Let me try to simplify theology for you.
In the final analysis, there are really only two kinds of religion in the world—
1) the kind of religion that you have to carry
2) the kind of religion that carries you

The difference in those two kinds of religions is the difference between hell and heaven. It’s the difference between going from Vancouver to Whistler by car or by wheel barrel.

If you go by wheel barrel, you sit in the base of the wheel barrel, and reach back and grab hold of the handles, and you push and pull and tug and sweat, and wear yourself out. And when you’re all through, you haven’t even left the parking lot.

To go by car, you slide in behind the wheel of the car, turn on the ignition and allow the power of the engine to carry you to Whistler.

Just two kinds of religion:
1) the kind of religion that you have to carry
2) the kind of religion that carries you.

Those two kinds of religion have been with us since the curtain went up on the human story. 2700 years ago, Isaiah looked at the cafeteria of religions in his day, he found that many, most, all, were religions that people had to carry.

In Isaiah 46, he looks at the religion of the Babylonians, MAGNIFICENT AND IMPRESSIVE, and almost universal. But in the final analysis it was a religion that the people carried.
In 46:6-7, Isaiah says:

Some pour out gold from their bags
and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god,
and they bow down and worship it.

They lift it to their shoulders and carry it;
they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
From that spot it cannot move.
Though one cries out to it, it does not answer;
it cannot save him from his troubles.

Almost with humorous strokes, Isaiah paints this picture.

Here is a man who decides he’s going to make his own god. He puts out a staggering amount of money. He pays it to the goldsmith, and the goldsmith makes a beautiful golden god. It’s really nothing more than an expensive knickknack or piece of furniture. 3 or 4 men tote that god outside, and put it on a donkey and then they steady it as they carry it to the temple. Then once again they have to lift it down, like piano movers, then they sweat, and they grunt and finally they set it up and they get it steady, ….and they bow down and worship it.
That idol doesn’t hear their prayers. That idol cannot carry them. At its heart and core, it is a religion the people carry.

In contrast to that however, in verses 3 & 4 of Isaiah 46, God pictures himself as someone who carries his people.

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all you who remain of the house of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
and have carried since your birth.

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

There you have it!
The whole wide, sad difference between a religion that you have to carry, and a religion that carries you.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, simple, profound. One of the best I have read. Trusting it will be a key that opens many hearts to the truth.