Religion is a system of beliefs and faith in which someone ascribes supreme importance. It is a bond, reverence or obligation to something or someone. Religion can only bring you so far. In the end, belief systems can only be taught and expressed in detail to a certain point. Eventually, religion will die. Humankind can only maintain religion for so long before we exhaust ourselves and cry out, “No more!” Belief in religion for religion’s sake will bring one to the point of desperation. The best religion has to offer is a form of sedation where one fools them self into the belief that all is well with their state. Religion to it’s fullest extent only ends in bitterness and hopelessness.
Richard Dawkins, prominent author and atheist states, “Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.” There is no escaping belief. Definition of language can not excuse one from ultimately finding faith in one belief system or another. “No absolute truth” is an absolute truth statement. “Denial of deity” is a faith system which ultimately must be explained with doctrine and creedal statements.
Atheism in today’s scholarly, social and political realm has become that “unshakable truth through the power of institution.” Man was born with the insatiable craving to worship something, so let us never be misguided in the discussion that the “something” is different for many, yet it is still worship and religion nonetheless. An atheist’s faith and beliefs are expressed in the same ways as any other faith-system in which man has come to formulate their religious affections.
For such a people, God’s wonderful grace was extended to humanity to save us from dogmatic religiosity. The worship of fallible man is replaced by the joy of worshiping an infallible God. And what a joy it is. Religion and devotion to system has been replaced with relationship and devotion to a Savior. Mankind is utterly incapable of saving themselves. Our best science and education can never overcome the need for spiritual regeneration and sanctification through the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Paul says:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB
The great apostle also gives us this word:
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8 NASB
Finally the words of Jesus give us the final challenge:
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:35-38 NASB
Mankind has for too long been attempting to gain the world through empty philosophy and deceit, rather than trust and submission. The act of submission, against human reason, produces abundant joy. The realization of one’s depravity and the recognition of the sacrifice of the sinless Savior breaks ones soul into everlasting peace and joy. God’s wrath removed, there is now no condemnation for those who find themselves in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
Friedrich Nietzsche states his belief, “I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” Man has exchanged worship of the Creator for worship of the creation and has fallen deeper and deeper ever since. Exchanging religion for relationship will bring forth a fountain of inexpressible joy and relief that can only be found worshiping at the feet of our Father’s heavenly throne. This belief has proved unshakable, not because of institution, but through the grace of God and the power of the Spirit. Man’s best efforts to subdue the truth have only made it evermore relevant and diligent, and that’s more than religion could ever offer mankind.