Originally Posted to Wordpress on September 11, 2011 by St Barnabas Anglican Parish of the Bluff
Often there is a huge difference between religion and Christianity.Religion by nature is concerned with preserving the institution and Christianity is concerned about showing and sharing the love of God.Religion is seen when we tend to look inwards, self-preservation.Christianity is outward looking and taking a risk with the living God.Religion nurtures the spirit of elitism in the Church and whilst Christianity says that through our Baptism there is no Jew or Gentile, no male or female we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord Jesus.Our baptism unites us.Baptism ensures that there is no double standard, there is no such things as minority in the church.We are called by God and have an equal share in the Kingdom of God.Christianity is living organism that says the love of God belongs to all.Christianity by nature has always resisted being religious throughout the ages.The reason is simply the Spirit blows where it wills.It cannot be held back by legalistic religious requirements.Christianity pursues love, for love is perfect, love is God, so to pursue love is to seek after God.L Corinthians 13 states that, “There are three things that last forever faith, hope and love: but the greatest of these is love.” Religion and its structures will pass away but not love.Religion and the legalistic institution do not promote love and forgiveness.Christianity on the other hand promotes forgiveness and love.An example of this is the woman caught in adultery.Religion and the professional legalism had ruled that she be stoned and Christ poured his love on this situation and simply said, “Let he
who have not sinned cast the first stone.” Christ affirmed the woman, validated her and gave her a sense of worth.How many people will not come into a church because we are being too legalistic and religious? When we fail to show compassion and love then we are being religious.Christianity is concerned about the salvation of people and not its reputation hence our Lord and master ate with the tax collectors and sinners of the day.Jesus said “I have not come “for the well but for those who are sick.” Maundy Thursday
says to us we as Christians are called by God to wash the feet of the world.To.follow the example of Mother Teresa who loved the outcast ofIndiaand this is what we are called by God to do.We are all made in the iIp.age and likeness of
God, the Church has to guard against the temptation of fIlling up churches and preserving the institution instead of proclaiming the word of God to a broken world.St Luke (4 vs 16-18) reminds us of theKingdomofGodmanifesto, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of
the Lord’s favour.” Jesus is speaking about the awesomeness of the love of God that goes beyond the Jewish expectations, this message included an invitation to the gentiles to theKingdomofGod.
(c) Fr Barnabas Nqindi August 2011
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