Have any of you ever been asked if you are religious? As a Christian, how have you answered that? I was recently asked that very question. Whenever I am asked that question its always with surprise since I look more likely to fix your car or steal your car than to be a Sunday School teacher. The question was raised while I was smoking a cigar, drinking a beer and talking shop… actually I was talking about church.
I’m not going to talk about wether or not it is acceptable for a Christian to drink a beer or smoke a cigar, thats for another blog. What I do want to talk about is the question that was posed to me. In light of the context, I am not surprised that the question was asked in such a manner. It was obvious to me that to this person that had never met me before didn’t think that I was being very religious. He did ask to clarify as to the acceptability of smoking and drinking as described in the Bible. My friend and I explained and he seemed content with the situation but it left me thinking. Am I religious?
What exactly does that mean and does it mean something totally different to the believer, non-believer or the church going non-believer? The word itself seems to carry a negative connotation, so there is always a clarification along with the answer. I used to say that Christianity was a relationship not a religion but I never admitted to being religious, which when looking back on it may have been seen as being hyper-religious. When I answered the question this last time, I answered in the affirmative, “Yes, I am religious”. I wake up on Sundays and go to church… religiously, I read and study my Bible… religiously, I pray religiously. Why not take back the words and their meanings from the rabble? We should behave as we were commanded, to be the salt and the light. Why then should it matter if they perceive our religion as negative? Our actions should speak as loud as our words.
I am taking religion back. I am not going to let others dictate to me how I should feel about it.
Just so you know where I stand, I am a Christian, having been predestined unto salvation before the foundation of the world, saved by the atoning work of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, guided by the Holy Spirit to be conformed to the image of Christ not by anything I did or have done or will do but by the grace of God, all the glory to Him. If I am not liked, may it be because I am a Christian and your sins are revealed to you by the Holy Spirit working through me. If it is because of me, then may God forgive me of my transgression.