‘For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings’ – Hosea 6:6, ESV
‘I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them’- Hosea 11:4, ESV
What God desires is steadfast love, not sacrifice. Genuine love and care, not a hard, rigid, religious attitude or spirit.
I saw where this term, “irreligious followers”, was used to refer to what’s known as Organic Church or Simple Church, and it struck me more than just a bit. Because I think this is what God is bringing about all around us, whenever you take the time to really look around. People are leaving Church, leaving Religion, and yet still seeking and turning to God.
Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?
Religion is all about law, and sacrifice. It’s about Duty. Those are all very noble qualities when motivated by love. But when love is absent, they are cords of death which will bind and strangle your heart.
But when Love is the motivation, when the Love of God begins to dawn upon you, cords of loving kindness will gently draw you into a place of freedom and nourishment.
“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free”- Psalms 119:32.
I looked up the definition of ‘religion’, to be sure of what I thought I understood.
This is the hybrid definition;
“A fundamental set of beliefs and practices concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs, and agreed upon by a number of persons or sects”
The root of “religion” is “religio”, and depending upon who you believe it means to re-gather, re-devote, or re-bind. The essence here seems to say that it is a forceful act of our will to rebind us to that “fundamental set of beliefs…and ritual observances.” An act of rededication on our part, as opposed to an act of redemption on God’s part. There’s a world of difference between the two…
So, now “Irreligious Followers” begins to take on new meaning, and come clear. This radical fringe-element who is called (Organic/Simple/House) Church may really just be those who are being led by cords of Love out of a place which has told them they must rebind themselves tighter with the cords of Law.
I find that this is not easy to maintain. That our thinking gets wrapped around upon itself, and once again we are looking at things from the wrong direction. We don’t have to bind ourselves tighter, we only need to let ourselves go, and be drawn by cords of Loving Kindness.
I’d like to become an Irreligious Follower.
- A Promise Of Hope: Simple Church (ktbs.com)
- Can an Irreligious Person Really be a Conservative? (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)