procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

religious? moi?

i listen to the radio a bit. mostly to 702 ABC Sydney. they often have interviews with various people, and they often get asked the 'so are you religious?' question.

and i can't remember yet hearing anyone say 'no'. and this frustrates me. partly because making up your own religion doesn't make you religious; if anything it says you're deluded. secondly because being superstitious about which sock you donn first does not equate with trusting that your eternal salvation is in the hands of something or someone greater than yourself.

but i think the final reason i find such a response so frustrating is that i spend so much of my time trying to explain that i'm NOT religious, that Christianity is a-religious, that Jesus didn't spend much time going around exonerating the religious leaders of his day, rather hammered them for being false shepherds, hired men, duplicitous wolves. i therefore go to great lengths explaining the difference between following Jesus and religion.

am i right to do this? or in this culture of postmodernity does everyone have the right to determine for themselves what religion entails?

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Blogger reuben// said...

Mark Sayers had some similar thoughts i noticed recently - secular schmeculari think covanental is the wrong word for it in this article, but the jist seems right...

10:00 pm  
Blogger byron smith said...

I used to use the "I'm not religious, I just follow Jesus" line, but I now suspect that it obscured more than it revealed and generally left people feeling more confused. So now I just say, "yep, very - I love God lots" or something similar.

11:44 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

cheers for the link reuben.

yeah i think maybe that's right byron. so i sometimes say - i guess so - and then proceed to explain what that means for me (in the same way as an atheist would if they said they were) OR (which i've started doing a little more of late) i ask them to define it - what do they think it means to be religious; get them to vocalise what's behind the question they're asking of me.

7:17 am  
Blogger Justin said...

Doug -- Great to meet you last night, mate.

I'm with Byron. I have spent years explaining the difference, but on reflection, no one ever said that it was helpful, and no one became a christian because the understood the distinction. It may have helped along the road - not sure - but I don't say it any more.

How about this: "Religious? Yes, I guess you could call it that. My problem is that Jesus - whom I love - spent a decent amount of time hammering religious people. So anyone who calls themselves religious may find themselves offside with Jesus. I am religious, but I think more about loving Jesus and loving other people more than 'being religious'"

'Course, Byron's is quicker.

7:52 am  
Anonymous dave miers said...

i've regularly had good convo's with ppl when saying that i'm not religious. both with strangers at their door or on the street, and with friends who aren't Christian.

8:21 pm  
Blogger 楊承琳yaya said...


3:47 pm  

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