Something that I have often come across in talking to those in my life who are not Christian, is their hate for church, worship and religion. Whether or not God exists does not matter to them, but one thing is for sure: church is something they will never fall victim to, worship is a song they will never sing and religion is something that they will never bow a knee to. But what I try to get across to people in these discussions is that their position is really the result of incorrect definitions which prohibits them from digging deeper into the truth of Christianity. It is my firm belief that everyone worships, everyone loves church and everyone is religious - but I do offer an out on the last point.
While many of us think of worship as singing corny songs while clapping our hands with a forced smile on our face; defined simply, worship is the act of ascribing ultimate worth and value to something in a way that energizes and engages your whole person, which consists of your emotions, desires and thoughts. Given this definition, I believe that everyone would have to agree that they are all worshipers of something, which is exactly what scripture says (Rom 1:24-25).
Ask yourself, “what is it that engages and energizes my emotions, desires and thoughts?” For some it is God, which is a good starting point (Exo 20:3). But for many, and I would dare to say most, their idols or objects of worship keep God out of the picture. Some of these objects may include: self, sex, pornography, money, success, video games, sports, fantasy football, ultimate fighting, television, social networks, approval, fashion, children, marriage, music, work, celebrities, fame, politics, intellectualism, school, religion and activism.
In our contemporary culture, while not all these things are bad and harmful in and of themselves, when we categorize them among the most important things in our lives, we’re really making them idols and placing ourselves in a position of worship to them. While some may disagree and say that they don’t worship anything, Timothy Keller says that, “The world is not divided into people who worship and people who don’t. It is divided into people who worship things that will distort their life and people who worship the only proper object worthy of worship.” Put simply, everyone has put something in that place, where they say, ‘;If only I had that, then I’d be happy, then I’d have meaning in life, then I’d be fulfilled, then I’ll be satisfied.’
We are all worshipers, the only thing you have to answer is what or who it is you worship. If your object of worship is anything created and not the creator himself, your worship is useless, pointless and in the end, dangerous (1 Jhn 2:16).
Everyone Loves Church
We typically define the word Church as a building containing a bunch of people carrying Bibles that are singing songs and listening to preachers. But in truth, a church is nothing more than a body of people who get together in an effort to ‘;hang out’ and talk about things they’re in to.
But in reality the word church, properly defined, means “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place for an assembly.”
As a result, church can look like a variety of things: getting together at a bar on Friday nights, hanging out at a friend’s house, going to the movies with others, meeting for coffee, attending a political or activist rally, etc. If none of these things are enjoyable for you, or you don’t like hanging out with your friends, then quite simply, you either need new friends, or you’re depressed and should seek professional help.
Everyone loves church and everyone should. But the church that everyone should attend or be a part of and build a community around is the church that talks about, worships, and adores Christ and his sacrifice for us.
(Not) Everyone Clings to Religion
When we think of religion, we often think of groups of people like Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons and perhaps even Buddhists or Hindus. Additionally, we believe that this is centered around a belief in God and some sacred text. But again, what we really need here is a clear definition. Traditionally, a religious person is one who holds to a particular set of beliefs about God, morality, ethics, charity, life and death.
Religion: Definition 1
While it is true that Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons and so on can all be considered religions under this definition, it is very important to point out that acutely spiritual and even the atheist are technically religious. This is due to the fact that everyone, and I mean everyone, has particular beliefs about God, morality, ethics, charity, life and death; even if you believe that God doesn’t exist, morality is relative, ethics are a hoax, charity is pathetic, life is a dream and death is the end. So in the end, everyone is religious.
Religion: Definition 2
However, because people hate religion so much, I often opt to give them an out by accepting an alternate definition which would render the statement ‘;Everyone is Religious’ completely false. That definition describes religion as man’s attempt to reach out to God. If you would prefer that definition, that is completely acceptable to me.
But I should say that this is the definition that I hold to, and as a result, I as a Christian am not religious. The reason being is that, I know as a sinful person, I cannot reach out to God by accumulating a mountain of good deeds as if they could ever render me innocent of all wrongdoing. Rather, what I cling to is not what I can do, but what Christ has already done on the cross.
So if for example, you’re an atheist and don’t want to be religious, I encourage you to accept the second definition and consider Christianity because at least it offers you something besides being worm food after death. Additionally, if you are religious, I encourage you to abandon you’re religion and cling to what Christ has already done for you, because really, even Jesus made fun of religion (And who doesn’t want to be like him?). Then, together we can all serve God and worship him for what he has done for us, whether or not that is defined as religion depends on what definition you hold.