[forthright] Religion On My Terms

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 08:02:42 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

Check out the podcasts from Tim's LighGrams Ministry
http://gracemine.org/podcast.htm.

COLUMN: HEAVENLY CONNECTIONS

Religion On My Terms
 by Tim Hall

Some have called it "Burger King Christianity." Burger
King once used the slogan "Have It Your Way" to sell
their food. It wasn't hard to get their message: If you
want pickles but no onions on your burger, just tell
us. You're the customer; have it the way you like it.

That kind of approach has been transferred to the
practice of Christianity. There are many who don't like
the old rules and forms of the Christian faith, so
major changes have been made. Most of our neighbors
don’t see a problem with such an approach. Do we?

Suppose someone wants to become a Christian, but
doesn’t like the idea of being baptized. Shall we bend
the rules so they can affiliate with our congregation?

If they don't like to sing, can we give them a pass on
this aspect of worship? If they can't stomach the
thought of forgiving someone who has offended them, do
we grant them an exemption?

How far does this consumer mentality reach?

There is nothing in the Bible that encourages us to
approach religion in this way! There are dozens of
passages, though, that teach the exact opposite. We
must do things God's way if we want to please Him.

Nadab and Abihu were priests of God. Added to their
credentials was the fact that they were sons of Aaron
and nephews of Moses. But when they tried to alter the
way they worshiped God by using fire from an
unauthorized source, they weren't just reprimanded —
they died in a flame of fire sent by God (see Leviticus
10:1,2).

Is there anything we're supposed to learn from that
incident, especially with Romans 15:4 in mind?

And what exactly did Jesus mean for us to learn from
His words in Matthew 7:21-23? After describing people
who were very "religious," doing various things in the
name of the Lord, He responds with these chilling
words: "'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who
practice lawlessness.'"

Why did Jesus say that? Because He had earlier laid
down the terms of approaching God: "... he who does the
will of My Father in heaven."

Forget what the world says. People, no matter how well
intentioned, often get it wrong. Focus on what the Lord
says. If you're being religious in an attempt to please
God, then there's only one way to do it: The way God
has revealed in His holy word.

"As His divine power has given to us all things that
pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of
Him who called us by glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3).

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