Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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.
God Without Religion, by Andrew Farley; why I dragged my feet and didn't start this book right away......
Count it all joy, brethren.......... right?
Trials and all.
Well, with recent trials inside of our bit of a family, our pastor encouraged me to read _God Without Religion_. As he handed me the book, he strongly intimated that he believes that he perceives a spirit of legalism in my beliefs and thus in my actions.
Well, I'm afraid I came at this book initially with the hopes that it addressed a subject which it doesn't seem to address. You see, our pastor has also been teaching us recently that when one is saved, the spirit is given a full and perfect life. That was a new idea to me. I haven't seen it specifically in scripture, so I'm still looking for evidence of that in scripture, but while I'm looking, I ponder that idea, and it seems not only plausible, but likely, and very empowering if it is as true as it seems to be.
Anyway, with my radar seeking scriptures to validate the message that we receive a fully sanctified *spirit* at the time of initial salvation, when I opened _God Without Religion_ the first time, I was hoping that GWR would have some scriptures dealing with that teaching.
I skimmed through the book in high hopes. That was my first mistake.
When I didn't see many scriptures (there are more than I saw at first glance, but still not as many as I had hoped for), and none of the material seemed to address this idea that the spirit is fully sanctified upon salvation (either for or against that interpretation of scripture), I was rather disappointed. Nor did I pray about my disappointment. Nor did I ask that same pastor for scriptures validating his teaching.
I simply set both projects aside for a while.
Well, issues in our family not settling, I was finally pushed to read this book, so I started in, and sure enough, I was flipping through the cyber-pages of BibleGateway looking for verses that, in my thinking, seem very much to say something quite different from this book.
I took lots of notes, began sharing them with my husband, then asked my younger sons to read through the book with me, as I thought they would rather prefer to agree with the book than with myself, so they would put up some stiff debate if they knew any angle from which to do so.
Sure enough, the debates began.
But then two things slowed the study down yet again:
1) vacation, retreats, and mission work......
2) I lost my notes....... perhaps I deflate just a bit too readily, no? I set the book aside again.
Well, it's time to get back at this study.
As for losing my notes again? After a while, I had begun writing notes in the book itself anyway, but not all of my notes are in the book.
If I can simply hold onto that book, there should be no trouble with my notes, right?
Well, books are all too often lost in this home, so I'm not taking any chances.
Notes are going in here and in the book!
Here's hoping our family can come to either a solid agreement, or a peace with disagreeing on some points......., Lord willing, in the long run, any differences which might not settle will not deal directly with the gospel/salvation-message.
May God grant full agreement........, that is my greatest hope, one way or the other.