Was Jesus of Nazareth an irreligious agitator? Was his message more radical than we’ve been led to believe? I recently read "End Of Religion" by Bruxy Cavey (A teaching pastor and fellow Canadian eh?).
I'd like to share a few of the things I highlighted as I read it. I welcome any feedback.
"The Jesus described in the Bible never uses the word religion to refer to what he came to establish, nor does he invite people to join a particular institution or organization. When he speaks of "church", he is talking about people who gather in his name, not the structure they meet in or the organization they belong to (see Matthew 18:15-20). And when he talks about connecting with God, he consistently speaks not of religion but of "faith" (Luke 7:50; John 3:14-16). Jesus never commands his followers to embrace detailed creeds or codes of conduct, and he never instructs his followers to participate in exhaustive religious rituals. His life's work was about undoing the knots that bound people to ritual and empty tradition."I don't want to sound judgmental to my brothers and sisters. I truly can not see the heart motivation behind stuff others do. I'm just thinking through the implication of this.
First... do you agree with the above quote? Do you think Bruxy is off track here?
Most Christians wouldn't say you have to be part of a particular institution or organization to connect with God. But isn't it usually highly recommended? Invitations to join a church and come to church are common. Why don't we see Jesus making such invitations?
Most Christians would agree that faith is what saves. Yes, faith in Jesus. However isn't it common that soon following this faith comes a push to accept detailed creeds and/or codes of conduct. Did we get this idea from Jesus, or is this our religious nature?
What about rituals, and empty tradition? The reformation did a good job freeing us from a lot of that. But is there more?