Monday, March 12, 2007

Unlearning

I have read/heard that growing in the knowledge of Lord Jesus is a process of “unlearning”, unlearning of religion.
It is about forgetting and getting rid of the bondage of religion.

Saying a specific prayer before each meal also can become legalistic. Though we don’t feel like praying before a meal, we may be emotionally forced to pray because of the “learned” behavior or guilt.
In the book “Dinner with a perfect stranger”, there is a scene where the stranger (Jesus) prays for food as “Father, Thank you for this food, bless this. Amen”. The invitee looked at Jesus surprised and asked, “Is that it?” as he expected a long prayer. So Jesus asked “Yes, do you have anything else?”

As Christians we have a lot of learned spiritual behavior. Sometimes our worship is limited to “two songs + prayer” when the bible says presenting our bodies as living sacrifice is the act of spiritual worship (Romans 12:1-2). This has to be the life style of a Christian. But we limit it to “two songs + prayer” at the end of the day. Its not necessarily our fault, the Christendom taught us that. The “church” taught us that worship is for Sundays and it is about lifting hands up and singing with closed eyes, spitting out many words and repetitions. Is God concerned about our words or our heart?

Is it possible to unlearn such behaviors over night? Not really. We have seen Jesus deliberately going against religion in many occasions. I believe there was a purpose for that. We can learn something from it.
Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves that “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” – Gal 5:1.

What is this freedom? It is the freedom in depending on the Spirit of the living God, rather than depending on the religion. There is freedom in that dependability!
As we grow in the grace of God, it becomes more and more real and we start shedding off the religion. While we are growing, let’s keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery of religion. Religion kills, but Jesus gives life!

1 comment:

JSBreeze - Grace Roots said...

Amen to all of this! I know I've still got lots of unlearning to do.

Our family always said a prayer before mealtime. I'm not so hung up on that (it's not bondage to me), but with our kids I've found myself questioning the whole thing. We used to say "Come Lord Jesus, Be our guest..." I would think to myself, "Jesus is already here; why are we asking Him to come be with us." :) So if/when we do pray before a meal, it's now really very simple, like the example you gave.

You're spot on about learned spiritual behavior. Many in the church seem to be in the habit of doing a lot of things just because that's what they think they're "supposed" to do, or just because that's just the way it's always been done. Much of it may indeed have the *appearance* of godly, holy, spiritual activity, but it really comes from religion and not from the Life of Christ in us. It's really just wood, hay and straw.

Amen - let's keep on shedding religion and standing firm in the freedom for which Christ has set us free!