Occasionally I get associated with being religious. Non-churchy people hear that I’m a churchy person and they say things like, “Oh, so you must be very religious,” or “I’ve never been that religious myself.”
I get their intended meaning. They don’t use the word religion the same way I do, they’re simply differentiating churchy from non-churchy. But hearing someone call me religious still makes me cringe.
To me, “religious” is something institutional, not relational. It’s filled with rules & expectations, not compassion or understanding; hard lines instead of soft edges.
I like Jesus, and Jesus is not religious. He’s relational.
The topic of religion came up at my church, recently, in a passage where all the religious leaders yelled at Jesus for healing someone on the Sabbath. On a day intended for rest from our work, Jesus, the God of the universe who created the sabbath, touched a crippled woman and she was healed.
I’m pretty sure if Louis C. K. were present he would have been all, THAT’S AMAZING! But the religious leaders were outraged. They scolded Jesus and told the people to come back on Thursday if they wanted to get healed.
There’s a lot of religious people in the world – both individuals and groups. When I hear religious people quoted in the media, it makes my teeth hurt. When I see religious comments and articles posted on facebook, I obsess over trying really hard to not obsess about it.
But when I heard my pastor talk about the religious Pharisees, I couldn’t help but see myself in the story.
I felt especially convicted that I’m a religious parent. I make up rules on the fly to suit my own needs, and change them up all the time depending on my mood; I pay more attention to their behavior than the condition of their character; and I’d love it ever so much if they could just know their place.
As a mother, I’m basically the gateway drug to Jesus. My children learn to follow Jesus by following me as I follow Him, so as far as they know, Jesus is in a really crappy mood all day until he gets some wine.
Below is a 20 minute excerpt from the sermon about religion. Or you could watch the 4 minute Louis C. K. clip. They pretty much say the same thing.