The Beginning of Religion

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How would you define religion?  I suppose there are many ways it could be defined.  Some might describe it as belief in a god or group of gods.  To others it might be an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used in the worship of a god.  There is nothing inherently wrong with these definitions.  The one I like best, however, is provided by Bruxy Cavey in his book The End of Religion.  Bruxy writes,

“Religion is exposed as our attempts to reach God.” 1

That sums it up nicely.  But where did that start?  I believe we can find the beginning of religion within the first few pages of God’s story.

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Kingdom Repentance

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In his book The End of Religion, Bruxy Cavey writes,

“I once say someone holding a sign that said, ‘Repent for the end is near!’  He got it wrong.  Jesus didn’t say the end was near.  He said that the kingdom of God was near.  If I repent because the end is near, then I’m just apologizing for my past in time to die and go to heaven.  But if I repent because the kingdom, the Way, the rule of God is near, then I am actively deciding to change my egocentric approach to life and joining in partnership with God to help bring about his way of love in this world.  I repent, not because the end is near, but because the beginning is here, and I want to be a part of it.

“Christ’s message of the kingdom and our response of repentance was not just a command to regret your past, but an invitation to help bring about a new future.” [1]

It would be hard to say it any better than that.  Bruxy effectively outlines the type of repentance that causes us to live in the Reign.

M

[1] Bruxy Cavey, The End of Religion, (Colorado Springs, NavPress, 2007), 129 – 130