Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Crutch of Religion, and What We Really Want

Anyone landing on this blog can surmise that I’m a Christian. Well, I hope they can. I don't try to hide it. But if you’re not of that persuasion, truth is, my faith is no more real than yours. Even if religion is not for you, we are no different. I believe in something. You believe in something. God. Prophets. Positivity. Energy. Nature. Money. Power. Politics. Science. Culture. Entertainment. Relationships. Self. My faith drives me, moves me onward. It sustains me. So does yours.

I’ve embraced something worth living for, worth dying for. And maybe you've made the same commitment. Maybe not. When it all proves too much of a task, you might want to let it go. At times, I feel the same tug. We really aren’t any different. We’re human beings foundering in chaos, clinging to something we hope will save us, or else, denying we need saving. Either way, you and I are the same.

The Christian holds to the promise of eternal life through the forgiveness of sins and the grace offered by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Muslim accepts one God, creator and sustainer, and wholly surrenders to God’s will. The Jew believes in the one true God of the Universe, giver of the law. Other world religions build their faith on the natural inclination of mankind to offer worship, to find purpose. Even the non-believer desires something that lasts, views life with longing eyes, seeks the meaning of it all, even if it ends in discovering there is no meaning at all.

So, my faith isn't any different than your faith, or lack thereof. We all search for  something. In my case, I took up Christianity and stuck with it. It’s a faith group, a belief system. One anybody can join. Just find yourself a good church and plug in. But if you prefer, find a good mosque, or synagogue. Or get yourself a little Buddha statue. Or something. Or worship the moon. Or join in a social movement and see if that does it for you. Plenty of those to choose from right now.

Sarcasm? Little bit. I don't mean to poke fun at religion. Here’s the thing: Clutching the crutch of religion, in the end, makes little difference. It might offer peace of mind, a better life. And moral boundaries are good for the individual and for society. But any belief system can get you there. As it is, my ideas of good and bad and right and wrong might pit against yours at start a disagreement. Or a war. It’s been known to happen.

However, while my religiosity is no better or worse than yours, the One who called me to faith is different. The power of the gospel saves a soul from hell, redeems a generation, rescues a planet, and provides a way for all people everywhere to realize true freedom, to live unburdened in the presence of their Creator. No cost. No sacrifice. The cost has been paid, the sacrifice made. The calling? I’m no different than you, except that I answered when He called me. Think He isn’t calling you?  If you’re reading this, maybe He is.

What we all want, whether we admit it or not, is love. We want to feel it and express it. But it’s always an unfulfilled dream away. It doesn’t live up to our expectations. It’s fleeting. It does not satisfy.

Only one love doesn’t disappoint, no matter who you are. Regardless of your religion, your dislike of religion, the object of your affection, or the surety of your well managed plans, this is it. As the saying goes, we’re all in this together. And this is all that matters:


 In this way the love of God was revealed to us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

 I John 4: 9,10

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:16,17