Pulling one out of the archives, after various conversations about my Independent Study: seeking to see and learn about Jesus from different perspectives, just like studying the Gospels. It does not substitute an independent relationship with The Father. This post is almost a year old and there's several more where this came from. Anyway, here it is, unedited, unchanged from it's original version circa May, 2011, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I'll probably dig back into the archives to post a few more soon.Religious v. Relationship
Thoughts cross my mind when I see the several denominations and practices all under the umbrella of Christianity. I drive passed another church and wonder what it would be like to fellowship with that congregation or denomination. As Christians, we have so many degrees of Christianity.
To the outsider surveying religions generally, Muslims or Jews appear very religious because of their visible adherence to a strict set of rules. The five pillars of Islam mandate a Muslim to pray five times a day at set times a day. The Jews believe salvation can be bought by works.
In contrast, Christianity contains a wider spectrum of religious practices due to people breaking away and starting their own sects. For Christians, we have varied interpretations of what is Christianity and therefore various rules we abide by resulting in several denominations.
Sometimes I see statements such as “Christianity is watered down” because we are all diverse in our practice or adherence to our beliefs and what we prioritize after the first two commandments. I’ll also see people quoting Ghandi “I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christians.” That’s one of the most incorrect statements documented. There’s no way you could like Christ, without liking His Christians.
We’re all going to church with the same end goal; to be in Heaven together with the Father. You can pray five times a day or 50 times a day and other people may or may not see what you’re doing. For Christianity, what matters is your heart. Therefore, denomination or intra religious debates puts our focus on a topic we are not qualified to judge.
Many times we want religious rigidity.
“Christianity is always less of a set of rules and more of a heart posture.” - Tolu Akande
God will look at the heart of all Christians at the judgment seat. We cannot gage how connected anyone’s heart is to the Father. We cannot judge someone’s heart or intentions for what they are doing. And though works are good and needed, our works will mean nothing if our heart was disconnected to the Greatest One of all, the Greatest love of All!
Deliver us from mere routine and religion. We don’t need religion. We need relationship. An intimate relationship of our heart seeking the Father’s heart and the emotions and attributes of Him.
“So what if I know all the language, so what if I sing all the songs, if my heart’s disconnected from the Greatest One of all.” –Caleb Andrews
“When we pursue religious acts without pursuing the knowledge of God, we are also in danger of becoming Pharisees.”