The Problem with Religion [Sermon]

I realize it’s a strange title for a sermon, especially since I’m a pastor who considers himself a very “religious” person.

Technically, the word “religion” comes from the same Latin root as “ligament,” meaning “to bind.” Through various beliefs and practices we “bind” ourselves to God and others. And that’s obviously a good thing.

But “religion” has come to take on another meaning too. It can start to mean ticking all the right religious boxes. In this sense, it becomes about what we can do instead of what God can do.

When this happens, we can start to think it’s all about us instead of God; we can start to look down our noses at people who aren’t ticking all the right boxes like we are; and we can mistakenly believe that we can somehow earn our way off of God’s naughty list.

Plus, when we aren’t able to tick all the right boxes, we can feel really guilty and inadequate!

In his book The God of Yes, Jud Wilhite says it well: “does your faith ever feel less like a new lease on living and more like an old leash?” If so, maybe you’ve gotten sucked in to this unhelpful way of seeing things.

This sermon is based on Romans 8:18-30 and explores this problem with “religion,” and offers three suggestions for moving forward in a more biblical and hopeful way.

Do you want a reminder about what it is to have a new lease, instead of a leash? A breath of fresh air, instead of religious exhaustion? A reminder about Who it’s actually all about, and why that is good news for you?

If so, listen in.

Here is the video version. The audio-only download is below.

Audio-only version:


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