Wednesday, July 11, 2012
God Without Religion, by Andrew Farley; Title of the Bookr
I've heard for a long time now that 'religion' is an artificial means to make one's way to god by our own efforts - which, according to the testimony of scripture, would be a bad thing. After all, we are saved by faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, right?
Well, at the beginning of this book, Andrew Farley has a page dedicated providing a definition for 'religion'.
It goes like this: "A return to bondage, the word religion is traced to the Latin re meaning 'again' and ligare meaning 'to bind.' "
Well, 'a return to bondage' would indeed be wrong. I'm in fully agreement that a return to bondage would be the wrong message.
However, I'm unconvinced about the 're-bind' message.
Farley and many others are utterly correct if 're-bind' would mean something like 'bind' as in 'bondage', or 'bind' as in rewrapping Lazarus after he had not only risen from the dead, but he had been unbound from his grave clothes.
However, I'm not convinced that 're-bind' necessarily means any such thing.
Being an enthusiastic student of Charlotte Mason's writings on education, I've noted that some of the _Parent Review Articles_ have endorsed the use of 'religion' as a good thing. Now, that was the Anglican church, and many might consider that anathama in and of itself, and perhaps rightly so. However, when it came to using vocabulary with care, Miss Mason's use of vocabulary was very much in line with true meanings in almost all cases, so I'm quick to be ready to reconsider what 're-bind' might mean.
So I asked whether or not it was possible that the term 'religion' initially had to do with addressing our need to be rebound to God because our sin and shame separated us from Him, but He was interested in helping us to come clean, be cleaned, and honor Him as Lord.
To date, I have nothing conclusive one way or the other to offer in response to my question, however, I'm inclined to reconsider my rejection of the term 'religion'.
Again, if rebinding to God is the meaning, I'm all for that! So was Jesus, thanks be to the power of His Word!
Until I know otherwise, I'll be timidly walking with that more positive interpretation of the meaning of the word.