Being Religious and/or Being Spiritual Is Not Being Born-Again – Sunday Thought For The Day
There are many people who conflate what they regard as being religious and/or being spiritual with being a born-again Christian. By definition being religious does not make one a Christian any more than being spiritual makes or means that a person is truly born-again.
When people identify someone as being religious they’re saying that person exhibits an outward behavior that those enamored by same define as their idea of “something” representative of what they define and identify as religious.
Let me put what I am saying in context. The Pharisees and scribes were outwardly deeply religious and Jesus was unimpressed to the point of saying: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27 KJV) Now, I ask you; does that sound to you as if Jesus is impressed with people being religious?
Jesus had much the same to say about the outward appearance of being righteous, i.e., spiritual. He said: “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:28 KJV) In fact, Jesus said the following regarding the outward appearance of piety: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20 KJV)
The world at large, i.e., those who are unsaved, view certain outward “acts and displays of behavior” as being consistent with what they define as being religious and/or spiritual.
But Christ said: “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 KJV) Simply stated, Jesus means unless you are saved you don’t have a chance of going to heaven when you die regardless of how religious and/or spiritual a person behaves or is believed to be.
The unsaved and the carnal world views an outward set of behaviors, as meeting their idea of religious and/or spiritual – but that doesn’t meet God’s definition of being born-again. And in the final analysis the definition that counts is God’s and as the Psalmist tells us in Psalms 119:89, God’s word is “settled in heaven” forever and it is unchangeable.
Matthew 23:1-5 (KJV)
1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men:…Read all of Matthew 23 here.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here