What Did Jesus Say About Religion

What does the Bible say about religion?

QuestionAnswer Religious beliefs and practices are defined as follows by the Cambridge Dictionary: “believe in and worship of a god or gods, or any system of belief and worship in general.” Several passages in the Bible make reference to religion. Paul recalls his time as a Pharisee, describing how he belonged to “the strictest sect of our religion” during that period (Acts 26:5). In Acts 25:19, Festus refers to Judaism as a “religion.” According to God, real religion consists of the following: “Religion that God our Father regards as pure and flawless is this: to care after orphans and widows in their suffering and to guard oneself from being corrupted by the world” (James 1:27).

One sort of religion is constituted of those “who rely on human tradition and the elemental spiritual powers of this world rather than on Christ” as defined by the World Religions Research Institute (Colossians 2:8).

Throughout history, several religions have worshipped idols and exalted the creature above the Creator.

“He gives it a human beauty and places it in a small shrine,” he says (Isaiah 44:13, NLT).

  1. In the words of Jesus, “A misguided heart misleads him; he cannot redeem himself.” The idol worshipper and all who follow false religion are doomed to failure (verse 20).
  2. This type of religion is shown by the scribes and Pharisees who appear in the Bible.
  3. They also enjoy having the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,” Jesus explained.
  4. “These guys will get the most terrible punishment” (Luke 20:46–47).
  5. Rather than assisting the widows, as James 1:27 instructs, the Pharisees raped and murdered them.
  6. Much of what we assume to be religion—going to church on Sunday, reciting a prayer, lighting a candle, and so on—are human practices that provide the impression of devotion but have nothing to do with the soul of the person who participates in the tradition.
  7. Their hearts remain cold, unthankful, uncontrolled, and unrepentant despite the formal rites they participate in.
  8. “Get away from me, you nefarious individuals!” (See verse 23.) James 1:27 states that real religion in God’s eyes makes a difference in who we are and what we do in our daily lives.
  9. Obedience is the ultimate demonstration of love.
  10. This religion of connection is not based on what we do for God; rather, it is centered on what He has done for us through Jesus Christ.
  11. The term religion is used in a variety of circumstances, yet there is a distinction between fake religion and genuine religion.

In the same way, there is a distinction between practicing religion to appear devout and practicing religion to establish a closer connection with Christ. Return to: Cults and Religions: Questions and Answers What does the Bible teach about religion and spirituality?

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Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 23 – New International Version

21When the multitudes and his followers gathered, Jesus said to them:2″The professors of the law C) have come to testify against me “>(C)and the Pharisees take up residence in Moses’ place. 3As a result, you must be cautious to follow their instructions. However, do not follow their example because they do not practice what they teach. 4They bind big, burdensome weights together and place them on the shoulders of others, but they are not prepared to move the loads themselves until forced to. D)”>(D) 5″Everything they do is done for the benefit of the public: E) The word “e” refers to the letter “e” in the word “equality.” “More specifically, they make their phylacteries F)”>(F)wide and their tassels on their clothing G)”>(G)long;6 they adore the position of honor at feasts and the most important seats in synagogues; and they are devoted to the Torah.

  • I)”>(I) 8″However, you are not to be addressed as ‘Rabbi,’ because you have just one Teacher and are all brothers.
  • Do not address anybody on earth as “father,” for you have only one Father, J) “>(J)and he is now in the presence of the Lord.
  • Those who are the most powerful among you will serve you.
  • L)”>(L)

Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees

‘Alas, professors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!’ says Christ. In front of everyone, you shut the door to the kingdom of heaven. M)”>(M)You shut the entrance to the kingdom of heaven in their faces. You yourself will not enter, and you will not let those who are attempting to enter to do so. N)”>(N) 15 “Woe to you, professors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” says the Lord. You go over land and sea in order to gain a single convert, O)”>(O), and once you have done so, you make that person twice as much of a child of hell P)”>(P)as you are yourself.

