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Today's Creation Moment

Apr
18
The Days in Genesis
Genesis 1:5
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Silently, a huge, powerful form slides through the deep, cold, dark depths of the sea. The men aboard the nuclear submarine have seen neither sun nor daylight for months, yet each one knows what day...
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Know Anyone Who's an SBNR?

If you haven't already heard of SBNR, you will. It's one more way that man – created to be in fellowship with God – insists on worshiping a "god" of his own making.

SBNR is an acronym for Spiritual But Not Religious. According to Robert Fuller, author of Spiritual, But Not Religious, "It is likely that perhaps one in every five [Americans] … could describe themselves in this way…. Both [spiritual and religious] connote belief in a Higher Power of some kind. Both also imply a desire to connect, or enter into a more intense relationship, with this Higher Power. And, finally, both connote interest in rituals, practices, and daily moral behaviors that foster such a connection or relationship."

The major problem is that SBNR people are not connecting with the one true God. In fact, many – if not most of them – are connecting with gods of their own making. In other words, idols.

Fuller continues with this revealing comment: "A group of social scientists studied 346 people representing a wide range of religious backgrounds in an attempt to clarify what is implied when individuals describe themselves as 'spiritual, but not religious.' Religiousness, they found, was associated with higher levels of interest in church attendance and commitment to orthodox beliefs. Spirituality, in contrast, was associated with higher levels of interest in mysticism, experimentation with unorthodox beliefs and practices, and negative feelings toward both clergy and churches."

Why are so many turning away from organized religion and becoming SBNR? While some may have had negative experiences with churches, Creation Moments believes that SBNR is the symptom rather than the disease. The basic problem is that many of these people are doing what ancient Israel did when they built altars on high places to worship false gods. As Romans 1:19-21 makes clear, God has revealed Himself to man in the things He has made, but man has rejected his Creator. Though SBNR people know there is a God, they prefer to create a god in their own image rather than worship the One who created them.

So if you know people who say they're "spiritual but not religious," help them see that the "old time religion" is far better than new age foolishness.

Comments

It's interesting that you should bring this up. Israel's downfall in past ages was that the people wanted to follow after false idols instead of staying loyal and true to their Deliverer, Jesus Christ. Though he led them safely out of captivity and through the Red Sea, then gave them an inheritance in a land that flowed with milk and honey, they were constantly turning toward something or someone who suited them more. I'm sure they thought they were being spiritual when they bowed down to false idols, also, but it was a recipe for disaster. Only the Lord is the true and living God, and they put a lie on their right hand instead of the truth.

"He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" (Isa. 44:20)

Uh, I don't believe Jesus Christ was the one who led the folks out of captivity. He wasn't even born yet. And don't give me the standard line about the Trinity. Your post is just another example of religious types spouting their dogma without even thinking about what they're saying.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4.

This entire discussion led me to recall one of my favorite sayings: God created man in His image, and ever since, we've been trying to return the favor.

The Lord Jesus Christ has always existed! John 1:1 He is the Word! and also sometimes as the angel of the Lord.

Anonymous, You got left behind on this one. Do you even know who Jesus Christ is? And who He claimed to be? His names come up in the Old Testament on many occasions: the Angel (spelled with a big A which represents deity) wrestled with Jacob. Again in the book of Joshua 5:13 we read "[Joshua] lifted up eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand" read on in Joshua 5:14 "Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship..." surely you know that the Old Testament characters would not have worshiped anyone but God and the ONLY God-man is the Lord Jesus. In the New Testament: Jude vs. 9: Michael the Archangel, that was Jesus, argued with the devil over the body of Moses.

It's like this, you yourself have many names, for example, your kids likely call you Dad, your wife may call you Honey, your friends could call you Bubba; your boss may simply call you Hay u. I don't even want to know what your neighbors might call you! See what I mean. Jesus also was called by many different names in the Bible. Like Jesus no matter what they call you, you are still just you. Do you recall the walk to Emmaus ( Luke 24:13-33)? Mary Magdalene called Him Rabboni (John 20:16). But the bottom line is Jesus is the Eternal Self-existing One.

Did you not know that Jesus Christ was with God DOING the creation. Don't put believers down until you
have read the Bible, the inspired WORD of God. You can start with The Gospel of John - chapter ONE,
Verse ONE. I'm truly sorry you do not know God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Life
is super fantastic with THEM.

