So, You Don’t Like Religion?
by Sanctified Brother
It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to say they don’t like religion. I hear it several times every week, especially on forums of unbridled opinion like Facebook. Right there with the pictures of them getting tattoos, hanging out in bars, or getting intimately familiar with some sin (that they wouldn’t agree is sin).
I’ll be honest: I know a lot of people have suffered unenviable despair under the guise of religion and from the hands of religious men (and women). Thats what the Crusades were all about. (Chattel) slavery cloaked its demonic roots under religion, too. Atrocities from antiquity to the Internet age were—and are—committed by sinful humans who valiantly waved the tattered banner of religion. False religion, I say.
So what about those, today, who say they don’t like religion? For the average person¹, though, it’s just an excuse. Most haven’t spent enough time in a religious lifestyle to have an honest assessment of religion. I doubt they’ve learned the culture and tenets of their religion, much less seen others of the same religion outside their region or even congregation. (I’m a Seventh-day Adventist in New York City and the Adventists on the west coast have localized differences from us on the east coast). You have to experience religion: the Bible says, “taste and see that the Lord is good.” You can’t just write off religion because it feels uncomfortable, or upsets your partner, or doesn’t agree with your favorite sin, or exposes a debasing lifestyle…
Religion is not a bad thing—it’s the people’s expression of religion that can be bad. Expect that: we’re human. Finite human beings with a propensity for sin can only do their best and even that isn’t likely to be the ideal. Don’t despair, though. Religion is still good for you. It says so right there in the Bible:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
That, brothers and sisters, is the essence of religion. Does yours add up? Great; praise on. No? Get out of dodge and find a Bible-based congregation that follows true religion. Haven’t experienced anything like that? That’s why you don’t like religion! It’s about loving the Lord God with all your heart and all your might…it’s about being neighborly to those around you. You can’t argue with that. There’s nothing about that not to like.
¹ Those who have experienced injustice at the hands of a religious leader or institution are advised to separate themselves from the situation immediately and seek wholesome, professional help.
Read this: James 1:27