Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Practical Religion

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Practical Religion

Article excerpt

RECENTLY I saw a television interview with a well-known evangelist. The interviewer, who usually chats with show-business personalities and reports on their latest projects, didn't seem at home with this assignment. As I was watching, I was reminded of the fact that many people think of religion as something almost totally separate from day-to-day life, in a world of its own. Maybe we ourselves have tended to think that there are those who specialize in religious matters, while the vast majority live in the "real" world of secular concerns.

Yet doesn't the Bible tell us about the practicality of true religion for all of us? Worship of God isn't something restricted to particular people or confined to a certain day of the week. It's a way of life that provides healing and protection, that enables us all to work out our salvation.

"The things of the Spirit," to use St. Paul's words from the book of Romans, pertain to each of us. That's because we have a direct relationship to our creator, with the one God, divine Spirit. God is our provider and preserver. He's the eternal source of all that we are or can ever truly have. He made us in His image -- as His perfect spiritual offspring. This is our true selfhood, totally dependent on God and inseparable from Him. As the Psalmist sang, "Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."

But it appears that we're pretty much physical personalities, struggling on our own separate from God. We're inclined to focus on worldly matters rather than on God, because to a materialistic perspective it seems as though He has little relationship to our happiness or well-being.

In order to see more clearly the reality of God's care and our own true selfhood, we need to turn away, not from the world but from the empty, worldly thinking that worships personality, that exalts physicality, that condones sensualism, that fosters addiction. …

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