The Rudeness of Religion

I heard this from a friend the other day and loved what it unveiled about his heart.

“I am only beginning to realize how rude my faith made me.”

I love that. As people grow more tender in his love, they begin to recognize how adherence to religion doesn’t transform us. Instead, it just reroutes our selfishness into other expressions.

Now, he and I both know that real faith doesn’t make anyone rude. False faith does, however, because it makes us feel morally superior to anyone who doesn’t work as hard at their religion as we do. It divides the world into a home team and an away team, and that almost gives us permission to treat harshly those who don’t believe or do the things we think they should.

Paul warned the Corinthians about this very thing, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”  (I Corinthians 8:1)

That’s what I love about the people I know who are being transformed by a love that rewires them from the inside. They are less rude and more forbearing, less arrogant and more humble, slower to take offense and more open to reconciliation, and they are less self-focused and more generous with others, especially the away team.


Here are some other things going on this week that might interest you:

This Sunday, July 19, I will host another God Journey After-Show at 10:00 am PDT. This is an open conversation about our life in Jesus and some of the recent themes we’ve been exploring on the Lifestream blog and on The God Journey. If you’d like to join us in the Zoom room, you can email Wayne for a link. We’ll let in as many as we can, and the rest can stream it live on the God Journey Facebook Page.

Last Tuesday, I was part of an incredible Zoom conversation about our proclivity to tribalism and how God wants to take us beyond it, especially as it applies to the racial unrest in our culture.  It was one of a continuing series of Language of Healing Live conversations as the authors help people sort out some of the themes of our new book, A Language of Healing for a Polarized Nation.

If you haven’t yet discovered my new series over at The God Journey called Embracing His Glory, I’d encourage you to check it out. I’ve done six twenty-minute reflections about how God transforms us in his love to let his glory be revealed in the world around us. I love how the Gospel of John has illuminated so much of the work God has been doing in my heart over the past twenty-five years learning to live in the Father’s love.  You can use the links below to listen in.


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