Monday, June 4, 2007

Religion vs. Relationship

I have been thinking.

This weekend just gone by we had our youth camp for church. It was awesome, games, movies, hanging out, FOOD and services encountering God. We also had both an incredible youth leader and very good mate come and speak at camp at both of our 2 services throughout the weekend.

The first night he spoke about the things we are passionate about. He used the illustration of how he is passionate about finding the right pair of jeans, and the feeling he gets after reaching the end of his complete day search to finish finding the perfect pair.

But, do we feel the same passion when we open the bible or hear God speak to us?

I think there are definite positives about comfort and familiarity but it is also definite negative if it limits our desperation for God and it numbing our motivation and passion to go deeper in our love for Him.

Personally, I struggle at times to continue reminding myself the purpose behind why I spend time with God. It is easy to slip into the mentality of wanting more of God because of requirement or because I know it helps my ability to lead etc.

But those reasons can often lead into turning our relationship with God again into religion - something that Jesus came to destroy.

We need to constantly reevaluate our love for God and our reasons behind why we do the things we do.

Do we lift our hands in worship because we know people will be wondering why we aren't or because the desperation I have for more of God can't be expressed in any other way than lifting my hands wanting more of Him? (Just an example - not wanting to start a discussion about the controversy etc over lifting of hands)

Am I living my Christian life out of things I feel I should be doing or because I want to know God deeper?

Because I want to love Him more?

Because there is no one else that even comes close to being worthy of my worship and honour?

Have a think about you personally.


Brother Rob said...

Hey man, great post.

I'd like to point out, however, that reasons such as "wanting to love Him more" and "wanting to know God deeper" are themselves of 'religion' in the sense you mentioned. These desires, although orthodox (and highly commendable might I add!), hold religious value in the sense of 'works'.

Rhys said...

So what reasons are there, if any, in your argument that should be the "right" ones for loving God?

Apart from of course because "he first loved us"

Brother Rob said...

What I'm trying to allude is that loving God doesn't rely on holding the correct 'reasons'. There are likely a multitude of reasons for why one responds to God, some more virtuous than others, but these are not the crux of Christian faith - They are, in fact, part of the religion that surrounds the Christian faith.

Sam said...

Yeah I didn't get him at first either Rhys, don't worry. Flippin' Rob. However, I totally agree with what you're saying dude, about it not being about our motivations, even though they're important.God will get to know us anyway. It's alll Grace.