A good portion of the typical citizens in the USA see little value in religion. Religion is somewhat like the stories told by parents to kids to be nice and fair but now that they’ve ‘grown up’, they understand it’s like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the stork bringing baby brother and so on. Most are not necessarily antagonistic against God or religion and generally “those interested in it can pursue it, that’s fine. But for me, I’m able to make my own decisions and if I want to have an intimate relationship with this person just to try it out to see if we’re compatible, I don’t need something or someone telling me it’s sinful and wrong. You guys can do your thing; just don’t be bugging me that I need God.”
Those raised in the church have grown apathetic because they don’t see any evidence that attending church does much. In their mind, it doesn’t help get a better job, marriages end in divorces, kids are in trouble, vices abound, crime is rampant, and religion seems to generate deadly confrontations as some will kill others because they won’t convert.
Many in the Venersborg area moved out to get away from the noisy city, the pollution, the close neighbors, the crime, the gangs, the HOA’s, the poor schools, the obligations that take time and money and live somewhat secluded. They can have all their toys like boats, motorcycles, trucks, landscaped yards, horses, dogs, and play on the weekends, their time is all their own. With nobody telling them what to do and no obligations or concerns to have to ‘volunteer’ for, they can do whatever they want.
It doesn’t help that our entertainment industry and media concerns have desensitized the public to the point that little discretion is given to morals, social customs, ethics, or manners. One doesn’t have to try very hard to find his way to most any kind of sinful lifestyle imagined and religion just hinders the pursuit of ‘pleasure’, or, my dream, or, my career, or, my _____.
These folks are right, as religion is essentially a man made device responding to the spiritual element God built into mankind. Almost 100% of every society of mankind from ages past to present has had some object of worship. Look back at what we call Greek mythology, or the Inca Empire, Russian Orthodox, just discovered groups in the Philippines, tribes in Africa, Native Americans, no matter where or when, man has had religion of some sort in his life. Today, invented religions abound, Joseph Smith’s Mormons, Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science, Ellen G White’s Seventh Day Adventists, Charles Russell’s Jehovah’s Witnesses, prosperity preachers on TV, and the list goes on. Religion was once said to be the opiate of the masses and remains one of the most powerful tools to control people, inflate egos, gain popularity, acquire land and material goods, and control large financial concerns.
God isn’t interested in manmade religions; He never had those kinds of efforts in mind, makes no provision for them in His Word. God indicates the real problem is easily seen when one counts the personal pronouns in the above statements. The real issue is self, and self is selfish, and seeks those things that answer “what’s in it for me”, or, if I work hard doing good, then I’ll get ___ . God says this selfishness is sin (ie, wrong behavior) and says there is more to life than instant self gratification and more important things than what you’re pursuing. The greatest value is knowing God and receiving the salvation from sin He offers resulting in eternal life in Heaven; nothing on earth can touch that. Do not wait to grope for God after your selfish pursuits fail and “life” lets you down, this life is just training for the next. Venersborg Church can help by showing you the truth from the Scriptures.