Religion

My friend, if you’ve got religion, I suggest you get rid of it and exchange it for Christ. Now I personally do not think you can call Christianity a religion. There’s no ritual given, none whatsoever, with Christianity. Have you ever stopped to think that? And that’s the reason you can have all kinds of churches. You can sing the doxology if you want to, there’s nothing wrong with it. And there’s nothing particularly right about it either, because you are never given a form to go by. Why? Because Christianity is a Person, and you either have Christ, or you don’t have Christ. You either trust Christ, or you don’t trust Christ. And religion just hasn’t been very helpful to man.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Introduction to Ecclesiastes 5 (audio version)

Danger!

“Danger! Look Up and Live.” I saw the sign during my drive home tonight, boldly proclaiming its warning at the empty construction shovel on the side of the road. Clearly a message for the shovel’s operator to pay attention to overhead power lines.

The sign proclaimed a different warning to me as I hurtled by on the freeway. “Get your eyes off your own pathetic interests and distractions, and point them back up to Christ.”

About six weeks ago I started an online Bible study, starting at Genesis 1.1 and working forward. I lost the oomph to keep going about three weeks ago, while reading Genesis 40-something. This morning I made the effort to force myself to start reading again. I wasn’t sure where I left off, so I started the section’s reading over again at Genesis 37.

It felt good to take some time from my self-imposed busyness and spend it reading a couple chapters from God’s Word. I am not sure how the story of Joseph’s brothers selling him to traders on their way to Egypt relates to my life. Maybe tomorrow’s reading will help make that a tiny bit more clear.

One thing is certain: I need to make the time everyday to read from the Bible. How else will I learn what real Christianity is?

Vain

One of the blog posts I read this morning is “Profanation of the Sublime.” I have to say, I have to agree with Doctor Quack’s assessment of classical radio vs. what many might consider to be its polar opposite.

And then he began to describe the awesome beauty of wildflower blooms in Central Texas. We all know how pictures don’t even begin to do the beauty of nature justice. But if Quack’s photos are any indication, the blooms are more than a sight to behold. And I would agree with him, that sometimes the typical description of a flower’s loveliness doesn’t quite cover it.

Now before you read further, take special note that I am not going to call the kettle black here. I freely admit to crossing the same line he did way too often: taking A Particular Someone’s name in vain to make a point.

Further on Quack makes a very fitting statement. “Cuss words are like a currency. The more you use them, the less valuable they become.”

Not just cuss words, though. I think the much the same can be said about we how all too easily use the Lord’s name. Isn’t it true that the more we use His name irreverently, the less value we consider both it and Him to be to have?

Have you noticed that His is the only name anyone ever uses in vain? Think about it. Think long, think hard. Buddha? Great Spirit? Gaia? Robert? Paula? Nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. I cannot think of a single other individual whose name is used in the same, casual, ongoing, devaluing way as the Lord.

Is this because deep down we all know the immeasurable value of His name, and that deep down we know all others really have no value? Do we try to give some kind of value to all other names by using His as though it had no value?