Friday, March 22, 2013

What is “Organized Religion”?

by Steve Ray on March 22, 2013

Hey Steve: while I was on a business trip I had a good conversation with my friends, one who is agnostic and the other an Evangelical.  Both of them agreed they didn’t believe in “organized religion”.  From your Protestant background is there a specific meaning to that term or is it just another way to describe the Catholic Church.  I thought Jesus was very organized having 12 apostles and when they replaced Judas and the first council etc…. Those are things in my mind that describe an organized way of a belief system.  Or am I off on this.  Reply when it’s convenient.

centralbaptistchurch2Hello Friend: “Organized religion” has nothing to do with being organized. Used in a negative manner, it refers to a government, denomination, or authority that has become institutionalized and that subsequently attempts to intrude into your life — ruling over you.

“Organized religion” is something (an institution or government) that steps in, takes authority and expects something of the person — something that interrupts or circumvents the simple, personal relationship they supposedly have with Jesus. The Evangelical often thinks of Christianity as a purely vertical relationship — me and Jesus. They forget that Jesus said, “I will build my Church!”

Because the evangelical often rejects an institutional, hierarchical “Church” or any “man-made” authority over them — outside the Bible Alone —  “organized religion” is seen as a man-made institution that arrogates authority for itself — trying to take the place of Jesus. The gospel was once “pure, simple, Bible-only, and non-institutional. “Organized religion” is seen as the opposite of, or even opposed to, an “authentic, personal relationship with Jesus.


Blast from the Past: Wow, Time Sure Changes Us!

by Steve Ray on March 22, 2013

n1311344402_264012_3742I was just told about this picture on FaceBook. The picture was taken shortly after I had first become a Catholic in 1994. One witness says this picture was taken in 1997. Time sure changes us :-)

This “Gang of Four” spoke at an apologetics conference in Dearborn Michigan sponsored by Thy Faith Inc. (Gary Michuta’s organization).

On the stage from left to right are: myself, Gary Michuta, Al Kresta and Patrick Madrid. You can click here for the source of the picture which I think is Patrick Madrid’s FaceBook page.

This was a long time ago, but there is still nothing I love better than explaining and defending the Bible and the Catholic Faith!