“With the Christmas season here, most Americans say religion is an important part of their lives, but a record low don’t think religion can solve all their problems.” (Newsmax /Gallup)
This was an interesting headline, but not an unusual one for this time of year. According to Gallup, 46% of Americans say that religion does not solve all problems. I would argue that religion does not, nor can it solve any problems.
Now I know that religion in the context of the referenced article is being used in the general sense – meaning a reference to one’s ‘religious belief system’ or faith. Religion can also be defined as a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance to, and it’s this later definition that I think gets co-mingled with the former for most Americans. A religion in the context that I wish to discuss it is indeed a ‘man-made’ set of rules, and we see it all the time. We can be religious about our diets, religious about our work, religious about our Netflix binge watching, religious about our schedules, and even religious about our religion – “If I go to church, give good offerings, and try to be nice to people I should get to go to heaven.” These are, and can be at times very good things, but they aren’t a pursuit of the truth. Is essence, a ‘religion’ is man-kind’s attempt at solving man-kind’s problems. Sometimes it works for things like our diets and such, but most other times it cannot work for us. Religion is not synonymous with truth, and truth is not subjective. Just because you believe something to be true doesn’t make it so.
We have all the world’s ‘religions’ and ‘world-views’ at our disposal to study and analyze. All of them make claims about the nature of who we are and how we got here. Some have great insight and may hit the mark on a few truths, while many others are complete shams.
So, how do we know which one is true, if any? I would suggest the one that most accurately describes 1) who we are, and 2) the world/reality in which we find ourselves is most likely the truth.
Christianity, or specifically, Judeo-Christianity, makes the claim that there is one Creator, and that this Creator (God) created us (humans) for His glory and for His purpose. God is holy and is not like us, but He created us to be eternal, and to be with Him, and to be able to behold Him and interact with Him. We had first hand knowledge of God, and we walked with Him in the garden. He gave us free will so that we could choose to love and obey Him on our own. We exercised that free will and we chose to disobey and to sin. This decision was catastrophic for us – We ceased being alive in Him. We ‘missed the mark’ and became eternally separated from Him. Death had become a part of our being, it was, and is our great cosmic dilemma. This my friends is the truth. As good as you think you, or we are as people – we are all fallen, and are all capable of the worst (deceit, greed, malice, lust, envy, etc..) – we are wretched. This is our true nature.
But, despite all of that, and in His infinite love for us, and as part of His plan for our redemption, He provided a way for us to be redeemed through His son Jesus. You see, it is very simple. The wages of sin is death. We sinned and deserve death. Jesus took our place and died for us so that we can be restored and have eternal life.
I encourage you to call upon God while He can be found (meaning while you still draw breath). Search for Him, and He will meet you where you are. Accept His son Jesus as your personal savior, and the sacrifice He was, and you shall be saved.
The solution to man-kind’s dilemma is not, and cannot be man-kind.