Christian Fundamentalists says “RELIGION ISN’T IMPORTANT”
I have come to open up this topic due to the reason that there are many Christians who says that religion is not important and is regarded as useless, but when you ask them to define religion, they end up not defining it clearly whether by the teaching of the denomination they belong to or even in their own personal opinion.
I have gathered a few definitions from two sources to seek information about what religion really is. You can search others from any scholarly and unbiased sources but I can assure you that it will be similar to what I have below. According to dictionary.reference.com, religion is:
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
I have considered all the definition above to avoid being accused of limiting some information and choosing only what I wish to point out. To further reinforce the definition of religion, I also considered a Catholic site (newadvent.org) for everyone to know what the Catholic Church believes a religion is, but understand that this is just one among many. I quote below:
Religion, broadly speaking, means the voluntary subjection of oneself to God. It exists in its highest perfection in heaven, where the angels and saints love, praise, and adore God, and live in absolute conformity to His holy will. It does not exist at all in hell, where the subordination of rational creatures to their Creator is one not of free will, but of physical necessity. On earth it is practically coextensive with the human race, though, where it has not been elevated to the supernatural plane through Divine revelation, it labours under serious defects.
With these two definitions, it seems like both the Non-Catholic source and the Catholic source confirm to the same kind of explanation about religion. If I put it in my own words, religion is a voluntary subjection of a person to something or someone he believes to be far higher and greater than himself. The kind of belief a person adheres to identifies what religion you belong and of course, by common logic, you practice this belief you have both in worship and in deed.
Christians who says they do not belong to any religion and conclude that religion is useless are blatantly lying to themselves. Why? Because they have a set of religious practice, a certain kind of worship with others within an organization, a drive for them to believe in a God, and the willingness to believe all these common grounds by faith.
Christian Fundamentalists says “DOCTRINES ONLY IMPRISONS YOU FROM WHAT GOD REALLY INTENDS”
Fundamentalists always argue that doctrines only imprison a person to focus only on the religion and not on God. This explanation is like pulling the trigger on your own head. This very statement nullifies the very essence as to why they believe what they as Fundamental Christians believe.
I wish to further clarify why I said that. Fundamental Christians believe that there is a God in three Divine Persons, now that’s a doctrine. Born Again Christians believe that once they have accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior they are once and for always saved, that’s also a doctrine they have. If Fundamental Christians preach that the bible is the only one they need, that too is a very sure doctrine they believe in and no matter what they do, they can never deny that those are doctrines. Believing that the Church is spiritually one despite the sacrilegious and unbiblical divisions and disagreements of teachings within Protestantism and Fundamentalism is also a doctrine they firmly believe in. This is why I don’t see the sense as to why they are against doctrines when they practice a lot of those as well. In any single way, Christian Fundamentalists who conclude such about doctrine does not have a single hint what this important word really means.
What is a doctrine by the way? No matter what reference you land in, you will see that this word originated from the Latin word “doctrina”. Doctrina, in any reference simply means “teaching”, therefore if doctrine does imprison you, then it is but wrong for some of these fundamentalist groups to even believe every word fed by their own pastor who “preaches” them the Bible.
Doctrines do not let you focus on your religion apart from God. Doctrine actually reinforces what your faith is all about. It clarifies what is not clear to your understanding and it helps you not to deviate because of your own humanly defective opinions over what really is true. There are a lot of Christians out there who firmly believe their opinion is the Truth because it has been “revealed” to them by the Holy Spirit when they personally read the Bible. The obvious truth is that it is by their belief of their own personal interpretation that leads to very serious division within Christianity. Such is not the intention of the Spirit of Truth who continuously hopes for us to be one in everything.
I therefore conclude…
To say that Religion and its doctrines do not save you is like saying the railroad track of the Train doesn’t assure the train to reach its destination.
Religion is here for one purpose alone; to help us be guided so that we may reach the salvation we are hoping for. To disagree otherwise is simply deceiving yourself from the fact that Jesus did found a Church taught by the Bible as the Pillar and Bulwark of Truth. A Church in itself shows identity as to what you believe and to whom you believe you belong to, and this belongingness in faith is the most obvious reason to say you do belong to a religion whether you strongly agree or not.