How Am I, Religious?

notreligiousHow am I religious? I am often amazed when I hear someone say, “You must be religious.” Do such people know me? Are they expecting a disapproving stare or something? Do they expect a finger pointing or some old fashioned hellfire and brimstone?

What are you expecting, when you visit Inspiration Point? Did any of the above questions come to mind? How about God, who loves you? I would love to get some comments, from the many passersby.  How am I religious? Do you smell a story coming?

As I consider today’s blog post, this question has surfaced and I can’t put it down. I would normally prefer to point to someone else; as opposed to writing about me. I could point to two young men, who live in Michigan. They are Christians and they create game related videos for YouTube.

However, I shall place these men on the sideline and I will share my own adventure with the religious question. Years ago, I had the pleasure of working for a small nonprofit company called Quest Alliance. At the time, the company ran a few day programs for adults with mental disabilities.  This company is not a Christian organization.

One day, I was invited to a party at the company owner’s house. It was a Fight night and the boxing match between Evander Holifield and another opponent. I was excited by the invitation and I thanked Lorna, for it. Though she appeared spiritual; I don’t know her church background, if any.

Barry, I know you’re religious. I just wanted to let you know there will be beer offered.” It seems my boss labored under the assumption that I’d thumb my nose at alcohol.  I looked at the woman, in surprise.

As I am not a recovering alcoholic, a rare glass of wine does not bother me. It is my choice to not drink alcohol. I don’t expect others to do the same. I told my boss, “I’ve no problem with people, who drink a can of beer. It’s when it is overdone.”

What is this? Did you expect a sermon on the consumption of alcohol? The problem is not the wine or beer; rather, it’s in the amount that one consumes. Did not Jesus turn water into wine, at a wedding feast? Did not Paul instruct Timothy to drink some wine, for a stomach ailment?

The admonition about alcohol is one of self-restraint; unless you are overcome by the unwanted effects of too much alcohol. Is it religious to heed wise counsel about one’s alcohol consumption?

What if, the same pearl of wisdom is offered by an atheist? The atheist would be correct in this counsel; as Scripture does support the advice. Am I still religious because I listen, to a friend’s warning?

In reality, I did not go into the above details. If my recollection is correct; I simply explain that I didn’t have any problem. I was not in any obligation to drink, if I did not desire it.

On the night of the party, I did enjoy watching the fight with friends and co-workers. As you may expect, a pool was set up and the bet was not on “Who will win?” It was about how long the match would last and I did place a $1 bet.

As it happens, I did foolishly drink one can of beer. Plus, I came very close to winning the pool. Don’t worry, I didn’t get drunk; rather, the beer didn’t sit well with me. Overall, I had a fun time and I learned a useful lesson.

Don’t try to prove a point. I drank the can of beer, for one reason. I was trying to show that I didn’t have a problem. It was totally unnecessary! Why? It’s because I had nothing to prove; as I’m not religious.

Am I serious about my faith in Jesus? Yes, I would not be writing the many stories on Inspiration Point, if I was not serious. For me, Christianity is not about following a set of rules and regulations.

It’s about a relationship with God, the Father through His Son, Jesus. What is the purpose of Scripture? In a letter to Timothy, Paul puts it this way and I’ll use a translation called the  “Contemporary English Version”:

Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and  helping people and for correcting them, and for showing them, how to live. The Scriptures trains God’s servants to do all kinds of good work. [2 Tim 3:16-17]

Yes, the Bible is humanly written and it is divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Within the many pages of the Bible, many wonderful pearls of wisdom can be found. Though I have plumbed the depths, I am always amazed by the versatility and its ability to be of value in our post-modern culture.

Would you like a good example? Have you ever heard of the Internet? The Internet is truly a cyber jungle and there are many fascinating ways to communicate. Like any jungle, there are some good rules and practices for any intrepid explorer.

Does this advice sound familiar? “Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Don’t let your anger make a fool of you, when replying.” That’s essentially a paraphrase of James 1:19. It’s also one of the most sound advice for interacting on any social media platform like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Am I perfect in my use of Scripture, in everyday life? I will simply say, “Yeah, right!” If you read my last article, then you will discover that I’ve made mistakes in the past. I share my stories, for one simple reason. I’m trusting that you will be blessed in reading these stories.

As the owner of Inspiration Point, I have one primary goal and it’s to share the love of my Father in Heaven; as it is expressed through Jesus. I can only share what I know and believe. However, it is your choice in what you will accept.

I simply trust that you found something of value in the many stories on this blog site. How is this considered religious? Here’s my answer, “It is not religious.”

What are your thoughts? How am I religious in the sharing of the love of God, the Father? Do you suppose that I’d sit in judgement? Why should I? I’m not God and I’ve no way of knowing your heart. My goal is to show a loving Father. A Father, who cares for you and will help you, with your issues.

There is just one catch. You can only come to the Father, through Jesus. Have you not heard? Have you not read? The Son did not come into this world to condemn you;; rather, Jesus came so that you’d be rescued from judgement.

When I came to Christ, there were some real problems in my life. The religious crowd would insist on the buzz word, sin. They’d be right; however, the approach is in the wrong direction. But God has a different approach!

My Father accepted me, as I am. As I came to know a loving and good Father, it became easier to let go of a wrong belief system and live in reality. I stopped using fantasy role-playing games, as an escape. Did it happen overnight? Sorry, there was no magic wand in my scenario.

I accepted Jesus, as my Lord and Savior in the Fall of ’90. About six years later, I totally gave up playing such games. Am I going to condemn such games? No, I’m not. Like my old friends, I will give you this warning. Don’t use it, as an escape from your problems. If you are hurting, then you need to reach out and get help.

I invite you to share. How is this story, religious?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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