← back to list

Religion is a wall, pretending to be a bridge.

Posted by Dr. Drew Shofner on

Religion is a wall

Every church has the choice to be this world changing expression of the body of Christ, or this inward turned religious organization that is about itself and that is more concerned about its own comfort and happiness than it is about the hurt and the pain of the world around it. Every church has a choice of what it believes to be possible or impossible about God. But on the road ahead, we believe that all things are possible. The word of God says very clearly in Luke 18:27, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."

As we begin the road ahead I want to share with you that it all begins with relationship! Jesus is not a roadmap that we use to give us some future that we approve of. He is not a crystal ball that we come near to gaze in so we can see the way we want to go. The reality is that we're not invited into a future first, we're invited into a presence. In fact, we're invited into THE presence. The presence of love, of light, of God almighty; of our Father! It's just relationship. 

We can move into relationship or we can do 2016 in religion. I just want to say that I detest religion! I detest the impact that it has on human beings. I detest the deadness that it brings to the human heart. It is so diametrically opposed to the life giving relationship that Jesus wants! Religion is God on a leash! Religion is what we create in culture and in form to keep God away a bit and insulated so that we don't really have to give Him our lives. Religion is a wall, pretending to be a bridge.

We love rules; Jesus offers relationships. We want a roadmap ahead that assures us. Jesus gives a love relationship that holds our hand and walks with us. Your life can be everything God wants it to be, or it can be anything less. Your life can be as big in the Kingdom as Jesus' heart, or your life can be as small and fearful and broken as your fears will make it. It's up to you and me. We've been given a choice. All the way through life-- its ups and downs, its pains--we get to be with Jesus. And to be with Jesus, heart and soul, is the center of everything. 

Jesus said that we are more than just religious followers, we are friends! In John 15:15, He said "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know His master's business, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." I have taken you from the outside and brought you to the inside of my life and my heart and plans! You can know all kind of religious things, but if you are not living in a love relationship that is from the presence of God Almighty, by the gift of Jesus Christ and the indwelling Spirit, then it's dead religion! I want you to rest in the love that invites you into relationship. -Dr. Drew Shofner

Comments

to leave comment

steve carter Jan 18, 2016 12:35pm

"Religion is a wall, pretending to be a bridge" -- awesome truth. We love walls. We can paint them and make them look better. We can climb them so we feel accomplished. We can interact with a wall without needing much faith because generally we can examine its foundation and determine in our own minds how stable it is. A bridge? Wait a minute. What exactly is holding that thing up? Is it safe? How can I know for sure? I'm much more comfortable with the wall. The bridge requires too much faith.

Thank you, Dr. Drew, for reminding us that nothing is impossible with God. Like Jesus said, "with God all things are possible." (Matt 19:26) Are things difficult? Hard? Challenging? Yes. Those are just adjectives. Those descriptions are covered by the word "all". There's not a descriptor that isn't covered by "all".

Throughout scripture, there are really only a handful of things described as hard or difficult. Religion is one of those things. Jesus says, "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders" (Matt 23:4). Jesus doesn't bother to provide an answer to overcome religion in order to preserve religion. He provides the solution by offering a relationship with Himself so that it may be expressed in ways above and beyond what folks call religion. Jesus also recognizes that choosing to follow Him in a relationship is hard - "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matt 7:14) However, He uses this picture (the narrow way) to point to Himself as the only way to the Father - the only way to salvation - the only way to eternal life with joy. Religion is hard; move away from it and come to Me. The narrow way is difficult, but I am there; come to Me.

Religion is a wall, pretending to be a bridge.

Religion is a wall

Every church has the choice to be this world changing expression of the body of Christ, or this inward turned religious organization that is about itself and that is more concerned about its own comfort and happiness than it is about the hurt and the pain of the world around it. Every church has a choice of what it believes to be possible or impossible about God. But on the road ahead, we believe that all things are possible. The word of God says very clearly in Luke 18:27, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."

As we begin the road ahead I want to share with you that it all begins with relationship! Jesus is not a roadmap that we use to give us some future that we approve of. He is not a crystal ball that we come near to gaze in so we can see the way we want to go. The reality is that we're not invited into a future first, we're invited into a presence. In fact, we're invited into THE presence. The presence of love, of light, of God almighty; of our Father! It's just relationship. 

We can move into relationship or we can do 2016 in religion. I just want to say that I detest religion! I detest the impact that it has on human beings. I detest the deadness that it brings to the human heart. It is so diametrically opposed to the life giving relationship that Jesus wants! Religion is God on a leash! Religion is what we create in culture and in form to keep God away a bit and insulated so that we don't really have to give Him our lives. Religion is a wall, pretending to be a bridge.

We love rules; Jesus offers relationships. We want a roadmap ahead that assures us. Jesus gives a love relationship that holds our hand and walks with us. Your life can be everything God wants it to be, or it can be anything less. Your life can be as big in the Kingdom as Jesus' heart, or your life can be as small and fearful and broken as your fears will make it. It's up to you and me. We've been given a choice. All the way through life-- its ups and downs, its pains--we get to be with Jesus. And to be with Jesus, heart and soul, is the center of everything. 

Jesus said that we are more than just religious followers, we are friends! In John 15:15, He said "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know His master's business, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." I have taken you from the outside and brought you to the inside of my life and my heart and plans! You can know all kind of religious things, but if you are not living in a love relationship that is from the presence of God Almighty, by the gift of Jesus Christ and the indwelling Spirit, then it's dead religion! I want you to rest in the love that invites you into relationship. -Dr. Drew Shofner

1 Comments

steve carter on January 18, 2016 12:35pm

"Religion is a wall, pretending to be a bridge" -- awesome truth. We love walls. We can paint them and make them look better. We can climb them so we feel accomplished. We can interact with a wall without needing much faith because generally we can examine its foundation and determine in our own minds how stable it is. A bridge? Wait a minute. What exactly is holding that thing up? Is it safe? How can I know for sure? I'm much more comfortable with the wall. The bridge requires too much faith.

Thank you, Dr. Drew, for reminding us that nothing is impossible with God. Like Jesus said, "with God all things are possible." (Matt 19:26) Are things difficult? Hard? Challenging? Yes. Those are just adjectives. Those descriptions are covered by the word "all". There's not a descriptor that isn't covered by "all".

Throughout scripture, there are really only a handful of things described as hard or difficult. Religion is one of those things. Jesus says, "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders" (Matt 23:4). Jesus doesn't bother to provide an answer to overcome religion in order to preserve religion. He provides the solution by offering a relationship with Himself so that it may be expressed in ways above and beyond what folks call religion. Jesus also recognizes that choosing to follow Him in a relationship is hard - "Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matt 7:14) However, He uses this picture (the narrow way) to point to Himself as the only way to the Father - the only way to salvation - the only way to eternal life with joy. Religion is hard; move away from it and come to Me. The narrow way is difficult, but I am there; come to Me.

Read Severn Run Stories, be inspired, and stay up to date with what's happening here!