Tag Archives: empty religion


If I were to ask you if you're a religious person, what would you say?

Really. Stop reading and think about it for a second.

I know my answer six months ago would be different than it was when I was growing up. And it's different today than it was six months ago.

Stained Glass Smaller

It might be my imagination (I have a strong one), but it seems that religion has become (world-wise) little more than a bad word. Even in Christian circles, an overly religious person is often equated with a zealot, a Pharisee. Can you truly be overly-religious?

Religion is more commonly being seen as "the act of being a belief nut". Religious folks are said to be fanatical; singly focused on righteous acts. The religion of Christianity has recently been compared (many times I might add) to Muslim extremists.

Scrolling through my Facebook this past week has confirmed my belief that religion is widely becoming tabu.  Even Christians are aligning themselves with this frame of mind. Here are some popular thoughts.

You don't need religion to have morals.  If you determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion.-Anonymous

My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness. -Dalai Lama

Jesus is my Savior, not my religion -Unknown

Religion is the cause of all the problems in the world.  It's what separates people.  -Gwyneth Paltrow.

I have to admit six months ago had I been asked whether or not I am a religious person, I would have hesitated before answering, especially if the question had asked for a simple yes or no answer.


By answering yes, I feel that an astoundingly increasing number of people would mark me as a tyrant; an unloving and intolerant.    A "yes" answering person is often viewed as one who goes about (can I say) Heaven-bent on doing the right things so that they might think they're dandy and God might think they're dandy along with the less-than-righteous rest of the world. Religion has been redefined as the act of acting.

That kind of religion exists. It's called empty religion and it's widely practiced. I'm guilty of it. I'm sure we all are.

But true religion? That exists too.

…..pure and genuine religion

Religion, in its rightful practice, is the belief in, and worship of God.

It's about our relationship with a loving father who we know always "gets it right". We know we're not dandy people, but rather fallen ones in need. We believe this to be true. Out of that belief, we worship. Part of that worship is our obedience to Him; our attempt to do what He says we should do.

Here's the other thing that bugs me. It's almost as if we've tried to make Jesus the very opposite of religious. Jesus did get all over the religious leaders (We like to use that), but not because they were living worshipfully by faith. They were interested in puffing up themselves instead of God. They were self-righteous. We find their example detestable. I'm glad we do. Their story is a great reminder not to fall into that trap we find ourselves tip-toeing around and sometimes caught in.

Was Jesus religious?

He trusted His Father.

His life was one of constant worship.

I'd say He was.

He participated in Jewish traditional feasts and the Passover. He knew the scripture.

He told us "Don't think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Matthew 5:17

These things He did,.... these things we do.... are/should be more than mere acts. With the right heart these practices are part of worship. These things are part of our religion.

Are our religious actions always practiced with a proper heart, in the right frame of mind? Certainly not. But that shouldn't mean that we shy away from organized religion, the public sharing of our faith and all appearance of religion.

We just have to ask continually ask our self these questions.

Is my religion pure and genuine?

Is the world corrupting our view of what is right and good by trying to convince us that religion isn't what Jesus wants?

We have been told to watch out for such things-

Keep oneself from being polluted by the world

Is my religion all about Jesus?

Should it be about anything else?

If I find times that it's not, should I give up trying to make my religion all about Him?

I count myself as one who strives to be religious. I want my life (be it popular or the modern crime) to be a life led by faith and heart-felt worship. I'll mess up a million times; more the reason to trust in the One who died for my Sin…..

more the reason to sing, and pray and tell the world.

That's my religion.


imageI've heard Jason tell several people I was leaving him.  That's only partly true.  Summer is the only time I have the opportunity to see all of our family for more than a quick hello.  The kids and I have spent pretty much the whole summer touring central Texas.

At the beginning of this week we even got the opportunity to visit Ace.  He's my niece's busy all-over-the-place dog/kid.  He's partial to Jessica, my niece, his mom.  He runs around in a tizzy, then goes and checks in with Jessica (his master).

Funny thing happened this visit.  Jessica was kind enough to share some of her duds with Hallie and I.  I was able to squeeze into a pair of her jeans which I was quite happy about.  I must mention that Jessica and I are similar.  We've been told on numerous occasions that we look alike and that we have the same mannerisms (which also makes me proud-She's awesome!).

Well...... After one of Ace's dizzying spells, he runs up and jumps on the back of my legs, all "I love you, pick-me-up-like".  I turn around to scoop him up and he "crawdad crazy crawls" backward in fast motion. Confused, and a little let-down, I went about my business. 

But Ace did it again. Several times he approached me only to retreat as quickly as possible. Here's the only thing I can figure.

I'm in Jessica's house.  I'm where she's supposed to be.

I look a little like Jessica, maybe his eyes are partly blocked by maltipoo fur.

Wearing her jeans, I probably even somewhat smell like her.

It's only when Ace got close that he recognized that I wasn't Jessica.

The little guy has made me think of how we humans often mistakenly approach a wrong master.  Sometimes being financially secure or having a squeaky-clean image is our master.  We'll make success and acceptance our master.  

Being the "woman of God" that I am, I make every effort not to chase after those false Gods. Though I sometimes live for earthly things, I typically don't fool my saintly self into believing they're of God.  While that's all well and good, it leads me to a problem I believe we Christians encounter.

Sometimes we wrongly run at anything that looks or smells like God.

Having an "Ace moment", we approach something that "looks like Him".  Maybe we volunteer for some service project.  Possibly we're involved in twelve different ministries at the church- the more God-seeming things you do, the closer to God, right? I have the decorative crosses adorning my wall and I have drawers full of church shirts.  I listen to "the right music" (at least on Sundays).

Please don't misunderstand.  It's not that there's anything wrong with going through the motions.  The motions are often acts of worship; intimate time with God.  Our church shirts and cross necklaces can be emboldened displays of a God we live for.

But don't be satisfied with anything that merely, on its own, serves as a substitute for time with the One and Only. Don't settle, believing Christian songs and t-shirts, bible studies and perfect church attendance are by themselves the "real deal"; be like Ace.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all of your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord.  Jeremiah 29:13,14 

 ace and real