Q)”>(Q)You claim that “if someone swears by the temple, it signifies nothing; but if anyone swears by the temple’s riches, he or she is bound by the oath.” R)”>(R) 17You deafening ignoramuses!

S)”>(S) In addition, you declare, “If someone swears by the altar, it signifies nothing; but anyone who vowes by the gift on the altar, that oath is binding on both parties.” 19You deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deaf Which is more important: the gift itself or the shrine that elevates the gift to a spiritual level?

  1. In order to do so, anybody who makes a vow in front of the altar vows to uphold the altar and everything on it.
  2. Likewise, everyone who swears by the sky does so in the name of God’s throne and the one who sits on it.
  3. You use a tenth of a W)”>(W)of your spices, which include mint, dill, and cumin.
  4. I believe you should have concentrated on the latter while forgetting the former.
  5. 24 You deafening guides!
  6. 25“Woe to you, professors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
  7. AA)”>(AA) 26 Blind Pharisee!

27 “Woe to you, professors of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!

28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

You build tombs for the prophets AC)”>(AC)and decorate the graves of the righteous.

AD)”>(AD)32Go ahead, then, and complete AE)”>(AE)what your ancestors started!

You brood of vipers!

AH)”>(AH)34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers.

AK)”>(AK)35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel AL)”>(AL)to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, AM)”>(AM)whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

AO)”>(AO)37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, AP)”>(AP)how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, AQ)”>(AQ)and you were not willing.

38Look, your house is left to you desolate. AR)”>(AR)39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” AS)”>(AS) (AS)

Bible Verses about Religion

2An angel of the LORD came to him in the form of flames of fire from within a bush at that point. Moses saw that, despite the fact that the bush was on fire, it did not burn. 3As a result, Moses said, “I’ll walk over there and check what this weird sight is—why the bush isn’t burning.” God shouted out to Moses from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” when the LORD noticed that he had crossed over to see. “Look, here I am,” Moses announced. 5″Do not approach any closer,” God instructed the children.

  1. 6Then he declared, “I am your father’s God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses concealed his face at this point because he was scared to look God in the eyes.
  2. ” It has come to my attention that they are crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their plight.
  3. 9However, now that I have heard the cries of the Israelites, I have witnessed the manner in which the Egyptians are tormenting them.
  4. “I am sending you to Pharaoh in order to free my people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt.” 11Nevertheless, Moses questioned God, saying, “Who am I, God, that I should go to Pharaoh and save the Israelites from Egypt?” 12.
  5. 15God also instructed Moses to tell the Israelites that the LORD, the God of their forefathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—had sent him to them.

16 “Settle down with the elders of Israel and tell them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and seen what has been done to you in Egypt.17And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a land flowing 18″The elders of Israel will pay attention to what you have to say.

“After that, you and the other elders must go before the king of Egypt and tell him that the LORD, the God of Israel has met with us.” We are about to go on a three-day trek into the desert in order to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.

Twenty-first, I will extend my hand and hit the Egyptians with all of the miracles that I will do among them, as I have promised.

21 As a result, I will ensure that the Egyptians be favorable toward these group, ensuring that you will not return empty-handed.

22Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any other woman who lives in her house for pieces of silver and gold, as well as clothes, which she will use to dress her sons and daughters. As a result, you will pillage the Egyptians.”

What the Bible Says About Religion

Isn’t it true that Jesus despised religion? So, what is the purpose of Christianity? Do they not have access to the Bible? Download a PDF version of this tutorial. While I was waiting for my jet to take off, I did something I don’t normally do: I read a book. I started up a discussion with the person sitting next to me. Our conversation moved fast through the fundamentals of life—family, birthplace, eventual destinations—but when I started talking about my career, he became a lot more open. Currently, I work for a nonprofit organization that collaborates with local churches in some of the world’s poorest countries.

