I think a lot of organized religion is really a mess. Now in case you’re wanting to shoot think about it.
Surveys show most people in the U.S. believe in God and a majority attend services at least occasionally.
Yet, our society is pretty screwy.
Facebook, I’ve heard, now has over 50 gender selections to choose from for your profile. Yikes, and I always thought there were only two. Talk about being behind the times.
Then look at the divorce rate, crime rate, number of children raised by single parents and it’s not a stretch to say something’s seriously whacked out.
Yet, I look at so much organized religion and in my most theological words say, “What are they thinking?”
I mean we have what we could label “Mr. Potato Head” theology.
Do you remember the children’s game? The one you play with a raw potato. Yes, I know I am seriously dating myself here. Anyway, as you play the game you pick out the parts you want your potato head to look like. A nose here, ears there, eyes over here. You create him into your masterpiece.
Well too many people apply that same process to their view of God. Add on the parts you like. Forget the parts you don’t. Only problem is it doesn’t do much for your confidence when you need it most because you created God to look like you want not like he truly is.
Or we have “Super-Size Me” theology.
Americans love super-size anything. Triple burgers, jumbo fries, 64 oz. Mega Gulp soft drinks, mammoth SUV’s. You know the bigger the better.
So we drag that over into church. Concert perfect productions. Jumbo screens. Slick videos. Model pastor couple. Short entertaining messages. Move the crowd in. Move the crowd out.
Yet when we leave often we feel somehow empty don’t we?
Now I’m not saying you can’t find a relationship with God or some elements of truth through those churches. Frankly though, I’m surprised often by the places God pops up.
But I also see way too often people enter into that relationship with God but grow stale quickly.
In a way it’s what Jesus told the people about John the Baptist.
“What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? . . . . Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet.”*
Wow, he says if we want a real relationship with the real God we have to discover it on his terms. I know, how narrow minded. But think about it. Really could it be any other way?
Yet, when we do find that real relationship, that comes simply out of faith in the real God, it truly changes our lives.
We somehow know God is real. And that he knows us.
We know who he is and what he truly promises. And that gives us answers on those days when we need them most.
We sense his presence even after we’ve left the parking lot. Maybe more so.
We see his leading because we’re searching for it instead of dictating it to him.
And we discover a real relationship we could never create or frankly even imagine. And we find the real life God created for us all along.
We truly can discover a real relationship with the real God.
How have you discovered it?
Please let me know on Facebook ;-), Twitter or email me.
*Matthew 11: 7-9 (NLT)