The Tibetan Buddhists’ life consists of constant religious observances to obtain a better reincarnation. The believer is constantly spinning prayers wheels, going on pilgrimages, meditating, prostrating, using prayer beads and going on monastic isolations. All this to build up merit to improve their karma to gain a better reincarnation, and – if possible – nirvana.
This kind of devotion is not uncommon.
The religious systems of our world are all schemes to obtain merit with God.
Whether you’re Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, a spiritualist, or whatever, you seek – by your own works – to get God to credit your salvation account.
Religion is spelt D.O. You DO things to get God’s approval.
Religion is as old as the world.
At the beginning, God created a perfect world where God and humans were in a right relationship with God and each other.
God told Adam and Eve that they were free to do whatever they wanted, except eat the fruit from one tree. Only one prohibition. The day they ate from that tree, they would die.
Adam and Eve would demonstrate their love for God by their obedience to God.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:25)
However, Adam and Eve, like every human being since, thought they knew better than God. They wanted to run their own life their own way and ate from the tree.
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:7)
Having sinned by disobeying God, Adam and Eve were filled with shame, and tried to cover themselves. They died spiritually and would eventually die physically. Death is the just punishment for sin against an infinitely holy God.
Here is the start of all religion: human beings trying to make a covering to conceal their sense of sin and shame – before a God they know is there.
Every human instinctively knows that God exists because we are all created in the image of God (although some try very hard to suppress that truth). Not only that, we know instinctively that we have fallen short of God’s standards. (Cf. Romans 1:18-20, 2:14-16)
What do we do?
We do what Adam and Eve did. We seek to cover up our sin, shame and shortcomings with some man-made covering – religion.
But it doesn’t work.
For all its pomp, paraphernalia and plausible sounding arguments, God hates religion.
Religion is spelt D.O.
Christianity is spelt D.O.N.E. Christ has DONE it all for us.
Religion is Adam and Eve trying to cover their shame with fig leaves.
It’s ridiculous and can’t work.
Human beings have sinned against God. It’s up to God to make a way for human beings to be in right relationship with him.
God has done that.
God has spoken in history. We have his message in the Bible.
God has done more than that. God has, out of love, entered history in the person of his Son. Jesus lived the perfect life that we never could and died as the just punishment for our sin, shame and shortcomings.
The only way to be right with God, is not to be covered with fig leaves or religion, but to be covered with the blood of Jesus. That’s Bible-language to mean: to trust in Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of sins.
Religion is spelt D.O.
Christianity is spelt D.O.N.E.