  • When I tell people what I do for a living, they generally react in one of two ways.
  • wonderful,” they remark, and then immediately quit the conversation, or they begin to share their own beliefs and experiences regarding spirituality and faith with the other participants.
  • He immediately began telling me everything about his life and family.
  • As strange as it may seem, my seat-mate isn’t the only one who feels this way.
  • 1 At the same time, the millennial generation, the internationally connected generation of young people who are now taking center stage, has been found to exhibit little or no interest in religion.
  • In the words of one millennial, “Religion is just pretty low on my priority list at the moment.” 2 What does this teach us about ourselves?
  • And this perplexity is not restricted to individuals who believe themselves to be nonreligious in their outlook.
  • We create blogs about why Christianity is superior than “religion” and publish books on the “end” of religion.
  • We even produce popular YouTube videos explaining why it is acceptable to despise religion.
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3 In spite of the fact that current critiques of religion each have their own set of strengths and faults, there appears to be one aspect that many seem to have overlooked: the legitimacy of the criticism appears to be dependent on what you understand by “religion.” The way we comprehend anything about religion is completely dependent on what we mean by the word “religion.”

Religion in the Bible

A large number of individuals all around the world regard the Bible to be an authoritative source of information on how to live a good and ethical life. So, what does the Bible mean by the term “religion”? What exactly does it say? Although we would prefer to believe otherwise, the solution is not as simple as we may imagine. Religion is neither fully positive nor entirely negative in the Bible, which is a good thing. A religion is, after all, at its most fundamental level a collection of sincerely held personal or institutional ideas or ideals.

In reality, according to that description, every human being on the planet is profoundly religious.

Consider the book of Romans in the Bible as a starting point for understanding this.

He want to pay them a visit and encourage them in their faith; in fact, he expresses a strong desire to travel to them and preach the gospel to them.

And he begins by delivering some awful news about humankind: From heaven, God’s anger against all godlessness and wickedness in the world is being disclosed to those who oppress the truth through their wickedness, for what can be learned about God is obvious to them because God has made it plain to them.

  1. Because, despite the fact that they were aware of God, they did not glorify him as God or express gratitude to him, and as a result, their reasoning became meaningless and their stupid minds darkened.
  2. As a result, God allowed them to be consumed by the wicked cravings of their souls, resulting in the degradation of their bodies via sexual impurity among themselves.
  3. Amen.
  4. According to him, there are only two types of religions: those that are true and those that are untrue, and there is no in between.
  5. Let’s take a closer look at what you just said.
  6. Because he has disclosed himself in his creation, in “what has been formed,” he has exposed himself.

Experiences such as witnessing the terrifying power and breathtaking beauty of a thunderstorm, standing at the foot of a mountain and then looking across a valley from the peak of that same mountain, feeling the squeeze of a newborn baby’s hand on our finger for the first time, and so on, should cause us to pause and express gratitude to the God who made them all possible.

Despite this, we are aware that this is not always the case.

Worshipping Idols

In Paul’s view, the problem is that, rather of respecting God and giving thanks to him, people began to worship “images created to appear like a mortal human person as well as birds, animals, and reptiles,” instead of worshiping and giving thanks to him. 8 It was customary for them to gaze at all of the marvelous things in creation and say things like, “Zeus created that, Baal created that, or (as is occasionally the case now) “it simply happened,” rather than giving credit where credit was due.

  • Many individuals, rather of acknowledging the existence of God, seek to alternate explanations.
  • The Bible expresses strong opposition to this type of religion.
  • The Ten Commandments begin with a warning from God against worshipping idols: “I am the Lord your God, who took you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
  • You are not permitted to create an image of anything in the heavens above, on the earth beneath, or in the seas below in your own image or likeness.
  • Elijah accepted the challenge and issued a challenge to Baal’s false prophets.
  • If the Lord responded with fire, then they must bow their heads and worship the Lord.
  • Then they sang the name of Baal all day long, from early until noon.

There was, however, no reaction; no one responded.

At twelve o’clock, Elijah began to tease them.

“Unquestionably, he is a deity!

