Feel the Bern
February 15, 2016
Everyone Sins Differently
March 1, 2016

Relationship Over Religion

free-inspired-light-of-heaven-hd-wallpapers-400x484Christianity is the only religion that teaches grace. Some religions like Taoism, Buddhism, etc. are based on self actualization and introspective growth. Other religions like Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam are based on works. As far as I know, Christianity is unique in that it teaches people to have a personal relationship with God through the profit/messiah Jesus Christ. It’s not my place to say who is right, who is wrong, who is saved and who is damned. All I can say is that I found healing through my faith. I took a religious studies course in college and I briefly sampled the major religions out there. Christianity is unique, not every church is right for everyone, not every bible translation speaks to the reader the same. I’m not here to say there is a right way to experience God. After all, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all consider Adam to be the first man and trace their lineage back to Abraham. The bible says God made a promise to Abraham to make him the father of many nations. All I know is that I was taught by my church and the Bible that I read that Christianity looks at spirituality as a marriage.

Many religions focus on God as a father figure archetype. Christianity is unique in that Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom and the Church is the bride. This suggests an egalitarian partnership, rather than an authoritarian discipline. Legalism teaches rules, grace teaches forgiveness. I look at salvation as a relationship. You know if you’re interested in someone, you know if you’re dating, engaged, married, separated or divorced. Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows they will never be perfect; they can only try to become a better person for the sake of their partner. Expecting perfection is impossible. People are selfish and sinful by nature. We will never be good enough on our own. We are justified just as Ephesians 2:8 explains, “It’s by grace that you were saved. It is a gift from God not based on works that no one may boast.”

In the Kingdom of God, Mother Theresa and the thief that hung on the cross next to Jesus are equal in the kingdom. Paul the murderer and Peter “the Rock” are both equal and justified by a free gift. In any relationship, people grow together. Don’t expect to say the sinner’s prayer and spontaneously become a perfect, sin-free person. Jesus only expects people to seek him and grow. John 15:5 “He is the vine and we are the branches.” We must maintain a relationship just as we maintain relationships with friends, family and partners. People know the health of their relationships at any given moment based on the effort they are putting into it. God doesn’t want perfect people, just effective effort.

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