Religion is not reducible to a relationship

According to abbafire7 (a user on YouTube):

i say with love to everyone…. religion is fake. jesus came to destroy religion. christianity is about having a relationship with jesus.

Now compare that to Robin Phillips, who said:

By relocating the nexus of religion in the private experience of each individual and self-consciously downplaying the public and corporate aspects connoted by the word “religion”, much of contemporary evangelicalism has unknowingly drunk deeply from the wells of Gnosticism. In the process, much of the modern church has lost the categories with which to think about Christendom, viewing the faith primarily through an individualistic lens.

My two cents

English: fragment of Epistle of James, verso
English: fragment of Epistle of James, verso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People may claim to speak with love—but not necessarily with truth. Robin Phillips ably makes the point of how Gnosticism has seeped into the church, yet the average Joe hasn’t grasped it, given that his personal emotions were already satisfied.

Claims about religion being fake are a loaded gun; too often it’s shooting from the hip. According to the Epistle of James, religion isn’t fake. Rather:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

But if James is wrong (on account of thumbed-up YouTube comments) and religion is indeed fake, then so is looking after orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27).

I really wish people would be aware of Robin Phillips’ great post below.

Quote sources

  1. abbafire7. (2012). Mortification – Scrolls of the Megilloth [user comment]. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhQZGJTgmq0. Last accessed 22nd Aug 2012.
  2. Phillips, R. (2010). 8 Gnostic Myths You May Have Imbibed. Available: http://robinphillips.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/gnostic-myths-you-may-have-imbibed.html. Last accessed 22nd Aug 2012.
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