In recent years it has become a popular thing to declare one’s freedom from organized religion.
While some declare they have proudly walked away from the church, others declare they are no longer Christians, but Christ followers. You get the general idea.
What is interesting about all of this independence, is that the Christ they claim to be following away from organized religion, worked just fine within the confines of organized religion.
- He kept the Passover.
- He celebrated the feasts and special days.
- He followed the Jewish Law.
- He honored the Sabbath.
We never find Jesus resisting organized religion. What He did resist was the abuse of organized religion by arrogant, prideful, abusive religions leaders.
It’s fair to say that many times when someone proudly walks away from organized religion, it is not religion itself that is the problem.
More often than not, the problem is two selfish sinners (a church member & a religious leader) who choose not to take care of business the way the Bible instructs them too.
In other words, two sinners who are not getting their own way.
The danger in stepping outside the boundaries of organized religion, is that it opens us up to error, isolation, lack of accountability and false teaching.
Every church is going to have struggles and flaws because it’s a divinely decreed organization trying to operate in a cursed and fallen world. But it’s positives far outweigh its faults!
Organized religion provides us with:
I. Solid Doctrine
We define doctrine as a body of knowledge about a certain topic or belief.
While Christ sealed our eternal destiny, the Apostle Paul tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
He is telling us that our growth as Christians is our own responsibility.
Our spiritual growth is one reason it is so important that we avail ourselves of the solid doctrine presented through Bible believing churches.
When we step away from the organized church, we open ourselves up to doctrinal error and cultism.
We can’t just walk away from 2,000 years of Christian values and tradition!
For many, organized religion is automatically equated with legalism. Could I go so far as to say that in some instances legalism is of great value?
When I first became a Christian, I needed the structure and accountability of organized religion to help me overcome some of the personal struggles that I was facing as I tried to break free of my past.
Recent studies show that millennials are beginning to return to organized religion because of the structure and discipline it offers. They are looking to old mainline denominational churches that offer traditional services and values.
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III. Biblical Teaching
When someone walks away from a Bible believing church, they step away from Biblical teaching. Often they begin to interpret the Bible according to their own desires and needs.
One of the greatest benefits of Biblical preaching and teaching is that it brings us face to face with ourselves! It challenges our thinking and causes us to check our thoughts and actions.
God has commanded the preaching and teaching of the Bible to protect us from sin and error in this life. Biblical teaching will warn us and make us aware of the pitfalls in life. It is as Proverbs says, A lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path! (Psalm 119:105)
I hope you are not quite ready to give up on organized religion. Potentially, every person can benefit from what organized religion has to offer.
How different would our world be if instead of walking away from organized religion, we asked, “How can we allow it to have a greater impact on future generations?”
What value do you find in organized religion?