‘Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.’ Colossians 2:16-18
Have you ever been criticised for not tithing to your local church? Of course giving is a central element of Christian faith and financial giving is an important part of that. But giving ten per cent of one’s pre-tax income is nothing less than a religious presumption.
Do you feel uncomfortable when you are expected to recite the ‘Lord’s prayer’ so fast that you cannot possibly even think about what you are saying? If you do feel uncomfortable with this then thank God because you are not yet religiously inoculated!
Why must ‘church’ be on Sundays? Do we have to observe Christmas? I must tell you that I go to church on Sunday and I do observe Christmas – but not because it is a religious convention to do so. I come together with my fellow believers on a Sunday to worship God, to learn to obey his Word, and to have fellowship with his other children. I would happily do this on a Saturday, or a weekday evening. However, Sunday is a non-work day for most and so it is a good day to gather together as a local church.
As a leader of a local church I call my fellow Elders to annually examine our church practices. We ask the question of all rituals, rites, and ceremonies, ‘Do we do this to help us build our communal relationship with Jesus and each other, or do we do this because we always have, or because it’s expected?’ This is a healthy practice for any church and for our private devotional lives.