November 4, 2014
Jesus > Religion
This book will convict you, while simultaneously encouraging you to live life for Jesus, rather than religion. It will make you think about who you are in Christ and what changes you may need to make.
Here's an example of his straightforward writing about Jesus and us:
"We've lost the real Jesus - or at least exchanged him for a newer, safer, sanitized, ineffectual one...
...In our subculture Jesus would have never been crucified - he's too nice...
...Most of the time we're persecuted not because we love Jesus, but because we're prideful, arrogant jerks who don't love the real Jesus. We're often judgmental, hypocritical, and legalistic while claiming to follow a Jesus who is forgiving, authentic, and loving."
But so true.
Who are we in Christ? Judgmental, hypocritical, and legalistic or loving, kind and full of grace like Jesus? How did we get to this point? Why do we care more about being right than loving others? And are we right if we aren't loving others with grace and compassion, like Jesus does?
I loved the chapter headings in this book. As each chapter actually spoke about what it was titled. And with great Biblical truths that cut to the heart of the matter.
Here they are:
1. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?
2. Why I Still Think Jesus Hates Religion (and You Should Too)
3. Fundies, Fakes, and Other So-Called Christians
4. Religion Makes Enemies/Jesus Makes Friends
5. With Religion, There Are Good and Bad People/With Jesus, There Are Only Bad People in Need of Grace
6. Religion Is the Means to Get Things from God/If we Seek Jesus, We Get God
7. With Religion, If You Are Suffering, God is Punishing You/God already Punished Jesus on Your Behalf, So Suffering is His Mercy
8. Religion Says, "God Will Love You If..."/Jesus Says, "God So Loved..."
9. Religion Points to a Dim Future/Jesus Points to a Bright Future
10. Why Jesus Loves the Church (and You Should Too)
This is one of those books you really need to read with yourself in mind. Our relationship with Christ is between us and Him and we were never meant to be judgmental of other believers in their walk with the Lord, but rather encouraging and full of grace. (read Romans chapter 14)
This book is a 'look in the mirror' kind of book. As well as a 'look to Jesus' kind of book. : )
Here are a few great quotes from it:
"The problem we have with Jesus isn't that he gives life and grace freely, but that we have to admit our need for it."
"I realized that fighting to prove I was good enough was actually the one thing keeping me out of heaven. A grace economy is backward to most of us - those who think they qualify, don't; and those who admit they don't qualify, do."
"The paradox of the Scripture is that it calls us way more sinful than we think we are, and it calls us way more loved than we think we are."
"Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy. He owes us nothing, but he gives us everything."
"Jesus knows what life is like. He doesn't hang out in heaven and tell us to be good and moral without reaching down to us. Jesus doesn't make us come to him; he comes to us."
I wanted to share so much more from this book but I felt it's one of those books you really need to read in context.
So... I highly recommended you read it!
Buy it HERE on Amazon