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The Problem With Religion

Religion is worthless if it forgets its purpose. It is not the end, but a means to an end. The end purpose of religion is the salvation of humanity. This is the grand objective of spirituality. The rituals, traditions and practices of faith communities are meaningless apart from personal redemption. Sabbath observance is meaningless if it doesn’t, in some way, bring the observer into a more intimate connection with Christ.

Spirituality is curative when it prompts individuals, churches and communities to embrace compassion as the essence of religious faith. Preaching is medicinal when it speaks truth in love and inspires us to treat everyone with grace. Scripture is healing when we let it shape our biases and opinions so that we become gentler, kinder people who’s only goal is to reflect God’s love in whatever we do. If religion, with all of its prescriptive measures, fails to accomplish these fundamental actions, it is a waste of time and money!

The problem with religion, preaching and Scripture, is that they become dangerous weapons when they are mishandled and used for political ends. Politics focuses on voted policies and laws—which are driven by individual and collective opinions. With politics the majority rules. In matters of faith, Jesus rules, which means that Christ’s followers no longer allow their opinions to dominate their decisions and actions. Politics focuses on what people want. Faith focuses on what God wants. As long as we live in a broken world politics will be used for divisive purposes. However, it should not be used to further God’s agenda. That is the work of the church.

Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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