by Jerry Vines

This content is part of a series.

Hot Air Religion (7 of 22)
Series: Behave Yourself
Jerry Vines
James 1:26-27

I have always made a distinction in my own thinking between religion and salvation. Religion, as I understand it, is our attempt to reach God. Salvation is God's attempt to reach us. There are many religions in the world. There is only one gospel. Yet when you read these two verses, you will notice that three times he makes mention of the subject of religion.

We believe in America, for instance, in the freedom of religion. In our Constitution we say, ''Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion or the prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'' We believe in the freedom of religion.

There is disdain toward the subject of religion. Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology, said, ''Religion is an illusion.'' He was a devout atheist. Karl Marx said, ''Religion is the opium of the people.'' He had a disdain for religion. He was an atheist.

Yet someone has said, and I have heard it all through the years and you have heard it too, that man is incurably religious. Just about anywhere you go, in any culture you encounter, you will find that people have some form of religion. It may be animism, the most primitive form of religion, or it may be a very elaborate form of religion, but indeed, man is very, very religious. He is incurably religious.

The particular word which is used for religion in these two verses is a word that literally means to bind together. It means by means of special religious activities or ceremonies man attempts to bind himself to God. Through the use of outward ceremonies, maybe attention or going through rituals or observing certain ceremonies, man tries to get in right with God.

We're going to talk for a little while about good religion and bad religion. We're going to see what the Bible says, by Brother James, who's very practical in what he has to say. First of all we are going to talk about the mistakes of superficial r ...

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