A Case Against The Trap Of Silly Religion

‘I hate this silly religion, but you, God, I trust.’ Psalm 31: 6

For more than half a century I have been involved in ‘the church’.

From day ‘dot’ my parents had me attending church services. I joined the local Sunday school, partook and even led church youth groups and Christian organizations during my time in secondary and tertiary education. I even pastored churches, led worship and was appointed to numerous leadership positions in them. In addition I raised my children within the four walls of such organisations.

But amidst all the wonderful times, miraculous events, and the establishment of a personal relationship with the Jesus of the Bible, I have always had an aversion to ‘silly religion’ – to the point now in my life where I totally reject it.

So What Is ‘Silly Religion’?

Well the funny thing is that if you belong to one church organisation or denomination, many within that place will point their fingers at other brands and say that they are caught up in ‘silly religion’ – but I’ve been on both sides of the fence – from mainline denominational to contemporary pentecostal– and guess what? There’s a bit of silliness in anything that man gets his hand on.

In my view ‘silly religion’ is anything that creates an atmosphere of guilt, a requirement to obey men’s rules (not necessarily God’s), false expectations by those in positions of authority, judgment, and a warped misinterpretation of the scriptures.

Let’s take a quick look at that last point that I just mentioned – the misinterpretation of the scriptures.

There is a line of thought that states that in order to flourish you must be planted in the house of the Lord – and the interpretation given for this is that you must be a member and a regular attender of a particular church or denomination.

If not, does that mean that if I don’t attend your church meetings that I will not flourish?

But the fact is that this limited line of thought has been drawn from a single scripture and been turned into a cliche. You can find it in Psalm 93: 13 ‘Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.’

Now the interesting thing is that this scripture was written long before the ‘church’ structure, as we know it today, had even been created.

What Did Charles H. Spurgeon Have To Say?

But don’t just accept my opinion. Let’s go and see what the great preacher Charles H. Spurgeon had to say about this passage – and before we go there – this thought is often mixed with the verse in Hebrews 10:25 – ‘not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is’ – but let’s first listen to what Charles had to say:

‘’Verse 13. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. In the courtyards of Oriental houses trees were planted, and being thoroughly screened, they would be likely to bring forth their fruit to perfection in trying seasons; even so, those who by grace are brought into communion with the Lord, shall be likened to trees planted in the Lord’s house, and shall find it good to their souls. No heart has so much joy as that which abides in the Lord Jesus. Fellowship with the stem begets fertility in the branches. If a man abides in Christ he brings forth much fruit. Those professors who are rooted to the world do not flourish; those who send forth their roots into the marshes of frivolous pleasure cannot be in a vigorous condition; but those who dwell in habitual fellowship with God shall become men of full growth, rich in grace, happy in experience, mighty in influence, honored and honorable. Much depends upon the soil in which a tree is planted; everything, in our case, depends upon our abiding in the Lord Jesus, and deriving all our supplies from him. If we ever really grow in the courts of the Lord’s house we must be planted there, for no tree grows in God’s garden self sown; once planted of the Lord, we shall never be rooted up, but in his courts we shall take root downward, and bring forth fruit upward to his glory for ever.’

No mention of church buildings or meetings – just Jesus. Funny that.

Another Case Of Silly Religion

So does that mean that if we choose not to attend a formal church service that we will not be blessed?

Many in Christendom would have us think this, and use this as a ‘religious’ manipulative lure to draw us through their doors and support their programs – but is this really what God designed for us, or is this just another case of ‘silly religion’?

My understanding from Matthew 18:20 is that ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’.

So for me personally – church and being planted can often occur in the coffee shop, the field, my home, and wherever believers and their God meet – and in this there is great liberty and the absence of any ‘silly religion’.

Please understand that this is not an attack against organised religion – for there are many who need and benefit from this structure to sustain and stimulate their faith.

But if it is not for you, then be free indeed to follow the path that God has laid before you – for the blessing upon your life will not arise from what denomination you belong to, nor the church service you attend, but rather the personal obedience to what God has called you, as an individual created in His own image, to perform upon planet earth. Therein is true liberty.

Finally, I love what Albert Einstein had to say about the subject – ‘My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.’

May the author of your ‘pure religion and undefiled before God’ which is ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world’ – as recorded by James the Apostle – reveal Himself to you ‘in the slight details’ all the days of your life, and may you be empowered and protected from any onslaught of ‘silly religion’.

Source: http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps092.htm

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