post we began a discussion on the issue of being 'spiritual but not religious' a phrase that is being used by many to essentially say that they can be connected to a higher being (or something of the like) without organized religion.
Now I understand to some degree the issues that some may have with organized religion. The Catholic church, the most recognized religious body worldwide has not been highly looked upon with all the issues in the news regarding child abuse by priests. Islam after 911 obviously suffered a blow, and Christianity has had it's well known leaders fall out of grace causing people to say "hypocrites." The media of course most of the time has not helped.
So, again, one can understand to some extent why people have and honestly will always have a negative view of religion.
With that said though as a Christian, a person who follows Jesus Christ. It becomes very clear from the Bible that Jesus came and before He ascended to heaven He founded His church. It began with the apostles and as they spread the 'good news' and another important Jesus follower named Paul came along and planted churches in different areas.
The word church (ekklesia in the Greek) basically has the meaning of a people called out from the world. The bible also calls the church 'the body.' Paul tells the Corinthian believers, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it," (1 Cor. 12:27)
Paul is speaking to a church that has a lot of problems to say the least. These are not perfect people by no means, chapter five tells us that a man was sleeping with his fathers wife (most likely his step-mom), so clearly this 'church' had issues. Here's the key though, it was still 'the body' of Christ.
Nowhere in the bible, in the teachings of Jesus is there a hint of Him even implying that we can be His follower without joining a 'body' of believers.
So when people stay home and don't go to church for no good reason, when they stay home and simply watch religious television such as 3ABN, Hope channel (these are Adventist satellite channels), or even TBN and believe it's ok to do this and not physically join the 'body' of believers, it's not biblical!
There is something special about coming together with other believers to worship, praise, and glorify our Savior Jesus. To be encouraged and challenged by His word. To fellowship with others that perhaps have similar struggles as we do.
Therefore if you are reading this and call yourself a follower of Jesus but haven't joined His 'body', haven't gone to church in sometime. If your honest with yourself and admit your excuses are weak and Jesus isn't happy with you separating yourself from His 'body.' Come back! Come back to His 'body.'
Paul states, "Now the body is not made up of one part but of many." (1 Cor. 12:14-italics mine). Now as many may know Paul is using the human body as a metaphor of the 'body' of Christ. This example goes totally against the ideological thought that you can go at it alone as the mind frame is for those that say they are 'spiritual but not religious.'
Friend, Jesus is calling you to His 'body.' If you already are a faithful part of that 'body' praise the Lord. If you are struggling with this...Jesus is calling you now to come back and be part of His 'body.'
So what do you think can we really be 'spiritual but not religious' or is this more semantics?
Stay tuned for part 3...we'll really get to the heart of the matter.
image by [powerpointsermons]