Could be that he is asleep and needs to be roused.” Then they sliced themselves with swords and spears, as was their tradition, until their blood gushed forth on the ground.

However, there was no reaction, no one replied, no one paid attention to what was being said.

Their religion was a complete waste of time.

However, the tale continues: “Come here to me,” Elijah summoned all of the people, and they did so.

In the end, Elijah had twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had spoken, saying, “Your name shall be Israel,” and he placed them on the altar.

His plan was to arrange the wood, then cut the bull into pieces and lay it on top of the wood.

“Do it again,” he said, and they dutifully followed his instructions.

A river of water flowed down around the altar and even filled the ditch under it.

So that these people will see that you are God and that you are restoring their hearts to their rightful place, Lord, please respond to me immediately.

When the entire congregation witnessed this, they fell to their knees and said, “The Lord—he is God!

Prostitution, or whoring after idols, is a term used to characterize the pursuit of erroneous religious beliefs.

Isaiah says it best: “The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the embers; he molds an idol with hammers, forges it with the force of his arm.” He becomes hungry and loses his strength; he does not drink enough water and becomes dizzy.

He fashions it into human form, human form in all its splendor, so that it may be housed in a temple.

He also planted a pine, which grew as a result of the rain.

But he too creates a god and worships it; he also creates an idol and prostrates himself before it.

“Ah!” he exclaims as he heats himself further.

“Save me!” he exclaims as he prays to it. “You are a god to me!”. Such a person subsists on ashes; a misled heart drives him astray; he is powerless to save himself or question, “Isn’t this object in my right hand a fabrication?” 14

Keep Learning About What the Bible Says About Religion

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Jesus and Religion

And what about Jesus, you could wonder. Didn’t he profess to despise religion? This is a subject that you may have heard brought up several times in discussions about Jesus’ teachings and Christianity. However, contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not state that Jesus is anti-religion in nature. It teaches us that Jesus is opposed to false religion. The connection between Jesus and the Pharisees, a Jewish group that emphasized the rigorous observance of Jewish Law, is frequently cited by those who argue that Jesus was anti-religious in the extreme.

  1. In comparison to any other group of people, the Pharisees are perhaps harsher and more critical of Jesus than any other group of people—including severe social misfits such as prostitutes, the demon-possessed, and tax collectors.
  2. 18 The secret, however, is contained inside the initial insult: hypocrites.
  3. What Jesus had to say regarding the subject is as follows: “Do not practice what you preach.” But even if they bind big, unwieldy goods together and place them on the shoulders of others, they are unwilling to raise a finger to move the loads themselves.
  4. they enjoy being given the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in synagogues; they enjoy being welcomed with respect in the marketplaces and being addressed as ‘Rabbi’ by others.
  5. You donate a tenth of your spices, which include mint, dill, and cumin.
  6. You should have put in the time to do the latter while not ignoring the former.
  7. The camel is swallowed instead of a gnat being strain out.
  8. You are like to whitewashed tombs, which appear lovely on the surface but are filled with the bones of the dead and everything else that is dirty on the inside.

19 It’s a lot of fun. You can practically sense Jesus’ rage in his voice as he describes what was taking place. It had been taken to an extreme level of hypocrisy by the Pharisees, to the point that it dishonored God and deceived his people. Simply put, the Law had risen to the status of an idol.

Contemporary Idolatry

It’s possible that we don’t all worship blocks of wood, iron, gold, or silver anymore. However, idolatry may be found in plenty not just in the numerous religions of the world (including atheism), but also, and perhaps more crucially, in our own souls. None of us can claim to be completely nonreligious. Our hearts’ desires are constantly in search of something that will benefit us, whether it’s our intelligence, our jobs, or our families’ well-being. We frequently expend our time, effort, and commitment in the quest of worldly possessions or affluence on this planet.

