The Perfect Answer
by Phillip Cimei
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
This is a continuing series on â€œThe Perfect Religion, A Beacon to the True Kingdom of God,â€ I suggest that you go to the beginning article, â€œthe Perfect Oxymoron,â€ if you want to follow the sequence of the study.
The Perfect Answer
Can anyone give me a straight answer to the question, â€œWhat is religion? Or what is the perfect religion?â€ There are as many variations of answers to those two questions as there are groups of people claiming to know the answers. Jesus said, â€œYou shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.â€ Will somebody please tell me the truth? It seems that so many have tried every way in the world to get an answer but come up short. It is like being a detective searching for the answer to the mystery.
Let me illustrate it with an example that to which, families with multiple children can relate. My wife and I have seven children, and, during their growing up years, one was a snitch. We used that to our advantage. Now I am not saying a tattletale is a good thing, but it helps eliminate a lot of the threats of time outs, no tv, no phone, or groundingsâ€”if no one fesses up. I think you get the idea.
On one occasion, my wife and I went into our bathroom and found a pen scribbling on the wall. We were upset because we felt we had done an excellent job of teaching our children to respect their property as well as others. So, we aggressively started the investigation process. We first called them all together and explained the situation, then allowed the offender the opportunity to come forward to confessâ€”no surrender flag. We had had other situations when all it took was â€œthe look,â€ and the offenders would spill their guts.
Next, we went to each individual, so the offender would have the opportunity to confess without having to do it in front of their siblings. They would, of course, be revealed as the offender when the delving out the punishment, but this would make it a little easier. Also, it would put the true offender in the sweat-box until it was his/ her turn. Failed!
On to plan B, or was it plan C? We handed them each a piece of paper and said, â€œYou can secretly let us know who did it. Just write their name down.â€ Yeah, that worked.
Next, we went to the squealer. Every large family has one. It was our youngest. Now understand that being the youngest can be a good thing or a bad thing. Our youngest banked on the hopes that Mom and Dad were well worn out, raising the other six, and felt she could wear us down with her whining and pleading and continual begging. She also felt that with four older brothers who loved to tease, pull tricks, and use her to fulfill their desire to improve on the prankish ways gave her the right to have the title of â€œSnitch.â€ So, we approached our little informant. Failed!
Finally, we resorted to threats of every disciplinary action devised by man and God. Failed! We wanted the truth, and we wanted it now. It has been twenty-five years since this trivial little incident happened, and yet it still bothers my wife and me that we to this day donâ€™t have the clue as to the one who committed that silly little mishap.
What does this silly story have to do with finding the perfect religion? Many people still have that nagging within their souls that they have not found that perfect religion. They want the truth, and they will not rest until they get it. Take hope, and unlike those little rugrats, God will provide the truth to those that diligently seek it, â€œI love those who lover Me and those who seek Me diligently will find Meâ€ (Proverbs 8:17).
The first thing we need to do in pursuit of the perfect religion is to answer the question, â€œJust what is religion anyway?â€ Religion has been and still is difficult for the average Christian to define. And no one wants to provide the perfect answer. People go to every extreme they can think of to formulate in their minds the perfect religion, but just canâ€™t get to the truthâ€”the perfect answer. I took a random survey of people on the street, just to get some idea how they would define â€œreligion,â€ and was there such a thing as â€œthe perfect religion.â€ The following are the responses to these questions: Give me a definition of religion, and what would be the perfect religion if you were looking for one?
Give me a definition of religion.
â€¢ â€œSomething I need in my life.â€
â€¢ â€œDifferent people have different answers.â€
â€¢ â€œPersonal and family values.â€
â€¢ â€œSystem of spirituality.â€ â€œ
â€¢ Belief in Higher Power.â€
â€¢ â€œBelief in some sort of deity.â€
â€¢ â€œWay of life directed by God.â€
â€¢ â€œA purpose always for eternal progression.â€
What would be the perfect religion if you were looking for one?
â€¢ â€œThere is no perfect religion.â€
â€¢ â€œConverse with God.â€
â€¢ â€œThere isnâ€™t one.â€ â€œEverybodyâ€™s religion.â€
â€¢ â€œLove, Aloha.â€
â€¢ â€œNo perfect, believe what you want.â€
â€¢ â€œCatholic, Iâ€™m not saying they are perfect, but believe what you want.â€
â€¢ â€œWhat resides in a perfect man.â€ â€œLove.â€
â€¢ â€œIf everyone believes the same.â€
These are just a small sample of the comments I receivedâ€” taken from a wide variety of cultures and age levels. Do you wonder why there are so many divisions in religion?
The Hebrew language used in the Old Testament and the Greek language used in the New Testament didnâ€™t have a specific word for religion. Religion is an English word, not a Greek or Hebrew word. It is taken from the Latin word, ligare, meaning â€œbind, connect.â€ The word religion is not used very much throughout the Bible. Since the Hebrew language did not have a specific word for religion, some say when the Hebrews spoke of it, they used its root from a word that meant, roots of your being.
The Greeks didnâ€™t have a specific word for religion, either. The verse where Paul was instructing the Philosophers about God at Athens in Acts chapter 17 said, â€œFor in Him we live, and move, and have our very being.â€ That, my friends, is the true definition of the perfect religion. We will see, in future articles, how we can achieve that according to Jesus. Donâ€™t misunderstand I am talking about how we can have a relationship with God after we enter the kingdom through faith in Christ Jesus and obedience to the gospel call. That is the one concept that will be the glue that connects us to God. It will be the substance of pure religionâ€”our spirit in fellowship with His.
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