In other words, don’t be religious. Several things come to mind when I think of not being religious —
Don’t be defensive. In Andy Stanley’s most recent sermon (of that 8-part series), Stanley turned the issue on its head saying Christians have a “branding problem” (because people call Christians homophobic), putting down theology and saying: “Jesus’ movement was all about ‘how you love,’ but overtime it became ‘what you believe,’ he said. ‘If we would simply do what Jesus did… instead of arguing about what he said, ‘the world would change, the reputation of Christ’s followers would change, the influence of the church would change. This is easy. This requires nothing… just a brand new worldview’.”
Don’t argue. As intense and radical as it is, the religious experience necessarily and inviolately remains an entirely subjective experience. As such its essence cannot be captured, communicated, delineated, or explicated. It is not transferable. It is what it is. To attempt to make more of it by universalizing it is to degrade it. To argue for its preeminence is to render it fodder for rational humanists, who has every right to drag kicking and screaming into the ring of rational discourse any bumptious Christian they choose, and to there soundly thrash them before sending them off with their vestigial tail tucked between their legs.
Don’t carry yourself as if you know all truth. That’s the world we live in, especially when it comes to finding the truth about God. There are a lot of things that we don’t really understand. We seem to have more questions about God than we do answers. It’s hard to trust religion, to even trust the way we think, with our own baggage and wounds from life, what’s more our underlying selfishness we bring to everything we think about.
When I find that I feel the need to defend Christianity, I dig myself a deep hole that is hard to escape. We present Him – the Good News. We follow Him, love Him and serve Him. But He wasn’t very good at being religious either. So we look to emulate Jesus.