How many times have you heard someone say that religion is the cause of wars and human problems? I have concluded that I agree with that statement. Everything good or bad in this world comes down to religion. Allow me to explain. The official definition of religion is:
1.The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal god or gods.
2. A particular system of faith or worship.
3. A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
All three applications of the word “religion” are the basis by which each person decides what their world view and behavior will be. The pharisees asked Jesus by whose authority he taught and performed his acts. They were interested in the source of his confidence, power and teaching. They wanted to verify that he had the same god that they followed. Every person has a basis by which they make decisions and have confidence that they’re doing the right thing for themselves and others around them. From a practical standpoint every person is religious because each person has faith in a source of authority that emboldens them to act. It’s easy to see this manifested in the world’s religions. A belief in a supernatural god is the purest definition of religion.
What about the atheists, agnostics and those who proclaim to be non-religious? They also have a source of authority that they trust to give them a purpose in life. They trust the power and wisdom of mankind. They are secular when it comes to a supernatural god having authority over the affairs of this world, but they are humanists (trusting the power of man) when it comes to finding answers about life and behavior. I read a news account where a young man was asked if he had a religion. He responded that he was non-religious. When asked why, his answer was that religion was a way for past generations to explain what they couldn’t understand, but now science has answered so many questions about life. He also believed that modern man has more insight about life, death and successful living. This young man had reduced belief in the supernatural to nothing but myths. Have men found the answers to life’s purpose and truths through science and ideology? There is no substantive evidence that man has the answers to life’s greatest questions. It becomes apparent that trusting the power of man requires faith in a source of authority without proof that it is infallible truth. Religions based on the supernatural have always understood the issue of faith. Man’s efforts to bring stability and peace to the world has failed miserably. There have been more people killed and persecuted in the name of human ideology than those killed to satisfy the commands of a supernatural god.Historically, those who taught that human leadership and government could bring utopia and peace to the world have killed and persecuted millions in trying to bring these about. The communist revolutions in Russia, China and other countries were not in the name of a god but rather in the name of humans that promised utopia, but they brought death. We could talk of Hitler and other dictators who collectively killed and persecuted millions in the name of man’s leadership. The point is this; trusting the power of man’s intellect and commands is a religious act because it is the authority that those who trust in it, base their hopes and lives on.
Mankind has tried to bring peace by two things. The first is religion based on belief in a god that requires people work to earn salvation. This involves obeying commands that sometimes lead to the destruction of those who do not agree with them. Secondly, Man has tried to bring peace through human invention and power. The problem with both efforts is that neither accept the reality of sin’s consequences and that sin cannot be eradicated by false hope or man’s power. The evil that resides in mankind has not been solved by man’s power or ideology.
I am thankful for the gospel of Christ. Among the confusion and darkness there is teaching that does answer the desires of man’s heart. What if everyone were a christian? What if everyone believed that God manifested himself as the Messiah and loved mankind so much that He came as one of us to pay our sin debt so we could be forgiven. What if everyone believed in the penalty of sin and saw our willful act of rebellion God? What if they sought God? What if everyone accepted Christ and practiced His teachings? What if everyone turned the other cheek, returned good for evil and loved their neighbor as themselves? What if everyone sought the wisdom of God, obeyed Him and loved Him as He has loved us? The world would be a much different place. Time will soon reveal the truth of Christ. The Biblical prophesies have never failed.
I am convinced that everything good or bad comes down to religion. Of what religion are you?