I admit, I didn’t try very hard with the title. But it’s true. We’re all way more religious than we give ourselves credit for.
Of course, no one wants to be considered religious. Especially those who represent the connotative meaning of being religious; like Christians, who don’t want at all to be associated with the horrible acts that have been done in the name of Jesus over the last 2000 or so years. And I don’t blame them! I don’t want to either. But I don’t think we should be falsifying or simplifying our spirituality because of it.
Frankly, if you - as a Christian - don’t recognize that believing Jesus and following him turn out differently than the Crusades, you’ve got some re-examining to do.
To affiliate modern Christians (or all of Christianity) with the gruesome and despicable deeds that have been committed in Jesus’ name is just as unfair as if I were to identify a modern-day atheist with a Nazi.
It’s true; just think about it.
If two people share a set of beliefs, yet act in opposite ways of each other, it’s a little unfair to group them together … but that’s just my opinion. (See above examples).
But that’s just kind of an awkward segue into what I really meant to talk about. I used atheism as an example to show that I do believe it’s a religion like anything else. Atheists are religious. But I don’t mean to focus on atheism either.
I just mean to convey that everyone is religious. Everyone has a system of beliefs (i.e. religion) that they adhere to. Thusly, adhering to such a system of beliefs makes one religious.
I don’t care if your “religion” focuses on divinity or on what a person should be doing on a Friday night: practicing within this set of beliefs makes you religious.
The reason I wanted to make this distinction is because I can’t stand when people say that they’re not “religious”. I know exactly what they mean: “I don’t go to church, I don’t believe in a god/deity, and I don’t necessarily have a set of values or morals that are written down or pre-established .” Which is fine, but it assumes a certain lack of responsibility. It allows that person to think they aren’t accountable to anything or anyone. Just to themselves.
I don’t believe that’s possible. Everyone is a slave to something. Just because you get to chose your master, does NOT make you any less a slave.
I CHOOSE to be a slave to Christ. If you want me to unpack that idea, you’ll have to ask me later.
You CHOOSE to be a slave to absolutely anything. School, money, fame, success … the list goes on. And don’t think for a second that who or what you choose to serve is any different than what I choose (except for the eternal reward that I receive from my Master, but that’s also a conversation for another time).
If you spend the whole week looking forward to the weekend because you know you can drink more alcohol than last weekend, your religion is drunkenness. You WORSHIP drunkenness. If you can’t stop thinking about the last time you had sex (or the next time you’ll have sex with another person), your religion is sex. You WORSHIP sex. And I don’t say worship in a metaphorical sense; I do mean quite literally.
So until you identify what you give your thoughts, time, effort, and care to, you won’t know what you also give your freedom to. Realizing your master allows you to either change the path you’re already on, or remain content with where you’re headed. Either way, you don’t have any excuse to be disappointed with where you end up in life.
All you have to thank for the way your life turns out is you - and the religion you choose.