EVERY person alive exists within the confines of his/her own personal matrix, custom-designed to keep him/her blind from seeing the truth. What is this matrix? It’s religion, pure and simple. But how can people who don’t pretend to believe in God be entrapped in religion? It’s because we typically think of ‘religion’ as being something which goes hand in hand with one’s particular faith, when actually religion is one’s lifestyle. It’s how people choose to live their lives. “I may not be the best person in the world”, they say, “but at least I don’t abuse my sick days at work”. “I don’t claim to be religious, but I am kind to others and give money to charity.” “I don’t believe in God but I consider myself to be a moral person” etc. etc. etc. In this sense, even atheists are religious, because they live their lives according to their own personal moral code.
Religion was instituted by Satan in the garden as a means to circumvent having dependency on God. Merriam-Webster defines religion thus:
- a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs and practices
- a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
What better temptation could Satan have contrived than one that would persuade humankind we don’t need God? That we, by virtue of our own ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’ could decide for ourselves what is an acceptable code of conduct, or what is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil’? What people don’t see (because they have been blinded) is that apart from Christ, there IS no ‘morality’. Why? It’s because at the moment when Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation, a cataclysmic event disfigured their souls, and Satan has been able to replicate himself in the flesh of every person born since. That’s what the scriptures mean when humankind is described as having been ‘born in sin and shaped in iniquity’.
The truth is, without knowing Christ as our life, we are eternally, totally lost and without hope - and no religion or religious set of beliefs is going to alter that fact one whit. Non-believers (and many believers) have absolutely no concept as to the utter depravity of their own souls. They blissfully live their lives in utter ignorance, endeavouring to be ‘good’ people by following the rules, playing nicely with others and adhering to social mores.
This religious veneer, however, is incredibly thin. No one has any idea what s/he is capable of when backed into a corner. When consumed with fear, rage, jealousy or hunger, people have done horrendous things (check out the daily newspaper). It’s at those moments that people come face to face with the evil inherent in the core of their very beings. “I would have never thought she was capable of murder!” Oh, really? We are ALL capable of the most horrific, despicable acts. There is not one of us better than any other.
This is the good news/bad news scenario. The bad news is that we are irreparably flawed, depraved and rotten to the core. The good news is that we are irreparably flawed, depraved and rotten to the core! It’s bad news for those who live their lives according to their own moral code, who don’t recognize that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the only hope. It’s good news for believers, because it testifies to the fact that we can do NOTHING to measure up or to try to attain to God’s holy standards. It sets us FREE from trying (and failing) to keep the rules and agonizing over our total inability to change ourselves – because HE HAS DONE IT ALL FOR US (but that’s another blog entry)!
My wife wrote this, but it is most definitely a collaboration of a similar heart beat.
I'm going to launch out from here using these thoughts to share some things I know Most will find extremely offensive, but hey, is it the Truth we want or just our ears tickled?
I will be sharing from my good friend Bill Landon's book, "The Devil You Don't Know" in up coming blog entries.
Rich and Margi