“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” – Psalm 118:22
The number-one enemy of Christianity today is not unrepentant sinners, but “religion.” It’s been this way since the beginning. Why do I say that? Because Jesus didn’t offend sinners — He offended the religious leaders of His day. Jesus was the cornerstone that was rejected, not by the passers-passers-bys, but by the builders themselves.
How can you distinguish religion from authentic Christianity? Here are a few clues:
- Religion loves ritual. Change makes it uncomfortable; it delights in the status quo. Religion is a commitment to a system of beliefs, attitudes and practices.
- Religion responds to challenge with intimidation. Challenge religion, and it will attempt to intimidate you into submission. What does an attorney do when he or she suspects that truth may not be on his side? He buys time, attacks procedure and assassinates character. Religion is defended the same way.
What about Christianity?
- Christianity loves truth. Aristotle defined the truth, as “saying of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not.” In other words, truth has a standard – it’s not relative.
- Christianity responds to challenge with boldness. Why? Because knowing the truth and embracing it builds courage.
What happens when religion and Christianity clash? Many times, people come to know Christ. When Peter and John were arrested for the first time (Acts 3-4), five thousand people were saved. So, where do we go from here? The message for Jesus followers is to not be be afraid when your faith is challenged by religion. When this happens, the stage is set for blessing, not for defeat!