Is it true? Is religion dead?

I was shocked.  A friend on Facebook shared a blog that had to do with Christianity – way off for this particular friend.  It was an interesting read, a controversial read, but an interesting read nonetheless.  While scrolling through the comments, one stuck out.  It was short and simple – “Jesus is done, give it up. Religion failed, it’s dead.” – Pete W.

Now this controversial blog had to do with how the church talks about and deals with gays.  It’s a bit of a hot topic, and one that I’m not going to get into in this particular post.  It’s the comment that truly struck a chord with me…”it’s dead.”  The analytically part of me wanted to tear that quote apart…Jesus isn’t done, He’s ruling with the Father awaiting for His return – why would I give up on Christ when He continued to death and beyond for me? – how has religion failed?  Is it not still doing what religion has always done?  And I didn’t realize that a thought like that could die?  I mean, if any thought were to die maybe it would have been the thought of the Nazi’s, but even that’s still around all these years later.

I think this comment really boils down to someone being “close-minded.”  People calling Christians that has always bewildered me.  Because I believe that there is a God, a higher power, and I believe that I should follow His will, I’m close-minded?  But being closed to the idea of a higher power and refusing to have an adult conversation about the possibility makes you open minded?  Interesting.  How allowing for a belief and other possibilities qualifies for less open mindedness than refusing to consider the possibility is beyond me.

In all honesty, I don’t know and have never talked to Pete.  So I don’t know if he is open minded or not.  For all I know he could have been raised in church and his path has led him to believe in what he said.  I’m really quite curious as to why he believes these thing.  Why anyone truly believes these things.  I’ve been able to have a few conversations with people who express this type of view.  But after only a few statements it becomes clear that they don’t really believe this as a blanket fact, but more as their personal belief in regards to their own life.  Even then, several of these people have buckled and admitted that a pastor had let a family member down, therefore God is “dead” to them.

It’s not that most people think that God is dead, but that they believe that they have been wronged by God and so He might as well be dead for all they care.  I’ve only ever talked to a few people that truly believe that there isn’t a god.  And these people were the ones telling me how close-mined I was.

So is Jesus done?  No.  The Bible assures us that Jesus will return to finish the work He started.  He will return in glory.

Has religion failed?  This is harder to answer; for Christianity is not a religion like others are religions.  Most religions are based on works, or what you must do.  Christianity is about what has been done for you.  “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17.  Believe and you shall be saved.

Should we just give up and move on?  No.  It is important to remember that your relationship with Christ is not one based on emotions.  Just because you become disheartened when you fail to successfully defend your faith, doesn’t mean that your faith is wrong.  It merely means that you haven’t learned enough to properly defend it.  There is an entire field of study devoted to this, it’s known as Apologetics.

This is really why I strongly believe that we, as leaders in the Church (body of Christ), must teach solid Hermeneutical principles (how to study), sound Apologetics (how to defend), and Christ throughout the scriptures (Christ centered preaching).  The world is full of well educated people expecting to have an educated discussion.  It appears to them that they cannot have one with a Christian about Christianity, therefore it is false to them.  We must prepare and educate ourselves if we are to do our part in the Great Commission.

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