I’ll Take Relationship for $1000 Alex…

November 5, 2012

For a long time now, I’ve seen such a misdiagnosis of “Religion” versus “Relationship” with God. I can personally say that I don’t like religion and I never have and never will. Some might ask, “Well Tim, don’t you go to church? Aren’t you a pastor now? How can you say that?” Well, I can say it with confidence and conviction. And about that pastor thing, yeah, that’s my job title now but that doesn’t give me a clearer connection to the Almighty than you. To say otherwise is false and way above my pay rate….I’m being cheeky here. So about that “religion” thing…it’s not what I believe God wants for us and it’s not the same as the “relationship” He does want with us.

You see a relationship with God frees me from the many rules that were set in place that I could never adhere to. Not because I don’t have the desire to but my flawed human nature trips me up from ever getting there to follow through with those rules. They were pretty high standards. Sure there are many in the faith that can’t separate these two ideas but what potentially is the result is becoming so theistically dogmatic where it becomes a street corner yelling mission about expectations we can never meet. In fact, I’d dare say the religiously spirited person delivering that message sets a bar so high for everyone else that even he/she can’t meet it themselves. And sadly, they won’t recognize it. On the flip side, the non-believer misinterprets this concept by lack of understanding its foundation by implanting non-theistic terms into a theistic frame work. Therefore they’ll say something like “How can you not believe in religion but at the same time say you believe in the Bible”??? To them it’s also one in the same. But again, the reality is that it’s not. And I’ve seen the non-theists use this misdiagnoses as a starting point which then lead to much broader charges regarding Bible inconsistency’s, unreliable interpretations, Horus and Mithras being one in the same as Jesus, the Noah’s Ark account biting off the Epic of Gilgamesh and on and on and on. All charges under the guise of the non relevance of “Religion.” And there’s the misdiagnosis. Btw, charges which have been adequately answered and deflated by scholars and historians for nearly a hundred years yet regurgitated for a new generation to continue the claims. But claims nerveless brought on by the lack of understanding of what it is they’re criticizing. I also believe the Christian can lack that understanding within their own beliefs as well which is why in one of my older posts (Four Things Churches Can Learn From Dragon Con -Part 1)

I laid the challenge that we need to do a better job in hitting the books and understanding the essence and history of our faith. As Christians, we need to do a better job of conveying that a relationship with God is not religion for God. It’s something we not only need to convey but we need to do our best in living this truth out. We need to show it! So that any discussion regarding Christ starts with the “correct” understanding of this man’s historic mission on earth which can than ultimately lead to constructive dialogue about the nature of that mission. A mission that freed me from trying to reach a perfection that I could never reach. And I can loosen my tie, breathe better, and live life a little easier due to it. I was prompted to write this short blog after watching this video, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” by Jefferson Bethke.

Many don’t care for this video, many believers and non-believers hate what he has to say with a passion and I’m quite sure Mr. Bethke’s fine with that. And I’m also sure he’d agree with my stance that I’m not here to change hearts or minds but only called to share what I know and believe. And after 22 million hits on youtube, there’s no denying Mr. Bethke struck a sensitive chord with so many. He sure did with me. His poem spoke to me with true insight and wisdom and I sure hope in sharing it, it strikes a chord in you as well. God Bless and Take Care,

Your Puerto Rican Deacon

One comment

  1. i love that video.

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