Michael C Murphy profile image

Religion In Our World

What People are Saying About Religion

Religion in our world has gotten way out of hand. It is becoming more and more difficult to find God in today's organized religions. There are hundreds of different denominations, and they all seem to interpret the Bible differently.

I often hear non-believers say, "You can make the Bible say anything you want." Before I studied the Bible myself, I had this same belief. I have now learned that the Bible is most often very clear in what it is saying; however, many so-called Bible teachers take verses out of context, and make them say whatever they want them to say. Context is the key! Don't let anyone show you a verse out of context. You have to read and understand what is said before and after a Bible verse to truly grasp the full meaning. You can pull two sentences out of any thousand page book and make them mean anything you want. Without the context, you are free to manipulate the words to your liking; but if you put those sentences back in the paragraph they belong in, the true meaning is usually clear.

Another false teaching, which is prevalent today, is the idea that once you become a Christian, your life is perfect. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christianity is a growth process. Jesus described it like the growing of a fruit tree. When you "believe," you have planted the seed and you start to grow. It may take years before fruit is produced, and there may be many difficult seasons along the way, but if the proper care is taken, you will become a beautiful, fruitful tree. Don't let anyone tell you that your life will be perfect if you become a Christian, because it won't. When you accept Jesus into your life, you have begun the process of perfection, and it is only through the power of Jesus that you will ever be able to attain perfection; however, it is a long process, and will not be complete until the second coming of Jesus. The apostle Paul talks about this growth process:

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. (1 Corinthians 3:2-3)

Paul is telling these believers that they are not yet ready for "solid food," because they are still "fleshly." These believers were still caught up in the world, and were not growing in the Lord, therefore, Paul had to still feed them milk, or baby food. In other words, they could not understand the deeper truths of the Word of God because they had not properly cultivated their faith.

If you study the Bible closely, it should not surprise you to find so many false teachers in the world today. The Bible often tells of those who disguise themselves as righteous men for personal gain.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

Many false teachers are flourishing in today's world. Many people who claim to be Christians, leading "Christian" organizations, are nothing more than cult leaders. There are many cults who proclaim to be following the teachings of the Bible, but in truth they are using the Bible to manipulate people into following false teaching. These false teachers are using the words of the Bible for their own personal gain.

The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives. (Philippians 1:17)

Many people who say that they have read the Bible, or that they frequently read the Bible, have never read the whole Bible. In fact, most people have only read from the New Testament and small parts of the Old Testament. Those who say that they read the Bible all the time are only really reading a few verses or chapters before bed. Let me ask you a question: If you were studying for a biology class, would you only read the last half of your textbook and expect to understand the whole book? Would you only read a few chapters right before bed and expect to pass the final exam? I think not. Why is it that people think they have read the Bible when in fact they have actually read less than half?

If you want to fully understand how God works, and what his plan for this world is, you must study the entire book. Picking up bits and pieces here and there will not give you any real understanding of God, the Creator. Think about it, God as the Creator is a very complex topic. Assuming that this book is real, and that God really did create all things, it would be silly to think that careful skimming could give you clear understanding of the course and structure of the universe. It would also be silly to think that careful skimming could give you grounds for dismissing this book as fiction. No, the only way to honestly pass judgment on this, the most enduring book in history, is to read it yourself, from cover to cover. And the only way to truly discern spiritual truth from this book is to ask God for the help of the Holy Spirit.

I don't want to sound like I'm denouncing all organized religion -- that is certainly not my intention. I don't believe it's possible to be a Christian without the help of other Christians. Christians are part of one body, with Christ as the head and we need to spend time together so as to make sure the body is in harmony. There are many very good Bible teachers who are leading wonderful churches. When searching for a church to attend, spend some time comparing several, and always test what they are telling you about the Bible with your own personal study. The Bible is not hard to understand if it is read in context, from start to finish. It is even easier to understand if you ask for God's help.

False teachers abound in today's world! Read the Bible yourself, ask for God's help, listen to several teachers, and I'm sure it will be quite clear to you who is teaching "from pure motives," and who is teaching "out of selfish ambition."

 Last updated on July 1, 2011

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Comments 2 comments

almasi profile image

almasi 3 years ago

Wonderful, up and useful article. I would also add that those searching for a Bible believing Church should pray for God's guidance before they set out and then obey Him when He shows them where they should settle for that season.

Michael C Murphy profile image

Michael C Murphy 3 years ago from California Hub Author

That's a very important point, almasi!

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