I have returned after a short hiatus. Being sick has a way of shutting down the best of intentions.
Hopefully, with all this behind me. life will be able to return to normal.
One of the most offensive things anyone can say to me is something along these lines, "Oh since you are a pastor you must be very religious."
My prayer is that I have not been religious one day in my life and I also pray that my life in no way shape or form is religious to those who know me.
However, as long as I have been alive, I have been a Christian and I pray that my life is evident to the fact that I am a true follower of Jesus Christ.
In the world that we live there are many religions and yes even some of those who identify as Christian are religious, but true followers of Jesus Christ do not fit into the category of being religious. They are outside the definition of religious.
The word religious by definition is an adherence to a strict set of rules and rituals. By this definition every religion of the world falls under this category (even some who call themselves Christians can be considered religious).
But true Christians are not bound by rules and rituals. True Christians are bound by relationships.
Jesus said something very interesting in Matthew 22 beginning in verse 34, when he said...
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
A lawyer comes to Jesus and asks him about the commandments (religious issues). He wants to know what rules and rituals need to be followed if we are to be in good standing with God and Jesus doesn't offer him a list of rules and rituals. Instead Jesus tells him that a true follower of His and by association God must first have a good relationship with God and secondly they must have good relationships with others.
Jesus completely turns the tables upside down on the world. Every religion is based on some type of act that must be performed if God is to be pleased with humanity. True Christianity is different in that it is about building a relationship with God and also about building relationships with others and out of building those relationships one will come to be in good standing with God.
Jesus even says at much at the close...on these two commandments depend all the laws and the prophets. In other words if you want to be a Christian, you must learn how to develop a true and authentic relationships with God and with others. This is not religion. This is something completely different.
This is true Christianity.
Do you have a relationship with God? And how does that relationship with God affect every other relationship you have on this earth?
If you don't have a relationship with God, maybe today is the day that you start a relationship with God and see how it transforms every other part of your life.