By now, just about everyone and their mother and in some cases grandmother have seen the video on youtube that has been floating around people’s Facebook wall about one man’s commentary on the difference of relationship and religion when it comes to the Christian faith. Well, I finally decided to watch it today after seeing my old church showed it yesterday. I also looked up a website that was in response to this video that my friend posted on facebook as well. I wanted to see what people thought about the video after I had a chance to view it. I found two more sites with commentary on the video and I am sure if I had spent more time I would have seen a plethora more sites as well. Before I speak on this issue I want anyone who has not had a chance to check the video out, to watch it right now. Here you go:
My first response was mainly, nice job! There were a few parts that stuck out to me in a good way and a not-so-good way, but honestly I don’t want to discuss what he got right and what he got wrong except for one thing. He did get one thing very right, he got people discussing their beliefs about Jesus and religion. A quick search on Youtube of the video’s title and you get over 3500 results, including a Catholic, Muslim (even one that claims to hate religion, love Jesus and be Muslim) and atheist viewpoint. Simply put this video got people to think about their own beliefs and that is never a bad thing.
What I do want to write about today is religion and relationship and what they mean to me. In all of my theological studies (absolutely none) I have heard a lot about Christianity as a relationship with Christ and that we should be thinking about Jesus in that light rather than in a religious mindset. I’m not quite sure how that works.
Religion itself is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe. Without religion we have nothing to believe. Now I think what was meant by the word religion was more of the beliefs that certain people are ascribing to Jesus. How we go about interpreting the Bible and applying it to our lives. Over the years different beliefs on topics such as communion have resulted in different denominations within the Christian faith. If they are still Biblically sound than they are a part of the Christian religion community. Some people have been misusing the religion of Christianity to justify racism, hatred, and countless other things. That is not religion. That is someone misusing religion to justify their own agenda.
A relationship can fit nicely within the definition of religion. A relationship is an emotional connection between two people (for religion sake this can be applied to an emotional connection between humans and God). How does this stray from religion itself? In my opinion, it doesn’t. Can’t our beliefs cause us to have an emotional connection with God? Don’t we have a desire to talk to God (pray)? Look how David cries out to God in pretty much every Psalm that he wrote. If you have a set of beliefs that include a Father in heaven who sent His only Son to die for us even though we suck, how can you not have an emotional connection?
Let’s live life as if our religious beliefs cause an emotional reaction in us so strong that we can’t help but be in a relationship with the God of the universe. That should drive us in everything we do and if something else is causing us to do something then that’s when Jesus would call us a “brood of vipers” for being hypocrites.