by Steve Wagers

How Real Is Your Religion?
Steve Wagers
James 1:19-27

A New England teacher quizzed a group of college bound high school juniors and senior on the Bible. The answers are astounding, and ought to be alarming. Among the more unusual answers from these students were, "Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers," and "Jezebel was Ahab's donkey."

Other students thought that the New Testament Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John; that Eve was created from an apple; and, that Jesus was baptized by Moses.

The answer that took the prize was given by a fellow who was academically in the top 5 percent of his class. The question, "What was Golgotha?" The answer, "Golgotha was the name of the giant that slew the apostle David.

A recent gallup poll reveals that:

---82% of Americans believe that the Bible is the literal, and inspired Word

---51% read the Bible at least monthly; yet, half couldn't name of the four gospels.

The USA Today reported a poll showing that:

---11% of Americans read the Bible every day
---23%, almost one in four, professing Christians, have never read the Bible.

As the church enters the third millennium, the world is longing to see what Real Religion is. There is so much counterfeit Christianity on the market today. Much damage has been done to the cause of Christianity with scandals, immorality, and extravagance running rampant behind the closed doors of several television ministries. The baby boomers of our generation have bought the world's lie that people, position, possessions, and power bring peace and purpose to life. Yet, they have discovered that material things do not produce peace, or joy.

Real, or "pure" religion is the focus of James 1:19-27. Lest we perceive the wrong meaning of what "religion" is, let me say that real, or pure religion, is not religion at all. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what differentiates Christianity from all other world religions. Religion is man's que ...

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