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View Full Version : RELIGION: A Diversion Away From Christ and His Gospel



Robert Pate
February 24th, 2016, 10:00 AM
Jesus and the Pharisees had a lot incommon, they were both teachers of the law, yet they were at odds with each other. Religion does not bring one into a closer relationship with Christ, if anything it drives them away from Christ and into religion. All religions have one thing incommon, they are all based upon law. The words "law" and "religion" are related words. When one is doing their religion they are doing the law. The law is any religious thing that we do. Religious people do not live by faith, they live by religion. If you are a Catholic you are constantly doing the Catholic religion. I have heard of some Catholics that take the sacraments three times a day. Those that are living by faith are not religious, they do not practice religion.

Why is it that some after they hear the Gospel go off into religion, like Calvinism and Catholicism? I have given this a great deal of thought and have concluded that the Christian message is just to simple. We are saved by simple child like faith in Christ. Paul said that, "Whosoever that shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" Romans 10:13. How simple can that be? Calling on Christ to save you is an act of faith. The message is so simple that many are offended by it. It is a stumbling stone and a rock of offense to the religious. Simple child like faith goes outside of its self and rest in Jesus Christ and his Gospel. This is what Paul meant when he wrote Hebrews 4:10.

A good example of simple faith is when God sent fiery serpents upon the Isralites because they were rebellious. God had Moses make a brass serpent and set it upon a pole. All that had been bitten by the serpents could live if they looked upon Moses brass serpent. look and live, don't look and die. How many said, "That's just to simple" and died? I am afraid that is the way that it is with the Christianity, its just to simple. Human nature being what it is wants to complicate the Gospel message. Instead of simple child like faith in Christ, its... "I have been predestinated" or "I have joined the Catholic church" or "I must be baptized" or whatever.

Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" Matthew 18:3. Little children are not sophisticated. They hear the Gospel and they believe it. They don't think about how they can become religious. They simply hear and believe the Gospel message. It is after they become adults that they become religious.

Arianadia
February 24th, 2016, 11:03 AM
Robert, I see where you are coming from that you believe the words Law and Religion have become too close in meaning over time, considering that what religion seeks to do is create a particular system of faith and worship. However, the definition of the word religion means to believe in and worship a being, which in the Christian religion we call God. So I don't believe it is religion per se that diverts us away from Christ and His Gospel, but rather a lack of understanding and knowledge about what it is we believe and who we believe in.

If having faith and believing were so simple then we would all already be saved, but I think faith is about a lot more. Yes it is true we are told to have faith like that of a child, a faith that believes without having to see, but that does not mean we should be blindly or ignorantly faithful. Children become adults, and adults like to reason and understand, and in doing so research and seek out greater knowledge, ask questions, and attempt to find an answer. This process can help deepen a persons faith, and having a religion or system that allows for this process to take place can help a person come even closer to Christ and to the Gospel. I suppose its up to rather personal opinion however, choosing to believe as a child would or choosing to build on ones relationship with God and explore the world He created for us.

I do agree with you that we may become distracted in following certain practices and keeping set traditions, but I believe it is we who choose to divert away or come closer to Christ and the Gospel. For in the end it is we who set up religions and decide on its premise and where we hope it will lead us. I believe that if a religion helps one to come closer to God then all the better for it, but if it indeed begins to push one away from Christ then it is not doing what it was intended for, which is be a system for faith and worship.

Robert do you agree?

heir
February 24th, 2016, 11:23 AM
If having faith and believing were so simple then we would all already be saved, but I think faith is about a lot more.I'm saved. Why aren't you?

Crucible
February 24th, 2016, 11:26 AM
Here we go with this dime a dozen nonsense again.

Religion is simply order. It is an established set of doctrine to prevent perceived error.
That's all it is, plain and simple.

People who are against 'religion' are naturally dubious, because it is a mechanism to justify one's own belief- WHICH IS RELIGION.

An utterly false dichotomy that I get tired of hearing.

