Why I don’t believe in religion

muslimWhile meeting with the manager of a local business to discuss facility rental for Restore Community Church, the manager sought to understand Restore’s need. “So you want to hold religious services here on Sunday mornings?” “No. I don’t believe in religion.” Her eyes got really big. I smiled, “What? Have you never heard a priest tell you he doesn’t believe in religion?” She had called me a priest earlier in the conversation. “Let me explain. Religion exists when people participate in spiritual rituals for an hour or so each week but continue to live like they want – unchanged by the ritual and remaining without relationship with God. I believe in having a relationship with God that results in my ability to love and meet other people’s needs seven days a week. That’s not religion. It’s a relationship of love. But to answer your question, Yes. We would like to rent this space on Sunday mornings for a service that is part of what we do seven days a week as we live our love for God by loving others.” Intrigued but with new understanding, she replied, “Wow. I have never heard anything like this.” After further conversation, she inquired, “So do you want to rent this facility until your church building is built?” “No. We won’t ever own or build a church building. And I hope to never meet in one either.” Her eyes bugged out of her head again – begging the question, “Why not?” “You see. I don’t believe money should go into buildings. I believe money should go into people’s lives to meet their needs. This enables us to share God’s love and help them grow in a relationship with God. Every thing we do must be about relationships and helping others experience and know God’s love.” In obvious astonishment at my statement, she replied, “I need to come and hear more of what you have to say.” Perhaps she will.

It’s the kindness of God that leads people to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

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4 Responses

  1. Hey Ron, we really enjoyed your post. We go to a church that does not believe in buildings. It frees us up to help out the body of Christ. One couple got a whole new roof because we don’t have a building to tie us down. We support our widows and other families that are having difficulties. We support other ministries as well. We also don’t have a bunch of programs. The fathers are seen as the ones responsible for teaching their children and the children stay with us in worship.It’s not the typical American church where the secular culture has crept in. Of course it’s not perfect. It’s made up of people, so it has flaws, but we feel so blessed to be a part of it. Thank you for the encouragement. May God continue to bless you.

    Dawne

  2. Hey Ron, this is so good. I love this part of the vision to be a church not encumbered with the trappings of owning facilities. It gives so much of a more pure identity to a church. A church that can’t be known for a building will therefore have to be known for being the church – what a concept!

  3. “Ron, I love what you had to say. You have shed some light on some thoughts I’ve been having, but have been too afraid to “go with,” out of fear of not going with the church flow. You’ve given me more to think about and pray about. I’m going quote in my sermon this Sunday if that’s alright; I’ll give you credit of course!”

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