The Odessa Record -

Pastor's Corner

A religion people


“I’m spiritual, but not religious.” Generally, this means

that the speaker wants to throw out “organized religion” in

favor of more mystic, individualized, or vague ideas of belief and life. Time spent at church, traditions, rituals, and other

“religious” actions mean little or nothing.

The problem is, this idea ignores reality. Yes, people reject going to church, praying with others, wearing certain clothing or symbols, or participating in other rituals because of the “religious” overtones, but they tend to ignore the fact that they have simply exchanged one group of religious actions for another.

The truth is, everyone is religious.

Being “spiritual” or “religious” – believing in something – means to honor, love, and trust in it. It means more than just

admitting that something exists, but putting your energy, trust, and lives into something.

Think about it this way. You may not go to church, because

you find it unnecessary for your “spiritual” life. But, where

do you gather with other people on a regular basis? A stadium? A bar? You may not “fear” God as someone worthy of respect and honor. But, whose honor and respect do you crave? Your friends? Your family? You may not trust in God to

provide anything for you. Who or what do you trust? Money? The government? Your reputation?

Even more, we all carry out “religious” rituals. We go to ball games, clad in our religious garb full of players’ numbers

and names. When we’re not there, we spend hours pouring over statistics and news. If you’re not into sports, maybe you

spend the bulk of your free time playing games or watching movies and shows. Most of us choose our words carefully as

not to offend or put off our friends. Don’t hear me wrong –

sports and entertainment aren’t inherently evil. It’s great to

value friends and family. But let’s not pretend that we’re

not “religious” about anything, that we don’t fear, love, or trust in anything or anyone. Our actions prove otherwise.

What this comes down to is priorities. What do you value? What do you trust? What is it in your life that truly has your

love? Is it a God who created all things, who gave you life, who loves you so much that he sent his Son into the world to

bring you healing? Is it the Word of a God who has revealed to us the sweet, everlasting, wonderful promise of life with

him in the paradise of a new creation? If so, your time will reflect that. But, if you value, trust, and love other things, your time will reflect that as well.

Be honest about what you value. You can’t serve both God and your own desires. If you believe in God – if you fear,

love, and trust in him above all things – what better way to live than by spending time in his Word, by gathering with

other believers, by participating in the traditions of the Church, by praying in all times and situations – all which

point to God’s love and promises in Jesus Christ? You’re religious, whether you like it or not.


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