Some say religion is a ‘crutch. ’ You use it when you need it, and then you throw the crutch away. It’s not so different from the view of Karl Marx who called religion, “the opium of the people.” It’s like a drug; use it when you need it if you think it helps you to function in daily life.
Others use religion to help them get through their day to day lives. They use religion to help them deal with their problems. For example, you feel guilt for some wrong doing. You try to cover yourself by going to the temple, by doing some extra rituals. Or you may have struggles in your marriage, or with your teenage children, or with anger of fear in your life, and you perfectly fulfill what your religion says you should do. You do all these things so that you may have peace and happiness in your life.
It’s a continual cycle. You’ve done your thing. You do what is expected of you; but the lonely feeling of emptiness remains. You are just as restless as before. You have no peace; no happiness. You have more questions than answers.
Does religion help?
True religion, however, is not reduced to a set of rules; of do’s and don’ts. True religion is about a relationship. It’s about a Person who so loves and cares that He gave His life to pay for our sins. It’s about God who gave Himself in Jesus, calling us to live in relationship with Him through Jesus. From the beginning God chose to live in relationship with us. This relationship was broken through our disobedience to Him. That’s when sadness and misery came into the world. What we do, our rituals, cannot fix our broken relationship with God.
In His amazing love, the true and living God comes to us in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. By believing in Christ, you discover that God brings you into relationship with Him. Jesus died on the cross to cover [forgive] the sins and guilt of all who trust on Him as their Savior. True religion is not about fulfilling a recipe but about submitting to a Person, the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ. He is the secret to bringing joy into your marriage, in your family, and the secret to overcoming things like anger and fear. He is the life. He has the power.
By Pastor Tony Zekveld
Apr 1, 2017