We get some of the most ridiculous mail in the world at our church building. I used to think that churches would not be big targets for junk mail, but I dare say that 75% of all the mail we get goes from the mail box, to my hand, to the trash without even being opened.
Today I got one of the funniest pieces of mail I’ve ever received. It was an application Platinum Visa Card (I’ll bet none of you ever get one of those). That’s not all that funny, but the name on the address label was. It was addressed to “Keith D. Religious.” It even has a “mock” card with that name on it. How funny is that? Well, maybe not as funny to you as me, but I thought it was great.
Then I got to thinking about that as a description of myself. When I first started preaching, I thought I was “Mr. Religious.” I had all the right answers, went to a school with the right answers, and was a part of a church with all the right answers. That was being who I thought I should be, but it was just being “religious.”
I learned about the scriptures. I learned more about people than I wanted to know. And I knew how to tow the line of our particular branch of Christianity. But when I look back, so much of it was just “religion.”
You would expect me to turn the tide in this blog now and tell about how all that’s changed. You might expect me to tell you that I’ve found the perfect church with the real right answers. You might want to hear me say, “Sure I’ve figured it all out.” In fact the opposite is true.
Today I may have more questions than answers. I have accepted the fact the I have been wrong on a good many things. I have learned that “religion” is the enemy of God not the friend. I have also learned that my relationship with God is not dependant upon me having all the right answers, but the fact that Jesus is the answer. His Holy Spirit in me is more than sufficient. Praise His Holy Name!!
So, in the words of a really old commercial, “You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay,” or you can call me religious. Call me what you want, but the most important fact is the Jesus called me by the good news, and I choose Jesus and His grace and mercy.