Christianity in Today's America
5/18/09 at 09:49 PM 0 Comments

Stop Being So Religious!

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 by Jesse Duckworth

From looking at this title, you probably think that I am anti-Christian but actually this blog is "all the way" for believers". I wrote this to encourage all believers to have a balance in life (Proverbs 11:1). What I mean is not always having ONE way of doing things in our Christian walk. Some people have taken faith to such a level that they walk and talk only ONE way and as a result are not being effective in the kingdom or in our society. When I say "stop being so religious" I am saying, have a relationship with God, pray for people, go to church, etc. But at the same time enjoy life and don't always act in a way to prove that you're more spiritual than others. If you still don't know what I am talking about, let me explain by describing the different kinds of religious people and the things they all do in the name of God and the church.

Let's start with people that ONLY go to church, work, home, and live a life filled with many religious rules. For example, these are people that ONLY listen to preaching tapes and watch Christian television. Don't get me wrong, we all need to be informed and hear good preaching, but is there anything wrong with ESPN or CNN? Or maybe people have taken the scripture that talks about "being not of this world" out of context. In some religions, people are taught not to enjoy the movies, amusement parks, or wear certain types of clothes. By avoiding these things they consider themselves to be more "spiritual" or closer to God than anyone else. What these people don't realize is that it is not in the "works" or the things we do that make us spiritual but it's our faith in God. Galatians 2:16 says, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ." So giving up on make-up, sports, wearing shorts, or movies does not make one any more heaven-bound or godly than anyone else.

The next group of religious people that I want to describe to you are those that not only have many rules for religious purposes but talk another language in order to be seen as spiritual. How are you going to relate to non-believers when all you do is talk Christianese? This is the language that the most religious people use ALL THE TIME! These people are always saying how great things are in their life or how they never have any issues. In other word you and Jesus "got it going on". When these people are asked a general question like "how are doing?" These people always answer "blessed and highly favored!" or "blessed to be a blessing." Whatever happened to answers like "good" or "had a long day but I'm going to be alright." These people don't want to be real with anyone. Sometimes the average person wants to know that they are not the only one in the world that has good days and bad days. This is what I meant by being relatable and effective in our society. If the only conversation Christians try to have with the non-believer are about the book of Revelations and "the mark of the beast" less people will want to listen. And I promise you that this kind of conversation will not be exciting with the non-believer. If anything, people will think that Christians are weird.

I am pretty sure that some of you reading this blog may misinterpret what I've written and that's okay. Just know that "being on fire for God" is great and we all should be. Christians need to pray, give, and love our neighbors as ourselves. I'm also a firm believer in not forsaking the house of God and giving to the community as well. At the same time, I go to the movies on occasions, and even miss church to go on vacation sometimes. I also like to encourage others by letting them know that I'm not perfect. I wrote a book that talks about men pursuing purity and described some of my defeats and victories in my Christian walk. The responses from men and women that read the book have been great, and I think that it wasn't because I talked about great men of faith or used scriptures from the bible. I believe it encouraged people because it's relevant to today's society and many of them could relate to it. I also believe the word of God and my examples of victories in the book were also inspiring. In order to go into the world and compel men and women to live for God, we must first establish a relationship with them. God's people must be interesting and speak in terms that the non-believer can understand. Once we have their attention, then the gospel can be spoken and received.

There's truly no need for people to try so hard to impress each other by acting and talking a certain way. Where is the reward for that? Jesus said our reward is in the secret place (Matthew 6:6). Do good things and get your satisfaction in knowing that God is pleased for your works "behind closed doors" even when you don't receive praise from people. Remember, religion is not about how often you pray, fast, or even go to church, but it's loving God and having a RELATIONSHIP with Him and loving others. All of the other things are an extension of your love and faith in Jesus Christ.

For more information about Jesse Duckworth and his book, check out his website at

Jesseduckworth.com

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