I have been on the road for two weeks, and in spite of some really good things God has given me to say, I just don’t have the energy to write them. That will have to wait for next week. In the meantime, here is a re-post from last July of a blog I really think is worth repeating.
“…some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.” Acts 23:12
This is the way religion always ends. No matter the sincerity from which our beliefs are born, they ultimately become codified into a system of laws. Everyone that does not agree with or obey that system is considered a heretic, and heretics must be silenced. The Jews did it, Christians have done it, even humanists do it. “Death to the heretics! Death to those who threaten the status quo!”
Why are we so threatened? Do we not believe Christ can run His own kingdom? Why do we feel the need to step in on His behalf and silence the heretics? Jesus said, “You are my friends if you keep My commandments.” Not the commands of men, not the rules of sects or creeds or denominations. In fact, Jesus warned us of this very thing when He said, “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees.” He saw the emptiness of their religion. He saw the futility of their set of rules. He saw the danger of those who are so chained to their dogma that they could no longer hear the voice of God saying, “I want to do a new thing.”
Paul was right when he said in 1 Corinthians 8, “Knowledge puffs up…”. The apostle warned us of the dangers of divisions, denominations, and dogmas. He warned us of the sinfulness of banding together under our own little flag to the exclusion of others.
Beliefs are important. Doctrine is important. But we must remember that whatever truth we possess comes from God. To begin to think we have anything to do with that truth – codifying it, protecting it, enforcing it – reduces that truth to the level of just another religion.
And all religions – even Christianity – end the same way…someone has to die.