And
Dispensationalists- you are a religion. A denomination. It's like watching horses deny they are horses with you all :doh:

Robert Pate
February 24th, 2016, 11:27 AM
Robert, I see where you are coming from that you believe the words Law and Religion have become too close in meaning over time, considering that what religion seeks to do is create a particular system of faith and worship. However, the definition of the word religion means to believe in and worship a being, which in the Christian religion we call God. So I don't believe it is religion per se that diverts us away from Christ and His Gospel, but rather a lack of understanding and knowledge about what it is we believe and who we believe in.

If having faith and believing were so simple then we would all already be saved, but I think faith is about a lot more. Yes it is true we are told to have faith like that of a child, a faith that believes without having to see, but that does not mean we should be blindly or ignorantly faithful. Children become adults, and adults like to reason and understand, and in doing so research and seek out greater knowledge, ask questions, and attempt to find an answer. This process can help deepen a persons faith, and having a religion or system that allows for this process to take place can help a person come even closer to Christ and to the Gospel. I suppose its up to rather personal opinion however, choosing to believe as a child would or choosing to build on ones relationship with God and explore the world He created for us.

I do agree with you that we may become distracted in following certain practices and keeping set traditions, but I believe it is we who choose to divert away or come closer to Christ and the Gospel. For in the end it is we who set up religions and decide on its premise and where we hope it will lead us. I believe that if a religion helps one to come closer to God then all the better for it, but if it indeed begins to push one away from Christ then it is not doing what it was intended for, which is be a system for faith and worship.

Robert do you agree?

Paul opposed those who were religious. I have found that people that are religious have little to no use for Christ and his Gospel. They are to preoccupied with their own spirituallity. Religion is very subjective, it is about you, who is a sinner, whereas the gospel is about Jesus Christ.

I understand religion because at one time I was "The Chief of all Pharisees" but when I learned the Gospel that justifies the ungodly, Romans 4:5 and reconciles the world unto God, 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19. my religious chains fell off. Today, instead of living by religion "I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me" Galatians 2:20. Religion is not of faith. Saving faith is always faith in Christ and his Gospel. It is not faith in a church, system, or a religion.

Robert Pate
February 24th, 2016, 11:35 AM
Here we go with this dime a dozen nonsense again.

Religion is simply order. It is an established set of doctrine to prevent perceived error.
That's all it is, plain and simple.

People who are against 'religion' are naturally dubious, because it is a mechanism to justify one's own belief- WHICH IS RELIGION.

An utterly false dichotomy that I get tired of hearing.
Dispensationalists- you are a denomination. A religion. It's like watching horses deny they are horses.

Jesus didn't think much of the religious Pharisees, who were the champions of religion. Some even tithed down to the minit in their gardens, Matthew 23:23. If you really want to kmow what Jesus thought about the religious Pharisees read the 23rd chapter of Matthew. Faith in Christ is not religion.

Crucible
February 24th, 2016, 11:40 AM
Jesus didn't think much of the religious Pharisees, who were the champions of religion. Some even tithed down to the minit in their gardens, Matthew 23:23. If you really want to kmow what Jesus thought about the religious Pharisees read the 23rd chapter of Matthew. Faith in Christ is not religion.

They weren't champions of 'religion'. It wasn't about religion- it was about them being spectacles of their own perceived grandness and using the Law to tie down everyone else.

That's why Jesus flipped tables and chased people around with a whip. It never had anything to do with the religion, just the detestable people therein.

Robert Pate
February 24th, 2016, 11:45 AM
They weren't champions of 'religion'. It wasn't about religion- it was about them being spectacles of their own perceived grandness and using the Law to tie down everyone else.

Of course it was about religion. It was about doing and trying to keep the commandments.

Jesus refered to them as hypocrites.

The minute that one becomes religious is the minute that one becomes a hypocrite.

No one can do or keep the law, it is an impossibility.

Arianadia
February 24th, 2016, 11:59 AM
I'm saved. Why aren't you?

Lol Heir, I meant already saved in the sense that we would not be sinners, Adam and Eve would never have eaten the Apple, etc. I do believe we are saved because Jesus Christ came to save us, in that sense yes we are all saved, but we are still required to have faith and understand what that exactly means. Simply saying you believe and actually believing are two different things. Obviously thats a personal answer and between one's self and relationship with God. Good call though, thanks for pointing it out so could clarify.

