Dear friends since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Romans 1:18-19)
To do away with the negative repercussions of religion, we would have to do away with humanity itself.
John Lennon asked us all to “imagine no religion.” It sounds like a great idea, but it does not match with reality. That world does not exist and cannot exist. By nature, human beings are religious.
Some might reduce “religion” to the search for spiritual truth, but more accurately it is anything you do devotedly. Some have made a religion out of saving the whales, fighting global-warming, climbing the corporate ladder, or following the Grateful Dead. We seek a purpose. We want to leave a legacy or simply feel a sense that we are somehow making the world a better place. Each of us gravitates toward causes or groups that stand for something bigger than ourselves.
The problem comes when we don’t value others enough to engage them in conversation. We steamroll or shun those who don’t buy into our areas of passion. Every “religion,” including Christianity, has devotees who have fallen into that trap. They make their interpretation of their cause more important than the person across from them. It is they who give “religion” a bad name.
- What would you identify as one of your passions?
- Has that area of passion guided, in any way, your career path? How?
Make a list of your “religious” practices (the things you do habitually, faithfully, or devotedly) and why you observe them. Now make a list of the “religious” practices in others—even ones that annoy you—in others and try to think through their reasons for following them.