Sick of Religion
The results were disturbing. A recent nationwide survey on religious preference discovered that, for the first time ever, the percentage of those in the U.S. who have no religious affiliation or faith—the “Nones”—was the largest category, eclipsing Protestant Christianity. As you dig deeper into that statistic, you discover that many people are simply disgusted with what they see happening in the Church. Abuses of power, sexual misconduct, misuse of funds…this year alone has produced too many reasons for people to simply throw up their hands and declare, “A pox on all your houses!” In a word, a big chunk of our population is just sick of religion.
It might surprise you to discover that Jesus was sick of religion, too. Much of his ministry was devoted to doing battle with the religious leaders of the time. Jesus railed against them for their hypocrisy, judgmentalism, and greed. Ultimately, it was these religious leaders and not the Romans who were responsible for Jesus’ death.
So…if you’ve ever felt a little disgusted with some of what you see being done in the name of religion, you are in good company! For the next few weeks in our continuing journey through Mark’s gospel, we are going to watch as Jesus takes on man-made religion with gusto. If you have friends who are suspicious about church and religion, this might be a perfect weekend to invite them to join you.
On another, wonderful note. Last Saturday evening we installed Ellis White as our new Associate Pastor for Weekend Services. We are excited that he, Rachel, and their kids will be a part of our lives for many years to come. Ellis asked to include a note of appreciation:
Thank you Chapel Hill for calling me and installing me, last Saturday night, as your Associate Pastor of Weekend Services. It is such a privilege to be able to serve this church in this capacity, and I look forward to many more years of ministry here. In case you haven’t heard, my wife, Rachel, and I also got our Green Cards approved, which means we are Permanent Residents of the United States! We look forward to the freedom to travel in and out of the country as well as stay as long as we want without going through a visa renewal process. Thank you for your support along the way in this process.
We both look forward to being with you this weekend. Bring a friend.