Arianadia
February 24th, 2016, 12:28 PM
Paul opposed those who were religious. I have found that people that are religious have little to no use for Christ and his Gospel. They are to preoccupied with their own spirituallity. Religion is very subjective, it is about you, who is a sinner, whereas the gospel is about Jesus Christ.

I understand religion because at one time I was "The Chief of all Pharisees" but when I learned the Gospel that justifies the ungodly, Romans 4:5 and reconciles the world unto God, 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19. my religious chains fell off. Today, instead of living by religion "I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me" Galatians 2:20. Religion is not of faith. Saving faith is always faith in Christ and his Gospel. It is not faith in a church, system, or a religion.

Robert would you mind referencing what passage it was that stated Paul opposed all those who were religious? What do you mean when you say people are too "preoccupied with their own spirituality"? Am I understanding correctly that you believe Religion is more self occupied and centered, where as the Gospel is more Christ occupied and centered? I agree the Gospel focuses on Christ, but it is there for us, so we might improve ourselves, which I think is why some people become occupied with their Spiritual self, in the hopes to gain a deeper bond with Christ, on a more than Gospel level...a sort of application of Gospel teachings, no?

Also what do you mean when you say that you were once "The Chief of all Pharisees," also how does the Gospel justify the ungodly? Do you perhaps mean the Gospel shows how those who were judged as sinners and unclean and told they could never be accepted, were shown forgiveness and mercy through Jesus Christ? I agree with you that faith does not necessarily stem from any particular system or building, (although one can be introduced into having faith in God through a Church community of those who are already faithful), but that faith does stem and comes from having a relationship with God, accepting Jesus Christ, and spreading the good news that Jesus Christ was sent to save us.

Going back to the definition of Faith and Religion, Faith means complete trust and confidence in someone or something, where as Religion means belief in and worship of someone or something. So Religion is or should be that which allows one to express their faith. Having religion does not give you faith but it can help guide ones faith, strengthen or show one if one is lacking in their faith. So when you say you live by faith in Christ alone but not by religion, do you mean to say you trust God but do not believe in actively attempting to publicly express it? I think I am misunderstanding you here, so I was hoping you could perhaps clarify a little more on what you meant by your having faith but not religion? Thank you.

jamie
February 24th, 2016, 12:51 PM
Religion leads to relationship. With whom depends on the religion, of which there are many.

The purpose of the Christian faith is to lead a person into a relationship with the Father and the Son.

Arianadia
February 24th, 2016, 02:37 PM
Well said Jamie!

HisServant
February 24th, 2016, 02:53 PM
Religion leads to relationship. With whom depends on the religion, of which there are many.

The purpose of the Christian faith is to lead a person into a relationship with the Father and the Son.

New age mumbo jumbo.

Robert Pate
February 24th, 2016, 03:31 PM
Robert would you mind referencing what passage it was that stated Paul opposed all those who were religious? What do you mean when you say people are too "preoccupied with their own spirituality"? Am I understanding correctly that you believe Religion is more self occupied and centered, where as the Gospel is more Christ occupied and centered? I agree the Gospel focuses on Christ, but it is there for us, so we might improve ourselves, which I think is why some people become occupied with their Spiritual self, in the hopes to gain a deeper bond with Christ, on a more than Gospel level...a sort of application of Gospel teachings, no?

Also what do you mean when you say that you were once "The Chief of all Pharisees," also how does the Gospel justify the ungodly? Do you perhaps mean the Gospel shows how those who were judged as sinners and unclean and told they could never be accepted, were shown forgiveness and mercy through Jesus Christ? I agree with you that faith does not necessarily stem from any particular system or building, (although one can be introduced into having faith in God through a Church community of those who are already faithful), but that faith does stem and comes from having a relationship with God, accepting Jesus Christ, and spreading the good news that Jesus Christ was sent to save us.

Going back to the definition of Faith and Religion, Faith means complete trust and confidence in someone or something, where as Religion means belief in and worship of someone or something. So Religion is or should be that which allows one to express their faith. Having religion does not give you faith but it can help guide ones faith, strengthen or show one if one is lacking in their faith. So when you say you live by faith in Christ alone but not by religion, do you mean to say you trust God but do not believe in actively attempting to publicly express it? I think I am misunderstanding you here, so I was hoping you could perhaps clarify a little more on what you meant by your having faith but not religion? Thank you.


