Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Stupid Myth #1: Christianity Is Not A Religion

So what is it then? Is it a philosophy...a science...a social science?

Who came up with this idea anyway? Well, if we look at the bible, supposedly the foundation of most Christians ideas about Christianity, we an interesting view.  In James 2 [NIV] we read:
“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress [better translated: oppression] and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Hmmm. That is quite different from saying that religion, per se, is bad. By the way, the second part of the myth is ...”it is a relationship with God”. Let’s stick with these verses: so God wants all to watch what they say and to care for those being oppressed. And we are to be pure: not to live in luxury and self-indulgence [Ch. 5]. And the context of James  is clear: the necessity of caring for the poor and a condemnation of the rich.

So we see very clearly and practically what kind of religion/Christian God demands. But the church “waters down” the demands to what you can get from God. It projects a romantic “relationship” as the goal – not a life of love for one an-other [and all of God’s creations] [2:8]. It is more palatable to alter demands to benefits. Turning God into a mere sugar daddy or lover, all sense of responsibility is void.

James lays it on the line. Perhaps this is why the church fathers tried to keep James out of the canon. Perhaps this is why pastors rarely preach on it. And if they do, they pick and choose to avoid the demands – another example of PAC theology.

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