Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

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Questions & Answers

After seeing this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY&sns=fb , I am perplexed. I thought that religion is a set of beliefs in accordance to our faith so how can a person love Jesus and hate religion at the same time?



There are certain fundamentals to be mentioned:

1) The gentleman in the video defines religion as a "list of chores" and "following some rule". He also claims that religion "puts you in bondage" and "makes you blind". But is this what religion really mean? Is this what religion really does?

2) The gentleman is showing zeal towards Christ but not according to knowledge. "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2). He has constructed his OWN definition of what religion really means. In this age of postmodernism, words and language no longer have inherent and objective meanings; it is all up to the recipient with their subjective interpretation.

3) According to Webster's dictionary, religion means "a set of beliefs and practices involving ritual observance of faith, often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." This set of beliefs is communicated, governed, and protected by the Church. The Church - as the body of believers - has gotten this authority from her Head directly, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Our Lord Jesus Christ says, "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19).

With this formula, if you hate religion, you hate the Church. And if you hate the Church you hate Jesus (her head). So it is illogical to say that you love Jesus and hate religion.

4) This is a classic example of someone "throwing out the baby with the bathwater". This mindset is not foreign to the Church. History tells us that most heresies entered the Church by believers that had zeal but not according to knowledge. The Protestant Reformation (1517 A.D.) is a classic example of that.

5) Yes, there are those who twist religion and use it for their own personal agendas. Yes, there are those who do evil things in the name of religion. Yes, there are corrupt religious leaders that have fallen as prey in the hand of Satan. But does that mean that "religion" as a whole is corrupt?

Are there corrupt politicians? Are there corrupt political agendas? Are there policymakers that use politics for their own hidden agendas? You bet there are. Does that mean that "government and political institutions" as a whole must be banned from society? Absolutely not! It means that we must strive to find the "correct" political formula, support it, advocate it and live by it.

6) I encourage this gentleman to give some wisdom and direction to his "misguided" zeal and contemplate in the words of St. Augustine when he eloquently said: "Never judge a philosophy by its abuse".

 

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