Jun. 28, 2015

The definition of Religion

With the ruling by SCOTUS this week, legalizing homosexual marriage in this country, effectively redefining the word marriage,(and this is not a commentary on that ruling) I couldn’t help but to think of another word that has been mistakenly redefined by our culture. That word is religion. Religion has often been mistakenly made to be synonymous with Judeo / Christian faith. Take a look at the definitions of religion from dictionary.com listed below. Pay particular attention to numbers 1,2, and 6. 

1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2.a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects:   the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

3.the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

4.the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.

5.the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

6.something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice. 

So to all my anti-religious friends and acquaintances, I ask you to recognize that none of us are not religious. We all believe in something. The set of fundamental beliefs that you and a number of others believe in is your religion. So if you don’t agree with my values and beliefs don’t hide behind the statement that you can’t stand religious folks. We all, if we have integrity, believe and “cling to something”, our religion. 

It really comes down to what Joshua said to the Israelites in Joshua 24:14-15   

“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but 

 as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”