I Wish There Was a Religion that Followed Jesus

My brain freezes when I hear the word “religion”. I hate it.  An immediate psychological wall goes up in my mind when someone wants to talk to me about their religion or asks me about my religious beliefs. This steel door slams shut behind my eyes and I tune them out. Much of the modern world links “religion” to a set of rules and regulations that must be followed in order to stay out of hell or to achieve perfection in the next life. 

We love to label things and those of us who call ourselves Christians are tied inexorably to a religion that reeks of elitism, holier than thou-ness, condemnation for others and unconditional judgment for anyone who doesn’t agree. We follow the rules in the Bible and claim all Scripture to be God breathed and can’t see past that into anyone else’s frame of thought even long enough to listen to them. We stopped talking about Jesus and his teachings and focus on the rules. It is bad to break the rules.

Sadly, followers of Jesus Christ often don’t want the label of Christian anymore because it has turned into a religous belief rather than a faith or way of life. To say you’re a Christian frequently elicits a negative reaction or uncomfortable laughter followed by an equally stupid joke about lightening strikes. My own “non-Christian” friends who know I’m a Christian have voiced their surprise that I don’t make them feel guilty all the time like “other Christians” do.

Sunday News had an interview with a woman named Linda Gort. She is a nurse practitioner here and was the person “in the spotlight” yesterday morning. From my time as a pediatric nurse, I know her reputation as an advocate for women and children. She always had my respect professionally. One of the questions she was asked during her interview was about her faith. She described herself as a “philosophical Buddhist” who isn’t so good at keeping up with meditations, but she’s trying.  Her next sentence hit me really hard and I think she totally nailed how I’ve been feeling about the world’s view of Christians today:

But if there was a religion that followed the teachings of Jesus, I would follow it. I can’t see where people go hungry and churches build new additions.

I think that sums it up perfectly!

Unfortunately much of the world feels the same way.