Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Is All Religion Man-made?

Over the years I’ve heard the claim that "Religion, ALL religion, is man-made. God did not invent religion, man did that."

I’m frankly surprised when I hear that, especially when it comes from someone that does believe in God. Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but my perception is different. These three scriptures indicate that it was indeed Jehovah God that set up not only the social order but also the guidelines regarding worship. It was Jehovah that instituted the priesthood. It was Jehovah that provided the blueprints for the temple. There are other scriptures, in fact, the whole of Exodus 25 covers a number of details. At Hebrews 8:5, Paul confirms that what Moses built was what Jehovah God showed him. The sum of all statutes, regulations, and other details of worship is what the religion of the Israelites became.

Christianity, as espoused in the Bible, likewise has a start with God and God’s Son. Peter, at Acts 4:12, indicated that it was God himself that both prophesied and provided his Son as our savior. Jesus, while on earth, outlined a number of things that would identify his true followers, such as: 1) all Christians are brothers, no one is elevated; 2) the preaching of the Good News is paramount; 3) meeting together as Christians is mandatory (because it provides our encouragement, comfort, spiritual nourishment); and 4) getting our priorities straight and the Golden Rule are essential ways of life. There are many other guidelines for true Christianity as a religion in the Bible. Suffice it to say, man did not invent true worship, true religion. God did. I will however agree that all other religions indeed have their start in human philosophy.

(I will also agree that both modern-day Judaism and the bulk of modern-day religions claiming to be Christian are not based on the Bible, but on human ideas. In fact, regarding Judaism, I was surprised that much of their modern-day beliefs are based on what they call “the oral tradition” or “oral Law.” This seems to have supplanted the “written tradition,” or Law of Moses recounted in the Torah.)
Based on the last paragraph, the question begs itself: “At what point does religion cease being from God and become “from man”? To me the line of demarcation seems very clear. It is the point at which a religion stops following the Bible and starts laying down its own beliefs, which eventually even contradict the Bible. Have all religions been guilty of this? Yes. But the one(s) that adjust their thinking once they realize their error, those are the ones humbly and truly looking to their Creator for direction.

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