We all have a religion. Opposing religion is a religion of its own. It's whatever we worship. It's the moral code we uphold. It's our set of beliefs and values. We all have a religion.
If you want to know my religion, sit by me in church. I scribble notes like mad, and I always bring a Bible. If you want to know my religion, come with me to YC- Canada's largest Christian youth conference. You'll notice I raise my hands when I sing and listen carefully to the speakers. If you want to know my religion, come with me to Bible Study. I like to question and have healthy discussions about godly things.
If you want to know my religion, follow me to my religious events. Don't bother hanging out with me at home, don't come with me downtown, don't watch me while I work. Come to my Christian events, and I'll show you a Christian me.
People know I'm a Christian... when I'm leading Sunday School at church. People know I'm a Christian... when I go to youth group. People know I'm a Christian when they see me at Prayer Walk. They know my religion, because they know my schedule.
It's so wrong. It's embarrassingly wrong. When did we forget that religion is a full-time job?
Events become our religion. Conferences become our faith. The rare mission trip becomes our devotion to God. Church becomes our beliefs. Bible Studies become our Christian lifestyle. Our religion is restricted to our Jesus-events. Our Jesus-seminars, our Jesus-camps, our Jesus-services.
It's an intrinsic 'law' we feel we must abide by. "You're not a Christian until you: attend prayer meeting, serve overseas, cook for the church potluck, go on the youth retreat, help out at the homeless shelter, and go to the Christian youth rally." Events become our religion. Our religion becomes our hobby. Our faith becomes our weekly, monthly, and yearly routine.
There's a great song by Switchfoot, called The World You Want. I implore you to listen to it, and really pay attention to the lyrics. The bridge, especially, perfectly outlines the problem I'm trying to address:
What you say is your religion
How you say it's your religion
Who you love is your religion
How you love is your religion
All your science, your religion
All your hatred, your religion
All your wars are your religion
Every breath is your religion
YC is not my religion. School is not my religion. Bible Study is not my religion. Prayer Walk is not my religion. Church is not my religion. Prayer Meeting is not my religion. Youth Group is not my religion.
Those things may nurture; those things may help me grow closer to God, but they are timed events. They happen on a schedule. It doesn't matter whether my heart is in the right place or not- when I attend these events, I put on a 'Christian face' and play the part. It doesn't matter whether I am in tune with God, it doesn't matter whether I am truly trying to serve him, because this is my Christian Schedule, and I will do whatever it takes to accomplish the task at hand.
That's not religion. That's an itinerary.
No, what I'm doing now is my religion. How I spend my time online is my religion. What I think about as I sleep is my religion. How I talk to my family is my religion. The times where I give until it kills me- that's my religion. How I look to strangers- that's my religion. The books I read, the movies I watch, the songs I download, the food I eat, the places I go, the money I spend, the average, everyday things I do... that's my religion.
Don't show me your Sunday School attendance. Don't show me your YC merch. Don't show me your church bulletin, Devotional books, or Worship CDs.
Show me your conversations with your friends. Show me your thoughts in front of the mirror. Show me how you spend your money. Show me your attitude at your minimum-wage job. Show me the boring, most mundane parts of your life... because chances are, the average things happen the most often. That's your life. So that's your religion.
Colossians 3:23 ~
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as if working for the Lord, not for men.