Keeping Our Religions Straight

Greg Harris   -  

We all need to be careful that we don’t confuse our religions.

In Dallas Willard’s book the “Divine Conspiracy”, I was captured by his apt analysis of our Christian culture.

He pointed out a gap that conservative Christian preachers and theologians formed through the understanding of the gospel.

In their approach they simply said: “Jesus died for my sins! Accept that and you will go to heaven.”

In this statement a gap is formed.

That gap is called life.

It’s best summed up in the question, “If I receive Jesus and now I’m going to go heaven when I die, what do I do now?”

Lots of answers have been given:

Study the Bible verse by verse!
Figure out when Jesus is coming back!
Go evangelize and fill up heaven!

They are all good answers, but not completely helpful.

See, most Christians wondered:

How do I raise my kids?
How do I make money?
If I’m waiting for Jesus why go to church?

When there is a gap, there are plenty of people and things ready to fill it. And you know what did?


Well, not at first.

First it was self-help writers and life coaches with stats and ideas about how to live life.
Then pastors with all kinds of Christian living material for life and business.
Then the Internet and Google and, with this, came all kinds of answers.

Most of those answers were written to be secular.

And there is the confusion of religions.

For Jesus, no part of life was “secular”. God infused everything, acted on everything, and cares about everything.

As Paul put it, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

For our culture, religion needs to stay private. So, to reach our culture, we need to secularize (remove religious language) to reach the culture.

The danger as a Christian, however, is to secularize your very Christian life. That is confusion.

When we struggle to know how to raise children, or to do business, or run a church, we may end up secularizing it, thinking God has little to do with it or that He doesn’t have the answers.

But the best answers come from connecting with God, who cares.

Proverbs states, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” (Proverbs 1:7).

Jesus said, “Have as your first priority to look for God’s rule and what is right by him, and God will provide all the essentials in your life.” (Matthew 6:33, my paraphrase).

In fact, Paul says if you need to know what God’s will would be about something don’t conform to the world’s ways, but be transformed by God (Romans 12:2).

Ok how?

It sounds trite, but it’s back to the basics:

• Talk to God and listen.
• Read his word and put it to action.
• Lay your problems at his feet and look for answers.
• Love one another as God has loved you.
• Seek the sound advice of other wise Christians.

In the end, Jesus didn’t die on the cross to simply get you into heaven.

He died on the cross to reconnect you to the all wise, all powerful, living God who wants to dwell in you and help you.

I have no problem with Google, or with learning from the world (for all truth is God’s truth).

But let’s not forget that one with greater knowledge than Google dwells within you and He isn’t a God of confusion.