All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Is. 64:6
By: Carol McClain @carol_mcclain
For most of my Christian life, I belong to a lively church that eschewed "religiosity." We never would've condoned it.
The only problem was--this house of worship was, unwittingly, quite religious.
For example, worship band would start. The chairs got folded, and we danced. First note...the ritual began. Never did it vary. If someone felt uncomfortable worshiping in this manner and was not an invalid, her salvation was questioned.
In order teach adult Sunday school or join the worship team or become a deacon--anything only a "mature" Christian could minister in, a long span of time had to pass where you proved your sincerity. Did you participate in all work bees, attend every meeting, pay beyond your tithes, etc.
With pure hearts and good intentions, many churches become as religious as the high churches they condemn. Like religions consisting of rituals and rules to prove your worthiness, this adherence to the outside appearance chains us down.
Four Hints You May Be Religious And Not Spiritual
- Do you put on your faith? Is it on the outside--something you do like going to church on Sunday or Easter?
- Do you barter with God? I'll go to Wednesday night prayer meetings if You...
- Do you work for approval? Is your volunteer activity for the sheer need of it or for the approval of men?
- Is your faith a series of rules to prove your intent? I won't listen to rock music. I won't drink. I won't stint one penny on my tithes. I will dress in a rigid, prescribed manner rather than simply modestly.
We live by faith, not by our works of righteousness (Eph. 2: 8-9). Religion is a cruel task master--and never allows any of us to be good enough. And should we attain respect--then we feel free to boast.