This individual obviously never read the Bible and if he/she did read a few verses they certainly did not comprehend. It does take a lot of time and effort to read, and if one has an excellent memory it puts them in the forefront because they can begin to relate the various parts. It takes even longer to "tune in" to The Holy Spirit, The Christ-Jesus, and God our Father, but reading must be done unless you are an excellent listener, i.e. can stay focused, by using audio instead of The Bible. I started late in life but knew one day I would read the Bible, for my education would never be complete without reading it. One just can not rely on other people's version or retelling. Jesus tells us knowledge is important and to learn for ourselves, for then we will be much more confident in the faith. The Bible does not really require any defenders, for the truthful words speak well, loud, and clear of a great many truths revealing a great love, caring, with many gifts in the offing, especially an eternal life after death without pain, sorrow, or tears. And yes, there is a great and beautiful peace in becoming one with the Holy Spirit, our guide and comforter. We will all pray for your soul.

Your very right about Israel following after false gods, everyone of them some form of the sun god, and every time they abandoned the commanded Sabbath of the Creator to celebrate the holy day of the sun and all the festivals that accompanied it. Coming back to the Creator entails coming back to his commandments, including the only one that says REMEMBER.

"Spiritual" can mean anything. People who practice the occult consider themselves spiritual. But no matter how you dress it up, walking in the light of your own fire will end up in sorrow. People might think they can kindle sparks of their own truth, but there is only one truth. Unless you stay in the paths of righteousness, you're not going to make it. Only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light.

ANY religion that says they are the ONLY path to God, is lying. If there is such a thing as the devil, I believe he uses religion to separate man from God

Of course all paths lead to God. One path is the "broad-way" and leads, ultimately, right to the Great Whtie Throne Judgment where the adherent of the "personal" spiritual path philosophy will meet God and be held accountable for their lives and suffer the penalty due for every transgression of God's law and the dismissal of God's grace as found in Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death for our sins as being "too narrow and exclusive." The other path, the "narrow way" is offered to those who have had their eyes opened to the dire predicament our sins have placed us in, namely the just wrath of God for our rebellion and disobedience. Being found on that path will also lead us to God, but not to judgment, for the judgment due us has been placed upon the Blessed Son of God by His own Father because of the great love He has for us. Lastly, of course the Devil uses religion to keep us from the truth. In the final analysis, all religions, save one, keep our attention upon ourselves and are always promoting in one form or another self-justification. Only one religion, Biblical Christianity, takes the focus from us and places it upon Jesus Christ, the only name given under heaven to men whereby we might be saved. (from the just rewards of our rebellion meted out by a righteous and holy God on Judgment Day.) It is our sins that have separated us from God and, ultimately, their are only two options. Either we face God on our own or we take advantage of the one and only alternative God has so graciously provided, namely the Salvation offered to us in Jesus Christ, His only Begotten Son. But don't wait to run to Christ, come now, come today if you hear His voice, for life is filled with uncertainties and we don't know if tomorrow is guaranteed.

You often hear people say they are "spiritual" but not religious as if it's a virtue. I'd like to say spirituality itself is a virtue, but it isn't. The only true measure for whether you are spiritually inclined is how well you obey the Lord. The only real way to see if you are spiritual is if you shine the light of Christ. So, if you're going to dump religion in the trash bin, be careful that you haven't thrown the gospel of Christ out with it. That's throwing the baby out with the bath water.

April, and others;
I do consider myself SBNR, and I DO consider it a virtue. Now, before you vilify me as one into "new age nonsense", let me explain a bit more. I attend church every Sunday; I'm firmly in the "evangelical" camp; I'm an ordained minister with an advanced degree in Theology; and I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart and soul. I write, record, and perform music that firmly and freely proclaims the gospel of Jesus. So why am I "SBNR"?
Because I've thrown out the bath water. I've freed myself from the need to follow the doctrines of men who have added a great weight to the simplicity of the message of Jesus. I could go into great detail here, but suffice it to say that when the jailer asked Paul what he must do to be saved, Paul's response was "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ..." Paul didn't add, "Oh, and believe in our interpretation of what the 'inspiration of the scriptures' means..." or,"..and believe in our version of the doctrine of the Trinity", or..." and believe in tithing and going door to door and reading a set number of Bible chapters each day and speaking in tongues or being entirely sanctified or whatever our pet doctrine of the month should happen to be..."
Even though I attend church, and enjoy it, I don't need a church to tell me how to live, or to tell me that I have to do those things that are "right" so as to avoid hellfire. I don't need a minister to give me his or her interpretation of the Bible. I can listen for the voice of the Spirit, and be led in the right ways simply because they are the right ways, not because doing so saves me from hellfire...
Religion enslaves. Religion ensnares. Religion grows fear and religion discourages the ability to think for oneself. Spirituality is liberating. Spirituality keeps the "baby" while discarding the old, stagnant, disgusting, dirty bath water of tradition, dogma, and man made doctrine.
I agree, the real measure is if one is obeying the Lord. But one does not need religion to do that.
Lately, I've noticed MANY posts from "religious" writers bemoaning the SBNR crowd. Could it be that some are feeling threatened because they feel the control that religion has always afforded slipping slowly but steadily through their fingers? "Control?" sneers God..."I don't need no stinkin' control..." But it seems so many of His "spokespeople" do.... God just needs to be God. He will draw to Him all who will listen... regardless of whether or not they're "religious"...

