by Roy Hershberger
A new found friend and I were discussing the many and varied Christian religious sects, when suddenly he asked the unexpected: “What are you?” His question took me back. I just stood there for a moment realizing I didn’t fit comfortably into any “Christian” category anymore. Even the broad based evangelical label could no longer capture me into its mold. I didn’t have an answer, but one thing I knew for sure; I was more confident of the reality of Jesus Christ and His desire to lift me above the sorry state of “normal” human existance then at any time in my religious past. My “religion” was becoming less and less, but the realness of Jesus was becoming more and more.
The problem with “religion,” as understood by today’s standards, is that most people do not see it as part of the real world. Most peoples real religion, the “reality” that they live their life by every day, is a pop, secularistic, relativistic, postmodernism. “Religion” to most people is something tacked on to the outskirts of life, something they do out of obligation or a sense of duty, something to put on a good front. It doesn’t really effect their lifestyle or the very core of who they are. It is not the basis of realty for them at all.
It is this mentality that I am rebelling against when I state that I’m “losing my religion.” It is an attempt to define what I believe about Jesus Christ as reality not as religion thus defined. It was once a common practice for me, as it is for many modern “Christians” to separate my “religion” from what I perceived as the “real world,” that part of life that seemed to be always most outrageously in my face every day. A reality not built around the person of Jesus Christ, but one defined by either the secular media, my materialistic American culture, or my religiousized, humanistically inspired Churchianity. I have discovered that those things were not the real world at all, and that all truth and all meaning in life is dependent on the Living Word of God. If we try to build a “reality” on any other foundation other than Jesus we are destined to develop a view that is severally flawed and leads to a dead end.
In keeping with the spirit of that discovery I feel there is a very real need to level the playing field by helping people to realize that the secularism they take for granted as the “real world” is only another religion or philosophy about life. A philosophy that is just as much full of superstition and false ideas as all the other religions of the world.
There is only one reality that can stand under the force of any test without ever contradicting itself, and that is a reality centered around the person of Jesus Christ, the resurrected first son of our loving Father the Prime Mover, Creator, and Master of the universe. Through the ages we have abused and attempted to shape this reality into something by which we may reach our own selfish ends, but it has nothing to do with any man-made “religion.” It is in fact the very essence of All Truth.