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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Relax, it's only religion!

Very brief thought here…

In today’s world it is considered en vogue to believe that all religions are pretty much the same – you know, that all beliefs are basically going to wind up in the same place.  And, at first glance, this seems to be a cool idea.  After all, you don’t have to worry about judging others or taking a position that makes your view appear better than any one else’s perspective.  Also, you don’t have as much friction – Why argue and fight about religions if they are all basically the same?  We could obviously cut down on religious fanaticism, which would make much of us relax a bit more.  In fact, that’s basically what we are talking about here – RELAXING!  Hey, it appeals to me, too.

So, I’m thinking along these lines and I’m thinking about Jesus’ words in the New Testament: “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the father but by me.” (John 14:6)  (Ok, that’s rather exclusive and dogmatic, eh?!!?)  And then in the Old Testament you have a million and one instances where God’s people are criticized and even punished by God because they worship other gods.  And many times they would continue worshiping God, himself, but they would just worship God and the gods too…you know, cover all your bases and make sure all the “gods” are included!

The point is that in the whole entire Bible one of the big things is that God wants a sell out.  By that I mean God is looking for someone completely committed to him.  Nothing in the middle.  No compromise.  100% sold out to God.

And isn’t that really what we want, anyway?  How meaningful is a religion or a belief system if we are so relaxed about it that it doesn’t make a real difference, anyway?  Most people are so relaxed about religion that it is trite and meaningless – a belief that is in name only.  But, as the old saying goes, you haven’t really lived life unless you have something you can die for.

If I ever decide to take up the old ball and chain and get married, I want to be able to say to my wife that I would die for her – to keep her in my life.  I don’t want to say, “Well, you know, women are all basically the same and if you aren’t here with me, you know, I’ll just find someone else…”  Same thing with God.