"I can listen for the voice of the Spirit..." You are totally scaring me man, listening to spirits like that. Bloody Mary listened to "voice of the spirit" that told her to cut off people's hands and/or heads. And since she had the power to do it she committed some of the worst atrocities ever on the English people. Since you are a minister perhaps you would like to read the one about "seducing spirits which come to you with doctrines of devils" from the Bible. The Bible is the only true instrument panel to follow. Not some "voice of the Spirit" which you purport to follow.

I am wondering dear friend, WHY it is that you go to church, IF you don't need to follow anyone or any certain belief?

I got saved, yes saved from my sin and past, at the age of 30. I got saved beside my bed, on my knees, crying out to my LORD Jesus to save me from my sin. No one had to tell me that I was a sinner, I had known it for years, but it took 3 times for the seed of the Gospel to sink deep within my soul, for me to believe and accept God's forgiveness. I was all by myself, no one else was at home, and it was a wonderful time with the LORD!!!!

I wasn't saved in church, even though the Holy Spirit led me to seek out a church to go to, so that I could hear the preached WORD. That is Scriptural, dear friend. The LORD says that we are to gather with other believers of Jesus as often as possible. It doesn't say in a church, but IF there are other believers gathering to hear the WORD of God truly preached, then we should be there.

I didn't need anyone to tell me that I should be baptized by immersion, as the Holy Spirit spoke to me through reading the WORD of God, the Bible.

I am not a pastor, a teacher, or a Sunday School teacher (at this moment), but I know that we should gather together with those that believe that Jesus saved them by simple faith in Jesus, and want to fellowship with them.

So, I ask again, JUST WHY DO YOU GO TO CHURCH? Do you really want to glorify God when you go?

"Control?" sneers God..."I don't need no stinking control..."
Surely you have heard of predestination. He controls whose name gets written in the book of life.
Not a sparrow falls without his permission.

Spirituality means you're in touch with the Holy Spirit. So unless you're a good Christian, obeying the Lord in all things and following the direction of the Holy Spirit, you're not spiritual. That rules out a lot of people who think they are more "spiritual" than others.

I came from a very positive Religious background, but a negative family background that used God to justify their behavior. Guilt and shame became who I am and have spent many years trying to comprehend a God of Love. Oddly enough, my mother would recite "Do not judge lest ye be judged." I hang on to that fervently and am baffled when people use such words as "foolishness", then expect people to embrace that condemnation. The Laws, negativity, and demonic aspects of Religion is easy for such negaholics to grasp and understand, but where do they go to find a God of Love? In my depths of depression, I believed that murderers were more easily forgiven than I was, and really couldn't understand where that belief came from or how to overcome it. I have known many people that have found God through 12-step programs that emphasize finding a nonspecific "Higher Power". Once burned, how does one get close to a warm, motivational flame, if not slowly?

I find it amusing that when people quote the New Testament, 90% of the time they quote from Romans on. Which is what Paul wrote, NOT what Jesus said. Here is my question to you: Why is the story of Jesus picked up at the age of 30? I find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe that an enlightened being, who many say is the son of God, did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING worth mentioning until he was 30. Which is why I do not believe your version of what God is.

From the first verse, the Bible is "the story of Jesus," God-with-us!

It should be obvious to any discerning reader that the purpose of the four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) was NOT to present a biography of Jesus the Messiah. They had no intention to cover everything He said or did. The writers were VERY selective in what they wrote (cf. John 20:30-31) with their purpose being either stated or implied. And even what they have selectively presented of what He did and said covers a small fraction of His 3 and 1/2 years' public ministry. They were not concerned with cramming information into their presentation. They were very concerned with making known WHO JESUS REALLY IS. And to know Him personally is to have eternal life!

