The Rigidity of Religion

Religion is rigid and unbending. “Do it our way, or else!” “Line up or you will be rejected.” “Here are all of the requirements!” “Earn our favor or feel our contempt and punishment.” A classic example is found in Luke 6:6-11. Here, Jesus healed a man whose right hand was withered. He even did it on the Sabbath day! How awful to do good to someone on a Sabbath day! Observing the Sabbath was proper; so was doing good. The religious leaders’ hearts were so hard that they couldn’t bear to allow even such a worthwhile thing as healing this poor man. Verse 11 records their reaction to Jesus’ gracious act. “And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” Underlying their hatred was their jealousy and the probable threat to their control and authority. Christianity (not the “Christian religion”) wins people by love and motivates them to Godly living because of their gratitude to and love for the One Who loved them so much that He died to save them. Where in Luke’s record of this event is any love shown, except by Jesus? Religion is cold, sterile and mostly heartless. Christianity loves, cares and helps! Selah! Grace is love in action; religion is a man-made system. Grace blesses; religion binds!   Ron

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