As so often seems to be the case, this entry was prompted by a discussion we had in our Sunday School class this week as we talked about peoples’ belief systems and what that says about them.
First, let us define what religion is. Merriam-Webster online version defines religion as:
a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion>
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
Let’s go with definition #4 – religion is a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor (intensity, zeal) and faith – just because I don’t like definitions that use the word being defined to define itself. Interestingly, only one of the four definitions includes a deity (at least they had the good sense to capitalize God).
Our country today is split big-time along ideological lines. I watch tv, too much I’m sure, but all I hear is yelling and arguing about how passionate each side is that they are correct and the other side is going to send our country down the chute. Not knowing any of these arguers personally, I can’t help but wonder if these same people are as passionate about their religion. By our chosen definition, a zealous following of a cause or belief system is one form of religion. So just maybe their politics and their religion is one and the same.
The unfortunate and perhaps unintended by-product of this “devotion” toward a political agenda is that there are no eternal consequences. The faith of these zealots is put in man, which is aiming way too low. Regardless of your political beliefs, there is a higher standard to look toward. If you are searching, check out this guy named Jesus. Don’t take someone else’s word about who He is. Do your own investigation. And if you are a believer, take some time to reflect today about which religion you are more passionate about – is it political or theological? When was the last time you put a Jesus sign in your yard?