“Back Off!”


Losing My Religion

Key Bible Verse: The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. (Galatians 3:24-25)

Dig Deeper: Galatians 3:19-25

My religion, that meticulous system of right beliefs and behaviour that provided structure, support, and guidance when I was growing up, and Jesus, who recklessly invites people to follow him into an intimate relationship with God, are not mutually exclusive. But they are clearly distinct. My religion taught me truths that I’m still convinced are important. It introduced me to the values and principles that led me into plenty of worthy endeavours. Nonetheless, it also led me into an entirely wrong race.

The pathology of my religion erupted in insidious fashion: believing and doing the right things became a substitute for living in right relationship with God. I spent most of my time learning what I couldn’t do instead of celebrating and enjoying what I could do because of my relationship with Jesus.

Every time Jesus’ followers began making rules (no children near Jesus, don’t let people waste expensive perfume), Jesus intervened. “Back off!” I can hear him saying. “You still don’t understand! How many times do I have to tell you what matters most? My message is pain and simple. Follow me.”

– Fil Anderson in Breaking the Rules

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