The Dilemma of Loving Jesus But Hating Religion

 usemylifeforyourglory asked:

Hi! I believe in Christ and I’m experiencing His love and grace on me. I love Him but I’m so annoyed and I hate religion. I hate when people criticize others. I hate how religion divide people. I hate how they always debate who is right and wrong, true and not. I believe that His love is for everyone, that He gives us rest and in Him there is no condemnation. I’ve been in to other churches but sometimes I just don’t agree to what they say. Is it okay this is how I feel? Ugh.

Hey my lovely friend: It’s definitely okay to feel this way about “organized religion” and the disunity you see in the mainstream church.  It’s right to get angry at condemnation, legalism, hate, and oversized doctrine-heads.

But please allow me the grace to gently challenge you on one simple thing.

It’s easy for me to express discontent with the church because there’s definitely so much wrong with the flesh-driven, man-made, bully-infested hierarchy of smugness in our Christian subculture.  It’s easy for me to say, “Look at those Pharisees, those uptight religious bigots. Thank God I’m totally not like them.”  And you would be right to say that, because you have enough clarity to see how moralism kills us.

Yet the criticism we throw at the religious tends to turn into its very own sort of legalism, until we’re in a perpetual loop of grudges and animosity and division.  Making a distinction against what is wrong always begins with the noble intention of loving people, but we easily boost our own egos when we think “I’m one of the good Christians.”  We’re all prone to an elevated platform, because you know, we’re all sinners. The devil is laughing his butt off over this.

I would say that 98% of Christian blogs I read are just reactionary finger-pointing separatists that always reeks of an attitude that says, “I’m not like those other Christians.”  We tend to eat our own and shoot the wounded.  I’m well aware that even by me saying this, I’m totally defeating my own point too.  But my heart really does grieve for unity, with hope and grace even for the overbearing legalists.

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