  1. As a result, even our attention on what might be a positive thing—our marriage, our children, or even our church—can cross the line into idolatry.
  2. In Western civilization, it is possible that our biggest idol is the ability to live without being tied down.
  3. Some people put off marriage and having children because they believe they must first complete their “fun” activities.
  4. That is the force of idolatry in its purest form.
  5. “The heart is the most deceptive of all creatures, and it is beyond healing.” “Who is able to comprehend it?” the prophet Jeremiah inquires.
  6. 21 Fortunately, there is more to say about religion than simply pointing out what is flawed in it.
  7. And it is in this that we may find a great deal of hope.
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True Religion

What true religion is may be summed up in the wise and unvarnished words of Micah: “And what does the Lord want of you?” “To behave justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” is a commandment. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and flawless is this: to care after orphans and widows in their distress and to prevent oneself from being polluted by the world,” says James in the book of James, which is the only place in the Bible where the term “religion” is used: 23 When the gospel takes root in a person’s heart, that person is said to be practicing true religion.

  1. Instead than attempting to find fulfillment in gods who do not respond or in the things of this world, Christians find happiness, pleasure, and peace in their connection with God—as well as in God’s assurance of eternal life.
  2. 24 And love for God leads to love for one’s fellow human beings.
  3. God’s love motivates people to take concrete action.
  4. They are willing to give freely of their time, skill, energy, and money to care for individuals in their immediate vicinity who require assistance, whether spiritually or materially.
  5. This is the essence of authentic religion, according to some scholars.

The pursuit of a life lived in relationship with God is what we are called to if we place our confidence in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Why I Think Jesus Hates Religion and You Should, Too — Part 2

Those of you who are religious may be thinking, “Wait a minute: you can’t detest religion and love Jesus at the same time.” Jesus IS a religion in his own right. I’d say yes and no to each of these questions. According to the definition of religion, which is “a collection of beliefs concerning the origin, nature, and purpose of the cosmos,” Christianity is, without a doubt, a religion. However, atheism is also included in that definition. However, if by religion we mean “what one must do, or behave like, in order to be in good standing with God,” then true Christianity is not a religion in the traditional sense.

  1. Following Him is fundamentally different from practicing any of the other global faiths, as you will see below.
  2. All of the other religions are centered on people’s righteousness — what we do and how good we are compared to one another.
  3. “This is what you must do in order to be in good standing with God,” all other faiths essentially declare.
  4. Jesus declares that it is finished.
  5. God is on the lookout for man, and Jesus is that searcher.
  6. Jesus is God who is pursuing us despite our best attempts to be decent.
  7. Jesus’ disciples are willing to die for their beliefs.

It is not announcing what we must do, but rather announcing what He has already accomplished.

When it comes to Jesus, the only question is whether or not we will follow Him.

He even stated that he had come to complete it.” Not nearly, to be honest.

Jesus wants to make it obvious that he isn’t treating God’s moral code lightly, and he intends to do so.

When something is “fulfilled,” it refers to the point at which it has achieved its conclusion or completeness.

He was carrying out the righteous requirements of it on our behalf, in order to restore us to perfect standing with the Almighty.

Once Alyssa and I are married, we will no longer be considered engaged to be married.

We, on the other hand, are looking forward to something better.

It’s not as if He is attempting to eliminate the law.

It served a certain function.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but one of the purposes of the law was to demonstrate to us that we couldn’t totally adhere to it and that we required a savior.

Even the animal sacrifices required by law for the Israelites served as a demonstration to them that they required a replacement offering.

As a result, Jesus arrived and met all of the prerequisites necessary to appease God.

As a result, rather than the Old Testament Law being our standard or law, Jesus himself became our standard or law.

If you ask me, it was a pretty lovely trade.

In those early images of the Law, Jesus was transformed into the face of the Law rather than the solid tablets Moses is usually bearing.

In my mind, if I ever feel the want to cheat on Alyssa, I could either motivate myself with the law — I won’t cheat on her because I may end up in hell, for example — or I might drive myself with love — I don’t want to cheat on her because she is greater than anything else out there.

Jesus heralded the establishment of a more beautiful covenant, one that is consummated in love rather than in hateful and terrified submission.

