Thursday, October 09, 2008

What is Religion?

Rob Rufus brought an important answer to this question (from his sermon; "The Blood - Substance or Shadow?";

"What is religion? The absence of power and Presence = religion.

I don't care if there are 10, 000 people on a Sunday morning - with incredible programmes and incredible music and incredible speaking and preaching with great eloquence and persuasive words - if there is no demonstration of power, if there is no cripples walking and blind eyes opening or deaf ears opening or people being set free from demons then you have just seen a very impressive modernist demonstration of religion. You can have an encounter with expert musicians but not an encounter with God. Music is not there to entertain us or impress us - music is merely a servant to facilitate the manifestation of the glory of God".

As next year fast approaches (too fast for my liking!) - it will inevitably come round to conference decisions. This year has been quite unusual for me in that I haven't been to a conference (aside from the weekend Eastbourne conference with Rob Rufus). I'm glad I have had a conference-free year. It's meant that I've got to consider my relationship with God for myself away from the bright lights and heady atmosphere. As Rob himself said - we won't make it unless we learn how to encounter God away from conferences.

The question and the challenge for this conference - and any other conference is will there be a guarantee of His Presence and His power there? Because if the answer is "I'm not sure" or "I hope so" or "maybe" or "Well there'll be good teaching" - then maybe something of religion is sneaking into a church programme that should be devoted to pursuing His Presence and power without hesitation!

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