Are You Religiously Faithful?
I was interested to read an article in my local newspaper about a lady who survived a horrendous car crash that left her with extensive head and brain damage who still managed to graduate with her masters degree.
When her head smashed through the car windscreen, it left her unable to put sentences together.
In any language, you would call her story a miracle. Yet the newspaper chose to report that “the ordeal also appears to have given her a strange bonus which she finds hard to fathom other than through her Christian religion.”
I was intrigued by their wording. Why does it have to be defined as a ‘religion?’
I grew up in a Christian household and we would regularly attend the Greek Orthodox church on a Sunday morning. It was a religious experience as we went through a repetitive ritual every week, bowing our heads and crossing ourselves at the appropriate juncture in time.
Whilst those experiences live in the echoes of my memories, I found my faith in 2005 when I became a born again Christian and I accepted an invitation from my Lord and Saviour — Jesus Christ — to have a personal relationship. I no longer consider myself a ‘religious’ person, but prefer to think of myself as a ‘man of faith.’
Please let me offer you five markers that define religious behaviour:
- You repeat traditions passed down through the generations without explanation or consideration. Just because “we’ve always done it this way” doesn’t make it right.
- You undertake a task because of obligation. Turning up to church on a Sunday “just to please my parents” isn’t the best use of your time.
- You fast for no reason. When it comes to Lent, you take 40 days to fast, removing dairy from your diet. But you have no reason to link this into apart from a religious belief drummed into you from an early age.
- You use a prayer book as the only way to say prayers. When you cannot come up with the words yourself, reciting them from a prayer book may be the equivalent to reciting poetry.
- You strategically place icons around your house and burn incense in front of them. If you believe that a painted icon can heal you or protect you, you might as well create a cow out of gold that you can worship.
This week my church has called us to a corporate fast as one of our brother’s lies in hospital battling cancer. I am a man of faith and I believe in miracles, so I have chosen to fast for 3 days, and to lift him up in prayer to my Lord and Saviour. Do I believe in miracles? Yes sir! Do I know that he will be healed? Not at all! That decision will be made by God.
But I am willing to have faith that my God can change his situation and can reverse what the doctors are unable to do.
That’s why I choose to join my colleagues in fasting and in faith. Because I know that unity commands a blessing. Yes siree!!