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.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Russ
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 16:26:33

    How do you follow Jesus?

    Reply

  2. Jewel
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 17:16:22

    Christianity isnt a religion but a Relationship–with Jesus.

    Reply

  3. divinescribble
    Oct 13, 2008 @ 17:51:15

    Russ,
    Are you asking how I follow Jesus personally, or a collective question?

    Following Jesus is a matter of loving people. Simply put, that’s it. Understanding that we are all created equally and that Jesus loved.
    Loving others despite their color, creed or “sin” personifies what Jesus was about.
    That’s not to dismiss his anger at those who vilified or dumbed down his Father’s role in this world. That’s not to say that I don’t want the God of Abraham to also be my God…but just being okay with people who I contact every day is essential.
    It is essential in my life as a follower of Christ and essential in my life as a human person alive on the earth.

    Jewel,
    AMEN!

    Reply

  4. Russ
    Oct 14, 2008 @ 09:20:41

    Do you think that when you die that you will go to heaven?

    Reply

  5. divinescribble
    Oct 17, 2008 @ 07:13:09

    I believe that I will be in the presence of God when I die. If that’s “heaven”, then, yes.
    I also believe that eternity is not just something that happens in the afterlife, but something we are living out daily. We are either absent from God or with him. Maybe Heaven begins here.

    Reply

  6. Russ
    Oct 17, 2008 @ 09:05:14

    On what basis do you believe that God will accept you into heaven? Does God accept all people into heaven or do some people go to hell rather than heaven?

    Reply

  7. just an apprentice
    Oct 17, 2008 @ 14:24:43

    This caught my attention also. I’m really glad you blogged about it too, because I wanted to work it into my sermon for Sunday, but discovered we already have recycled last Sundays paper. Now I have what I need for my sermon, thanks to you.

    Reply

  8. divinescribble
    Oct 17, 2008 @ 14:38:10

    You’ll get my bill in the mail! I actually probably still have the whole thing laying around if you want it.

    Reply

  9. Maynard
    Oct 30, 2008 @ 14:44:55

    You need to read Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity.
    Uncle

    Reply

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