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen" (John 21:25)

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His Name." (John 20:30-31)

Anonymous, You need to stop being amused and get a clue. BTW, clues come straight from the Bible. See if you can find the Bible text that says "all scriptures are given by God" (2Ti 3:16). That means that God gave Paul the education (Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel, Acts 22:3) thoughts and knowledge (see above) to write letters to the churches including the church at Rome. Voila - the Book of Romans. The story of Jesus begins in Genesis when God promised that the seed of the woman (Jesus) would crush the serpent's head (Satan). Further, if you do not comprehend the importance of Jesus' childhood as written in both the Old and New Testament then you are an incredibly shallow reader. The story of Jesus' birth and childhood 'fully comprehended' takes many more hours than you have lived, even if you are 99 years old! Right now the MOST IMPORTANT thing for you, and all other humans, is a complete understanding of the part of the story which you say that you do think is "worth mentioning". The Good News is that if you are one of the ransomed, you will have eternity to study "which things the angels desire to look" (1 Peter 1:12).

John 21:25
"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."
and as far as his story being picked up at age 30... you must have not started reading from chapter 1.

@ the main topic: religion is dangerous in that people have a tendency to settle into complacency, establishing a tradition of "dead" religion and do not continue to examine the Scriptures with a childlike mindset. They rely on their preachers to explain the Word to them and then their daily Bible reading becomes a "crutch" to support what the preachers have told them instead of searching for what the Word of God actually says.

Acts 17:11
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

In the end, though, I think that the main argument probably has to do with each person's own perspective of the connotation or definition of the word "religion".

Hi. Great to see you thinking about this. You want something from John? Here: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."That's John 3:16 The story of Jesus was picked up at age 30 because that's all we need to know. God revealed all we need to know in the bible. Whatever's not in there, we don't need to know. He gave people everything they need, a manual for life in the pages of the bible. Great question. Do you know that God loved you so much, personally that if you were the only one alive on the planet Jesus still would have died for you? Jesus wants to take any pain and hurt you have in your life and carry it for you. He did it for me, he will for those who ask, seek, knock. Matthew 7:7
[ Ask, Seek, Knock ] "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

'Tis true, 'tis true as Paul clearly warned in 2 Corinthians 11 verses 13-15 about Satan's false prophets. Clearly, the SBNRs are their creation.

This article has come at an interesting time for me because I just announced on-line that God hates religion and that Jesus did not come to us to bring us a religion. Jesus came to us to bring us a person. Jesus is that person and came to bring us a relationship with God. I believe we are in agreement that the old time religion is what the world needs, if by religion you mean The Gospel Message.

But if Religion is defined as man's attempt to reach God, then ALL religion is a fail. Any faith placed in any religion will damn 'good' people. The most heinous sin to plague mankind is 'human goodness' and there is only one way to Eternal Life and that is by God's unearned, undeserved favor provided by Jesus' full and completed payment for our sin. Sin defined as our inability to reach God's standard of righteousness: By God's grace through faith we will be saved, which is to be spared from God's wrath to come; Ephesians 2;7-10.

The circumstances of Jesus' conception and birth were very important to identifying Him as the anticipated Christ. Thus there is quite a bit of attention given to it as being in fulfillment of all the prophecies that had been given over all the years of the Old Testament. There was no need to give much attention in the Scriptures to the childhood of Jesus, except for whenever more prophecies were fulfilled.

I noticed, though, that no one has written from the biblical standpoint why the Scriptures focus mainly on Jesus after He turned 30 years old. So here's what I understand to be the answer to that question.

"And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation. This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things" (Num. 4:1-4 and ff.).

It was the Lord's command when setting up the Tabernacle that the Levites were to begin their ministry when they turned 30 years of age. That age requirement makes sense, too. It takes boys time to mature into men, and that maturity doesn't usually ripen enough into stability much before the age of 30 years. Take a look around even today. I don't think you'd want too many of the teens and twenty-somethings to be filling a highly responsible position. For the most part they are too idealistic and inexperienced in life to be able to make good judgments all the time.

"Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand" (1 Chr. 23:3).

1 Chronicles confirms that the number of priests were indeed counted as being able to properly minister within the Tabernacle.

"Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli . . ." (Lk. 3:21-23).

In order for Jesus to be all that was required to deliver us from the bondage of sin into the grace and freedom of salvation, He had to act as our High Priest to intercede with the Father on our behalf. He had to follow the requirements He set up for the Levitical priests. Thus He had to be baptized, anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit, and begin His ministry at the age of 30 years old. He could not have been a Levite to accomplish His purpose on earth as they were only to minister on behalf of the Jewish people. Christ came to save all people who choose to follow Him.