Christianity: The Un-Religion
There is a difference between ‘religion’ and ‘Christianity’. Here’s the distinction…
Religion (ex: Acts 26.5) is all about you and me. It’s about what you and I do or don’t do. It prescribes things to do/not do in order to gain God’s favor.
Religion isn’t ultimately about God. It’s about… Me. It’s about my devotion, my commitment, my doingness. And when we get together in a group setting, it’s about ME VS. YOU. We can’t help but establish a pecking order to see who the priests, pillars, and heretics are.
Religion is a human impulse. We are religious in nature #seculosity. Even if you might not subscribe to any one religion, you will seek religion in other things. You will bring a religious fervor to whatever you do. We all do. Just look at social media… #crossfit
Over time, Christians have done the same. They’ve turned Christianity religious (#wwjd). It’s become a club of ‘good’ and ‘clean’ people doing ‘good’ things for God and climbing a ladder of piety for Jesus. We see this in both politically conservative and progressive churches in the US.
But if you’re self-aware, you know, as I do, that though you have plenty of good days, you’re also pretty busted in a lot of ways. You don’t live as ideally as you think you should. You fall down in a lot of ways. If you’re like me, you’re kinda petty and selfish. You sell out for approval. You’re arrogant. Etc. So it’s easy to think that Christianity isn’t for you.
But Christianity is a direct contradiction to religion. The essence of the Christian faith isn’t about you and what you need to do for God. It’s about God and what God has done and is doing for you (which we learn through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus).
Christianity is not about keeping a moral or socio-political code. It’s about a God who saves people who fail to keep the moral and socio-political code (aka all of us).
Christianity is about Jesus who showed us for the first time ever a God of grace. A God who gives us death and resurrection, not mere betterment. In our death and resurrection, we are freed from our religious self-centeredness and created new. We serve our neighbors with soft hearts. Not out of hardened religious obligation, but out of softened love.
Christianity is an un-religion; a way to look at God and practice weekly rituals so as to undo and save us from our religious ways. I hope more churches can return to this intention
In Comfort + Joy,