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Burnt out on religion? January 1, 2005

Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, church, faith, God, Jesus, Religion, spirituality, Theology.
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If you study the life of Jesus, he came into a very legalistic culture and, to use a cliche, started slaughtering their sacred cows of religious thoughts, ideas, and traditions. I believe the gospel writers back tracked on some of these radical ideas in their accounts. However, Jesus defied many of their laws (like the Sabbath). He even quoted from the Holy Scriptures of the Jews and then proceeded to radically make modifications or updates…. “You’ve heard it said…. but I tell you…”

At the core of Christ’s teachings was a message of living a life of compassion, mercy, and love. He taught that the important thing was the state of our heart NOT whether we lived by a set of rules and regulations.

One of the sad commentaries of Christianity is that we’ve re-created a very similar legalistic system to the one that Jesus defied. We now have our sacred cows, our traditions, our legalistic view of the way things should be. If Jesus were to come today into the Fundamental Christian church with his radical ideas, we too would crucify him.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message Bible)

In this blog, I will address the issues that I believe need an updated view. “You have heard fundamentalism say…. but I suggest to you….”

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Comments»

1. Monk-in-Training - April 27, 2005

Roopster,
The path you are showing us is much harder than the easy path of rules and a tightly knit religious structure that has all the answers. It takes hard work of discernment and commitment to community so that we both know each other and are known by them. I think in that loving community we will live and find the Gospel Jesus was telling us about.

2. Roopster - April 27, 2005

MIT,

Great points. The interesting thing is most people, as they did in Jesus’ time, will reject this path. And even if it’s accepted, it’ll quickly simply turn into a different sets of rules and regulations.

I saw this happen with a church I attended in St. Louis. The Youth Pastor left to start his own church and was very critical of the leadership of his former church because of their control, etc. For a couple years, he really preached a message of freedom but it quickly degraded and he became more of a control freak than the leaders of the previous church. It was facinating to watch.

Paul

3. Beth - May 12, 2006

I 100% agree with this post. The sabbath is the only one of the ten commandments NOT repeated in the New Testament. The Matthew passage you quoted is one of my favorites. Clearly, many people are burnt out on religion. And Monk-in-Training is absolutely correct in saying that a path of relationship is much harder than an easy path of rules. Jesus came to set us free from law and instead we (much of the Church) have added to the Law. This is a tragedy because it drives people away from knowing God, knowing truth, knowing Jesus in a relationship without rules.


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