It is mind-boggling to realize that all of the shadows and images in the Old Testament were merely representations of him.

God used the sacrifice system to express his belief that sin causes death.

Ultimately, all of the commands and criteria that God put forth for the Israelites were little mini-arrows pointing to the cross of Jesus.

All of it was God’s doing to ensure that His people wouldn’t forget about Jesus.

Aside from that, once a year, the High Priest would enter the area where the sacrifice had been made, where he would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat seven times.

It was God’s way of emphasizing the reality that, as a result of His kindness, Jesus’ blood would be sufficient to satisfy those righteous requirements on our behalf.

That reality, in fact, is what caused early Romans to see the first Christians as atheists in the first place.

As a result, they’d inquire, “Well, who is your priest?” When asked why they did not have a priest on earth, they would respond that Jesus was their ultimate priest in heaven, and hence they did not have a priest on earth.

That is what Jesus was referring to when he declared, “I have not come to abolish them, but to bring them to completion.” That fact transforms someone’s connection with Jesus and his body from one of lifeless, man-made religion to one of dynamic interaction with Jesus and his body.

The Meaning Behind

Back in my dorm room, I was attempting to write down all of my views in order to share them with the kids I was speaking with who had no interest in religion. I realized we needed a common starting point for any discussion on Jesus to get off the ground, so I came up with this: “So you know how much I despise religion. In fact, I despise it on a physical level. Since Jesus declared, “It is finished,” I think He truly meant it.” While my classmates responded well to the poetry, I feel it is important to explain that when I state I “detest” religion, I am not referring to the church as a whole.

  • I’m not implying that I despise or despise organizations or institutions.
  • My primary issue with religion, according to my definition, is that if that is feasible — the idea that we can just be “good enough” for God — then that is spitting in the face of Jesus Christ.
  • I began to recognize this vein in a large number of great theologians and theologians-in-training, persons who are regarded as giants in the church.
  • W.

In fact, even Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a renowned German theologian, desired to get to the state of “religionless Christianity.” While serving a jail sentence for attempting to destroy the Nazis in 1944, he said, “We are headed towards a truly religionless period; people as they are today simply cannot be religious any longer.” People who honestly identify as religious do not in the least act in accordance with their religious beliefs, leading one to believe that they are referring to something quite else by the term’religious.'” In recognition of the fact that the label “religious” had become old, Bonhoeffer battled for something altogether different.

  1. He genuinely thought it beneficial to place religion and Jesus in the same sentence.
  2. However, I’ve discovered that it’s also the most straightforward method to reveal someone who places their faith in their own efforts, which is a significant problem in today’s world.
  3. As a result, people’s attention would be drawn away from their own actions and onto Jesus.
  4. And the fact is that when someone is following, investigating, and striving to comprehend the Son of God, he or she is chasing truth personified, and that Person will eventually come across him or her in their pursuit.
  5. Many folks were adamant about not talking about religion, yet they seemed to be comfortable with talking about Jesus.
  6. What did he say?
  7. My acquaintances were frequently taken aback by the facts.

Creating indifferent perceptions of Jesus occurs when religious debates are broad and take into consideration the opinions of theologians rather than the facts about him are discussed.

It allows His grace to confront people in such a way that they are forced to respond.

“He had strong moral values, but he was not God,” or anything along those lines.

Assuming, as Jesus did, that He was God and that He was able to forgive sins and cure the sick, it is reasonable to conclude that He either performed these things or that He was an evil liar.

That would not only disqualify Him as a decent moral instructor, but it would also make Him the most damnable person on the face of the planet.

And it is for this reason that, in my talks with others, I shift the emphasis away from what we do for God and toward what He has done for us, forcing us to engage with Him directly.

On the subject of God, we might discuss what the word actually means.

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You will have to confront the reality of who He is, what He has done, and what you intend to do in response.

When you seek truth, go with caution, for you could just come upon Him. * Written with permission fromJesus Religion: Why He is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing Better, and Being Good Enoughby Jefferson Bethke, © 2013 Thomas Nelson.

