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It’s about relationship, not religion right?

Wrong!!! One of the great blessings of living in the time that we do is the availability of social media. With the advance of technology what might have been a small unheard voice in a small town somewhere now has the ability to be heard globally in a moment. Blogs, Facebook posts, tweets and now videos can easily be written or recorded and once posted they have the ability to go viral and be viewed by millions.

While the advantage of being able to reach so many so quickly has provided a platform to spread the Gospel around the world almost instantly, people also now have the ability to misinform and mislead people like never before.

New apps have been programmed that allow the novice with limited skills and artistic talent to produce memes with witty slogans or words of encouragement that can be shared over and over with the pressing of a “share button”.

The trouble with this is that too often, pretty gets confused with insight, and bold is assumed to be accurate.

Case in point the often quoted phrase; “Its not about religion it’s about relationship”. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen that statement come across my news feed or heard a preacher on a video boldly proclaim that what they have is relationship not religion.

What’s wrong with this you might ask? After all it sounds great! After all we all want a relationship with the Messiah don’t we? And everyone knows religion is evil right? Wrong!!

Religion is not bad, bad religion is bad. As a matter of truth, Yeshua (Jesus) said the following in James 1:27:

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

Notice Yeshua is not anti-religion He is against impure religion. The truth is that Yeshua is extremely pro-religion. Because pure religion causes us to be relational. When we have right religion we establish relationships with orphans, we build relationships with widows. Religion is the glue that holds communities together and accountable to God. It is religion that according to Yeshua keeps one unstained by the world.

So we see that it isn’t religion -vs- relationship that we should promote it is religion + relationship we should proclaim. In a world that is increasingly stained with sin we need “pure religion” more than ever before!!

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Eric Tokajer
Rabbi Eric Tokajer is the Publisher of The Messianic Times, an international Messianic Jewish newspaper, which includes news from the worldwide Messianic community, Israeli current events and analysis, opinion pieces, book and music and film reviews, informative articles and a directory of Messianic Jewish congregations.

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