Why do people hate religion? What is religion? Some synonyms are faith, belief, or creed.
Some definitions are:
- Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
- A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
- The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
- A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
- A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
I think we are all religious by nature; even those that do not believe in God have religion.
What I think we find so offensive about religion is the people that are so devout. For example there are people so devout in their vegetarianism; that when you talk to them long enough, you realize anyone else that does not subscribe to this lifestyle is missing the boat and really causing themselves, their bodies, and the environment undue harm.
I think being devout is fine; but I think where we have the problem is the attitude that everyone else needs to be as devout as we are. Jesus said about these people the following in Matthew 6.5:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
I dislike religion also when it is misused in this way.
James 1.27 says:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Where the rubber meets the road, what are we doing with our religion? If we are applying it to improve the lot of others as God our Father desires, I think people will be drawn to it; like they were to Mother Theresa or Billy Graham. If we use it to look good and win debates; we can be offensive to others and not draw anyone.
I have heard a saying that the best sermon is our acts of kindness, not our words of wisdom.