Your Turn

Have you tried to find out the truth about Jesus? What exactly did you learn? Why haven’t you done so yet? He can’t just be a “nice guy” all the time! Come and participate in the discussion on our blog! We’d love to hear your thoughts on Jesus vs. Religion in the comments section! Devotionals are posted every day.

Jesus’ Surprising Interactions With Other Religions

Image courtesy of suc / pixabay.com Ding-dong. My daughter cries as I walk towards the front door. “Dad! “Please do not open that door!” When I turn around, I see my daughter looking out the window. “Why not?” says the author. I enquire. “It’s those jerks all over again. It’s like, “Why do they have to bother us with the ties and the bikes?” If you think back to the last time you interacted with someone from a different faith, it may have been the Jehovah’s Witness who came to your door, the Muslim mother who was watching her children play at the park, or the New Age practitioner who attempted to sell you healing crystals.

  • Were you able to achieve your objective, or did you fall short?
  • Did you have a specific purpose in mind while you were having the conversation with me?
  • I can recall several occasions in my life when I mustered the bravery to speak with someone from a different religion with the hope of assisting them in seeing the reality of the situation.
  • The fact that Jesus did not leave such a sour taste in people’s mouths is largely due to the fact that he treated members of other religions in a totally different way than we do.

Jesus interacted with Romans, who came from a polytheistic background; with Syrians and Canaanites, who had traditionally worshipped idols such as Baal and Ashtoreth; and with Samaritans, whose religion was similar to Jews in that they followed the Torah and believed in a coming Messiah, but who worshipped differently and who revered Mount Gerizim as their holiest site.

The method taken by Jesus in all of these conversations is strikingly different from the approach taken by him in his dealings with the Pharisees or his own followers.

So, how did he go about approaching them?

Here’s a quick rundown of how Jesus interacted with people of different religious backgrounds: What JesusDID:– healed the sick; delivered the demonically oppressed; instructed people to tell others about what God had done for them; praised people for their great faith; praised people as examples of what God desires; and announced that they would be invited to a feast in heaven with the prophets who came before them.

Only when he was pressed did Jesus declare himself to be the Messiah and King (John 4).

Following are some of the things Jesus DID NOTDO:– adopt his own Jewish culture’s biased norms– criticize or rebuke– warn of judgment or hell– discuss theology, dispute, reference Scripture, question whether individuals wanted to hear the Gospel, or ask people to change anything are all acceptable methods of communication.

  • Jesus did not attempt to persuade anybody to adopt a new belief system, modify their conduct, or join his organization.
  • In a study done by the Pew Research Center in January 2017, the results reveal how Americans today feel about various religious organizations.
  • Members of the younger generation (ages 18-29) have a more positive attitude toward Buddhists (+66), Hindus (+64), Catholics (+64), and Jews (+62) than they do toward evangelical Christians (+59).
  • 2.
  • According to the findings of the study, Americans have a strong affinity for those who are similar to themselves.
  • Many others, however, who do not identify as evangelicals – whether they are members of the younger generation, members of the Democratic Party, or members of another religious organization – do not share these positive emotions towards evangelicals.
  • We need to find a way to modify this bad impression.
  • The agenda-based conversation and argumentative tactics that have failed to fulfill our aims of persuading people to change, nor have they represented the heart of our Savior, need to be abandoned.
  • We shouldn’t do these things in order to gain the approval of people from different backgrounds, or even in order to convert them; rather, we should do them because we profess to be followers of Jesus.

As a result of Jim Baton’s two decades of living in a Muslim country, his works have transformed people’s ideas about Muslims and the way God would have us interact to them in love. His most recent work, A Violent Light, was published in December 2016 and has received positive reviews.

Did Jesus Say We Are gods?

