When Your Church Becomes Your Religion
There are thousands of Christian churches out there and they all (or almost all of them) claim fealty to the Bible and the teachings of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrines and beliefs of those churches vary widely from each other and often don't even resemble what Jesus and His disciples lived and taught.
This is a subject about which volumes could be written but we live in the age of brevity and attention spans aren't what they used to be.
Let's just get to the point. Is your church or has your church become a religion unto itself? What if it has? Would that be a big deal or do you matter-of-factly consider your church's brand of Christianity to actually be your religion? If it, in fact, has become your de facto religion, and it doesn't comply to Biblical doctrines, would that not be problematic and contrary to God's Written Word?
One would think Christian churches would use the Bible, or at least the New Testament, as the "user's guide" for their belief system. That would be the assumption, wouldn't it? If that were the case, then why and how could there be so many Christian denominations?
For the casual church goer, this probably isn't problematic. Church attendance for many may be for social networking and to a lessor extent to brush up on the do's and don'ts of modern Christianity. The doctrines of the church may not be a major concern for some.
The serious Christian may want to examine their church's doctrines just to see if they mesh with the doctrines of the Bible. Upon examination of the church's beliefs, one might even find them to be extra-biblical or even antithetical to the written Word of God. What then? Would that matter to you? Would you even know how they compared to the teachings of Jesus? Do you trust your minister and the church's board of directors to always steer you in the right direction when it comes to biblical matters?
Therein lies the crux of this brief article. Every Christian must ask themselves: am I going to base my values and my belief system on what a church teaches or am I going to base my life on the values and teachings of Jesus Christ?