Pastor: Christians Cower if “Discard Religions and Focus on Christ Only”

The Holy Cross
The Holy Cross (photo: Pixabay)
By Yetta YaoMay 13th, 2017

The slogan "We do not need religions but focus on Jesus" has become popular among some Christians. In their eyes, religions and the Gospel of Christ are completely different from each other. But Pastor Zhiyong Liang from Henan believes that such slogan means that Christians are cowardly retreating.

First of all: Religions without the Gospel is horrible.

Religions result from the pursuit of people's soul. Without religions, people's souls are like orphans. Religiousness, which is good itself, has been put by God, who allowed the existence of various religions into man's heart so that they may not lose their soul in the physical world and become people of the flesh.

However, because religions are set up to satisfy man's pursuit in their souls, which are the noblest, sensitive and fragile, if taken advantage of by people, they can bring about the worst pains to man.

When a person seeks religion to avoid reality, his responsibility in the family and society, religion will bind his soul, weakening and twisting it. As a result, some people become very disgusted with religions. Some Christian theologians even say "religion is like a paralyzing opium". Still, some people who are passionate for religions and even become radical make others feel anxious and cause them to think that they may do something horrible in the name of religion. In addition, others try to meet their selfish desires through them.

Though religions are not pure, should we discard them and focus on Jesus only?

Second, only the gospel of the Lord Christ can sweeten the bitterest water.

The Bible tells a story about how Moses turned bitter water in Marah into sweet with a tree in Exodus 15: 22-27. It also records another story about the prophet Elisha who cured a pot of poisonous soup with flour in 2 Kings 4:38-41. Many theologians and preachers contend that the tree which Moses used to turn the bitter water in Marah into sweet and the flour which Elisha used to cure the poisonous soup clearly foreshadow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only His Gospel and cross can get rid poison and turn bitter water into sweet water. In contrast, religions without the Gospel are like the bitter water in Marah.

Man needs religions. What do religions do without the Gospel to offer to people? They offer a bowl of hot soup; but, it is poisonous.

How should we face it? Should we discard religions and focus on Jesus only?

God did not ask the Israelites not to drink water, nor did He ask Elisha and his disciples to endure hunger. On the contrary, He asked them to put "the Gospel of Jesus Christ" into them, which solved their problems. Similarly, religious people who have suffered the bitterness and poison of their religions need not become atheists and reject all religions. They need to have a religion with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So what matters is whether the Gospel is present or not in a religion.

Third, How can the gospel turn bitter water into sweet?

Christ, who has taken the yoke of our religions, the law, and the debt of sin and nailed them onto the cross, has set our souls free. Because our greatest pain has been resolved all of a sudden, the bitter water became sweet.

Therefore, after a person becomes justified by the Gospel of Christ, he has the assurance for eternal life and the true hope for eternity. More than that, he can endure his sufferings in the world because of the upcoming glory in the future according to Romans 8:18.

The greatest poisonous religions include behaviorism, legalism and meritism. When a man is making effort in religions devoid of the Gospel, he will surely fall into the trap of "penitentism." But when the Gospel "justified by faith" comes, the root of penitentism is cut off immediately. For all united with Christ, who look up to Him, can receive all the richness in Christ without the need to improve their character to a certain level or abuse themselves. They can receive all blessings with faith only.

Fourth, One should not retreat, but move ahead

"Focus on Jesus only and discard religions" is essentially a way for timid retreat. If we agree with this view, Christians should depart from all problematic areas including family, education, marriage, work and other fields and focus on Jesus only. Despite this slogan looks godly at first, its essence is no different from monasticism that rose and became popular in Christianity for more than a thousand years ago.

And the gospel demands us to "go to him outside the camp", serve as "light and salt" in the world, "enter into the wolves as lambs" and to "preach the Gospel in any season". All these indicate that Christians should face the problems of this world with courage, because the Gospel does not teach us how to avoid problems but to solve them.

Translated by Alvin Zhou

related articles
LATEST FROM Church & Ministries