- The core
The core of worldly religion is the word ‘ME’. Although it is not obvious at first, you will soon release that many religions purport the notion of god/gods revolving around humans.
A good example would be in the bible when people melted their gold to make idols, or used clay and water to craft statues to worship. When people make gods of clay out of our very own hands, and when we ourselves breathe life into them, who ultimately is the god? Even now, Taoism and Buddhism have gods for many things – god of fortune, god of the kitchen, god of the harvest. All these gods were intended to help humans in their every toils of life. These gods were meant to serve us.
However, in Christianity, we revolve around God, the maker of the heavens and the earth. We were built for His purpose. When we pray, we are not to simply ask for what we want, but what God’s will is. Yes, we can bring everything to the Lord in prayer, but what is more important is to have a heart willing to follow His will. Moreover, our prayer is to become more and more like Jesus Christ in character.
- View of Religion
Worldly religion conforms to worldly standards.
I scratch your back, and you scratch mine.
To the world, we must do something for the gods so that the gods will be pleased with us. There is a fear that if certain sacrifices or rituals are not performed, there will anger from the gods. And sometimes, there needs to be a severe infliction of pain so that the gods will look on them with favour. The Tamil Thaipusam festival involves the carrying of a large metal or wooden frame by piercing hooks into the body to support the frame. In Tibet, many devout Buddhists are willing to crawl on their knees from their villages and hometowns all the way to the temple in the city. In fact, some people die to earn their holiness. This is the worldly concept of holiness and purification. The earthly way of purification is by following a set of rigid, painful and sometimes dangerous rules. However, the heart is not changed. So long as the physical body is willing to perform all these rituals, the heart need not be contrite and humble. Religion involves a form of retribution; it’s a business transaction.
The world knows the word ‘purification’, which involves a series of steps that we ourselves must take to earn that holiness/sanctification. But the world does not understand ‘forgiveness’.
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
God has forgiven all our sins. We do not need to earn our right to be forgiven.
God tells us that Jesus has already won the victory for us. God chose and loved us while we were still sinners. The God in Christianity is someone who carefully and intricately crafted each of us by His own hands and breath.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
In return, we learn to love Him as a Saviour, God and Father.
Therefore, Christianity is not a religion. It’s a relationship.
So I ask you, what does Christianity mean to you? Is God revolving around you, or are you revolving around God? Is it your religion, or your relationship?