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Religion, the Election, and God

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: Religion, the Election, and God


Religion, the Election, and God

Vice President Biden and VP nominee Paul Ryan Photo Credit:CC

Religion versus Relationship

I often encounter people who do not have favorable opinions of "religion". 

I want to tell you something: neither did Jesus.

When He talked to everyday people he was kind and compassionate. To the prostitute he was forgiving and gracious. 

When He encountered the religious people, those who shunned the poor and the lonely, but walked around as if they were better than everyone else, He called those people "vipers".

Paul, encountering Athenians who loved religion (though they worshiped false gods) he found it necessarily to point them back to God.

Religion is the system of ritual, not real relationship with the God of the universe. Relationship is a one-on-one knowing who Jesus is, what He did for you, and trusting in Him for everything you are.

Ritual and religion do not move your heart to compassion for the needy, they do not heal you from your brokenness, and they do not free you from your pain. Only God does that.

The Case of Religion Today

I heard on the news last night learned men debating on who was a better Catholic, Paul Ryan, who is the presumptive Vice Presidential nominee or Vice President Biden, who is on the 2012 democratic ticket with President Obama.

The arguments for one man or another were based on political view points and whether or not those view points lined up with the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church.

Neither man scored perfectly.

No one would and that in part is why I believe the argument is moot.

I will  not debate with you who to vote for. That is not why I write this. I write this because I want you to realize two things.

First, "man" will always mess up the sauce. 

God has a recipe for relationship with Him. It is this: 
a. Recognize you are not perfect and need help to live 
b. Call on Jesus and ask Him to forgive you for any wrongs you have committed
c. Live in God's grace while striving to "sin no more"

When we try to add a bunch of hoops to jump through before we can have a relationship with God, we count what Jesus did as nothing. When we add a bunch of self righteous rules afterwards we get stupid debates and divisions like the story from the news.

The second thing I want you to know is this:

God does not use religion to give you purpose, God uses Jesus to give you purpose. 

God's desire for man has been the same sense the Garden of Eden: to have a relationship with mankind. When sin slithered in and stole the hearts of man, God set in motion a plan to redeem those hearts. Jesus was that plan. In Christ we have freedom and we have purpose. Our purpose is now God's purpose: to point the way back to Him to all of mankind.

We do not do this by walking in ritual and religion, but dwelling in relationship.

You may use your talents as a singer to point the way to Him, or your talents as a writer, an artist, an accountant, a speaker, an encourager, or whatever God has gifted you with in order to fulfill your purpose.
But without relationship there is no point. 

I know this may seem harsh, perhaps even a little unlike me, but I cannot stand when people point to God to justify their bad behavior, as I saw last night on the news.

I believe we should account for faith when we go to the polls, but if we focus on politics and religion more than relationship with God then we miss the point.

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's (your vote) and unto God that which is God's (your heart).

Join the Conversation: 

 Do you agree or disagree that religion (faith) should be a part of political discussion?

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