Monday, January 19, 2009

Not playing by the rules

I thought the above Quote... to be quite appropriate for the thoughts I wanted to express in this post.

Yesterday we had a pretty small group at church, so the sermon was more of a group discussion than it typically is. And the topic of that discussion was playing games by the rules.
I suppose that with the AFC Championship game being played yesterday (which our beloved Steelers won!), and P.Dave's cousin Patrick being a part of that game, there's some sort of law that says he has to use a football analogy to start a sermon about games and the rules that we play them by.
The example he used was built around the way the rules of football have changed over the years. So much so that it takes forever for the officials to make certain calls because the rules have become so complex. And that complexity has taken away much of the edge from the game. And a significant amount of the fun as well.
P.Dave likened this overbearance of rules to organized religion. We begin with something good. The traditions we've developed are important as a tool to pass our faith from one person, or one generation, to another. But when we add to those traditions, and give those traditions a place of greater authority than the faith we're trying to live out, then those traditions suck the life out of our faith, and make it meaningless to anyone who doesn't already embrace it. And worse still, it turns that faith into a clique of people trying to maintain their status in what has devolved into a social club.
People care more about their church buildings than they do their neighbors. They worry more about a person's clothing, or appearance, than they care about that person's spiritual condition, or their needs. People fuss over candles, hymn books and misspellings in the bulletin, while the world around them wastes away.
Is that what it means to be a Christian?
What organized religion has done is to kill the spirit of what Christ came here to do; to care for the needy and the oppressed. Jesus didn't come here to set up a system of rules. He didn't come to create a new religion. He came to release us from all of that crap. Jesus told His disciples not to worry about what they would wear, what they would eat. He never asked anyone to build a memorial to Him. All He's ever asked of us is that we love Him, love one another, and care for the least of His bretheren. And it doesn't take a whole lot of rules to get that done.

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Anonymous faith said...

1. I agree with this post, that's all I want to say about that.

2. Football - grudginly I have to say congrats to your Steelers, I wish it was a Pennsylvania Superbowl though, but my Eagles just couldn't pull it off :( I hate to say this to you , but I'm rooting for Arizona. But good luck to your team anyways!

9:57 AM  

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