.
People who want to get rid of religion are they kind of people the video is complaining about, as a matter of fact.
If you mean religion is something that is regimented, traditional, devoid of emotions, experience, and life-style, than yes, I think religion has to go away.
If you mean religion in the sense that I can have a relationship with God and with other people, that I can communicate with the divine directly, than of course religion is great. I don't think we should do away with the term because Christianity in a sense is a religion, just like other world religions. It's definitely different.
People sometimes fail to recognize that people have intimate relationship with the divine, even a loving relationship(s), beyond Christianity. Whether their concept of God is true or not is another argument.
@Rhindon@xanga - Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the article! :)
@Nous_Apeiron@xanga - From the West, eh? Mind if I ask where you're from? Also, sometimes, I'd say that it's not all about what you put into it; it's not always mutually beneficial--like a great deal of things, but I think that goes both ways...for the people who do put alot in and don't get much out, and for the people who do not put alot in and get a great deal more out. Thoughts?
@sometimestheycomebackanyway@xanga - I agree with for the most part. I think that religion fosters a continuous and concrete learning experience for the younger generations. It allows us to sit back contemplate that there is something greater than ourselves amongst other believers...but what happens when that experience is significantly diluted or tainted? I think that most of the people that I have met and spoken with about the matter have told me that their experience with the church who were supposed to encourage and uplift them instead belittled and demeaned them, and unfortunately, that reflects upon the whole of the church and upon their perception of God since we are to be Christ-like. I'm not saying that we should take every little matter personally and walk away from church completely. I just think that if the church wants to grow and minister as Jesus intended then they will need to get out of their own way. Make sense?
@MCTCanadian@xanga - Agreed. People seem to think that if you don't visit a church every Sunday then you've fallen from God's good grace. I don't believe that attending church regularly is indicative of having a personal meaningful relationship with God.
I enjoyed the video. Church is a mixed bag, but I notice they all have doors which are good for going in and out. I have found a grace/ocean church in my area, and I have been there for a while. It has been a place of growth and mostly positive experiences for me. Any church that has people will also have offenses, but if the church is overall a negative experience, I would find the exit.
@Xbeautifully_broken_downX@xanga - Very welcome. One of the problems that seems to be stemming from this video is the contrast of views one holds regarding the general topic of "religion". Are we referring to religion in general (Christianity, Hinduism, Mormonism, atheism, etc), where there is a system and/or shared beliefs, or are we talking about specifics, such as the intrinsic details of a particular belief or system of beliefs?
Religion, alone seems to be greatly ambiguous. So it makes sense why we're coming across so many arguments about it. In what context do we refer to religion? We need to answer that question before we address an issue related to it.
This video was great, it gave me chills actually. I love what he is saying. I am really blessed to have found an amazing community to be apart of where everyone deeply loves Jesus and each other, and everyone is very transparent.
Ugh. The cults are all nondenominational. I trust real religion more, anyway. Except maybe Catholics because they tend to molest. But I'd rather go to an Episcopal church so I can know I'm not getting love-bombed into a college-campus organized cult-like religious organization.
This guy's videos annoy me. He's "rapped?" about his pornography addiction 43262 times. I think he needs to put the past behind him and move on. Big deal. Magazines. OooOoOOOo, Satan's coming!
Sorry, I won't stop being sarcastic on these things until I get maaah family members back......
26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
The word religion has changed meaning from older times, if you look at Jonathan Edwards, a primary figure in the Great Awakening, he spoke of religion often. A quote on this: "All will allow that true virtue or holiness has its seat chiefly in the heart, rather than in the head. It therefore follows, from what has been said already, that it consists chiefly in holy affections. The things of religion take place in men’s hearts, no further than they are affected with them. The informing of the understanding is all vain, any farther than it affects the heart, or, which is the same thing, has influence on the affections. Those gentlemen, who make light of these raised affections in religion, will doubtless allow that true religion and holiness, as it has its seat in the heart, is capable of very high degrees, and high exercises in the soul’ (Vol. I, 367).
There we have his essential view of religion; it is mainly a matter of the heart, and unless it affects the heart it is of no value, whatever it may do in the head."
Today usually what is meant by religion is a slavish following of rules that we believe will earn us favor by God. I have no interest in religion in that sense, but the one that Edwards mentions seems very important.
I hate to break it to you folks, but Christianity is a religion. If you must follow a book to know what is moral and what is not, you are a part of religion, you are a part of a cult.
Like an agnostic, atheist, skeptic, or free thinker, you can believe in a creator of some sort, but you do not live with your nose in a book. You are good for the sake of being good, because it is the moral thing to do, not because you think a big man in the sky is keeping tabs on you. That is what it means to really be without religion. So please, just cut the shit.
Jesus named Simon Peter, and said upon this rock I shall build my CHURCH. Did everyone just miss that? Jesus intended for there to be a religion. He told his disciples to go and make followers of all nations. To teach, and to govern. How can you do this without the structure of the Church and the religion that comes with it?
The reason I LOVE this video, though I disagree with MAJORITY of what he says... is because it appeals to the general public and makes people think. It makes Christians think about who we're supposed to be, and non-Christians to think about what they believe.