Transcript of the audio Today’s podcast question comes from a listener from around the world who has a great question about the Bible. Dear Pastor John: Greetings and thanks for this audio, which I found to be quite helpful. My name is Beatrice, and I am a Malaysian national. ‘You are gods,’ says the Bible, and I have a question for you about what it really means. Specifically, it is stated in Psalm 82:6, and then Jesus mentions it once more in John 10:34. “Could you perhaps clarify what this means to me?” Here’s how things stand right now.

As a result, in verse 31, it reads, “The Jews gathered stones once again to stone him.” In this case, there is a crisis, because the hour for Jesus’ death has not yet arrived.

Way of Escape

As a result, he must find a way to defuse the situation before it becomes too late, or he risks being stoned under Jewish law, which allows them to stone individuals for blasphemy. He has to find a means to break out of this circumstance so that he may make his way to the sort of death he wishes to die in his own time. This is a threat that Jesus is prepared to counter in a variety of ways. “I have shown you many excellent acts from the Father; which of them are you going to stone me for?” he asks at the start of the sermon.

  • For example, they infer, and they infer correctly, that Jesus is treating himself as the Son of God in a unique way from everything he has said, including calling God his Father and saying that he and the Father are one, and by implication, therefore, that he is the unique Son of God.
  • And now Jesus is going to defuse the situation in a second way by fleeing, which is exactly what he does in verse 39: “He fled from their grasp.” How did he manage to pull that off?
  • It is not stated in your Law that “I said, you are gods,” as he claims.
  • (See also John 10:34–36.)

Principalities and Powers

So, what exactly is he doing? Let’s go back to Psalm 82 and read it again. It begins as follows:God has taken his position in the divine council; in the middle of the gods, he administers judgment on their actions. Psalm 82:1 is a song of praise. Now, who exactly are they? Angelic beings who are referred to as “gods” by the New Testament are referred to as “principalities and powers in heavenly places” in the New Testament (Ephesians 3:10 KJV). And God is preparing to pass judgment on them because they are abusing their position, by standing behind the world’s rulers, in order to uphold injustice rather than justice.

Psalm 82:3–4 – a song of praise Afterwards, following his accusation, which he had just delivered, comes the condemnation from God in verse 6, which is the part that Jesus cites, in which he says: I said, ‘You are gods,sons of the Most High, all of you;nevertheless, you must die like men, and fall like any ruler.’ Psalm 82:6–7 is an example of this.

For better or worse, even though you have been elevated to godhood — principalities, powers, and angels — you will be brought crashing down in the same way that human rulers who misuse their position will be brought crashing down in the same way

Blasphemy Backed Off

As a result, when Jesus claims that God spoke to them as “gods,” he is not referring to us. Beatrice’s inquiry was answered in the following way. In reality, he is not speaking to ordinary human beings; rather, he is speaking of and to angelic beings, who are sometimes referred to as “gods” in the Old Testament — just as Satan comes before God in the first chapter of Job, where it is written, “The sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them” (Job 1:6).

Beatrice’s query was answered by pointing out that in this scripture, both in Psalm 82 and in John 10, we are not called gods; instead, angelic creatures are referred to as gods.

Because he refers to himself as the Son of God, they have just accused him of blasphemy; nevertheless, he deflects the allegation of blasphemy by drawing attention to the fact that the exact word “sons of God” is used for creatures other than God in the Psalms.

God and Man

The interpretation that Jesus is making here is that he is just an angelic creature, similar to those gods, which is a great error, as we could be inclined to believe. In Psalm 82, he makes no comparison between himself and those gods. Even more lofty terminology is used by Jesus, who asks: “Do you say of someone whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?'” (See also John 10:36.) He does not defuse the situation by lowering his claim to divinity; rather, he defuses the situation by making the word “Son of God” more complicated for his accusers, so that they are forced to take a step back and consider how to manage what he had just stated from Psalm 82 for a little period of time.

And when that occurs, he is no longer there.

As a result, there are several intriguing and significant lessons to be learnt from Jesus’ use of Psalm 82, but one of them is that we are not gods, at least not yet.

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