If you read Paul's epistels you will see that he was always trying to bring people back to faith in Christ and his Gospel. The Gospel should be the heart and the center of the Christians faith. The Gospel was not given to us so that it might inspire us to be better Christians. The Gospel is what Jesus actually accomplished for us in his life, death and resurrection.

Religion is man centered. look at the Catholic church, it is all about them and their religion. There is no Gospel in the Catholic religion. It is the Gospel that justifies the ungodly, Romans 4:5. It is the Gospel that reconciles the world unto God, 2 Corinthians 5:19. Without the Gospel there is no Christianity. "The spiritual self" is a sinner. Sinners cannot save sinners, nor can sinners save themselves. The ungodly are justified by the doing and the dying of Jesus. Jesus in our name and on our behalf does for us that which we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus is our righteousness. We don't have a righteousness that God will accept. Religion is man's attempt to please God by the works of the law. God only accepts the works and the person of Jesus Christ, we are accepted only in him.

jamie
February 24th, 2016, 03:55 PM
Religion is man's attempt to please God by the works of the law. God only accepts the works and the person of Jesus Christ, we are accepted only in him.


Jesus Christ accomplishes our Father's works through us. It was for good works that we were given salvation. (Ephesians 2:10)

It is for these good works that we will be rewarded. (Matthew 16:27)

Arianadia
February 24th, 2016, 04:22 PM
Thank you Robert for elaborating and Jamie for the Scripture readings you added. It seems you are both right in a sense. Both arguing two sides of the same coin. Our faith should indeed be in Christ and His Gospel, not in our own works, but that said we are called to continue and act upon our faith, we are called to do good works, keeping in mind that it is He who works through us.

So Robert if you are saying that people should steer away from Religion, how then would you suggest a Christian act upon their faith? How is one supposed to show through their words and their actions that they really do believe in Jesus Christ and His Word, and in a manner that would inspire others to do the same?

Really appreciate this discussion, learning a lot from everyone, thank you!

Crucible
February 24th, 2016, 04:27 PM
ANTI-RELIGION: A diversion from reason to arbitrary belief.

Examples: Pateism, heirism, jamieism, meshakism, etc.

Robert Pate
February 24th, 2016, 05:54 PM
Thank you Robert for elaborating and Jamie for the Scripture readings you added. It seems you are both right in a sense. Both arguing two sides of the same coin. Our faith should indeed be in Christ and His Gospel, not in our own works, but that said we are called to continue and act upon our faith, we are called to do good works, keeping in mind that it is He who works through us.

So Robert if you are saying that people should steer away from Religion, how then would you suggest a Christian act upon their faith? How is one supposed to show through their words and their actions that they really do believe in Jesus Christ and His Word, and in a manner that would inspire others to do the same?

Really appreciate this discussion, learning a lot from everyone, thank you!

All that have come to Christ as repentant sinners to be saved by him receive the Holy Spirit, Galatians 3:2. It is the Spirit working in the life of the believer that produces good works and the Christian life, Ephesians 2:10. These good works are not motivated by law or religion, they are motivated out of love and gratitude for what Christ has done for us. They are works of the Spirit. Christians don't do good works to become acceptable to God, they do good works because they have already been made acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. There is a big difference between religion and Christianity. The religious are doing good works to be saved. The Christian is doing good works because he is saved.

Arianadia
February 24th, 2016, 06:27 PM
Thanks for taking the time to make that distinction clear Robert, makes a lot of sense when you put it that way. :)

Robert Pate
February 25th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Thanks for taking the time to make that distinction clear Robert, makes a lot of sense when you put it that way. :)

Thank you for your kind replies.

jamie
February 25th, 2016, 09:14 AM
The religious are doing good works to be saved.


You are the only one I know of that makes that claim. Most people on TOL realize that salvation is a gift.

Robert Pate
February 26th, 2016, 01:29 PM
You are the only one I know of that makes that claim. Most people on TOL realize that salvation is a gift.

I wish that you were right.

If salvation is a Gift from God then who needs Calvinism, Catholicism, Religion?