when Jesus ruffles our religion

Derek Maul
Derek Maul

Sunday morning my post is typically short. I’m off to church early and I want to share something in my blog that will encourage others to do the same.

But this morning I can’t get a disturbing news item out of my mind. A friend passed on an article about an evangelical minister who is inciting people to homophobia, violence and the systematic persecution of gays.

“This is one of the reasons why religion in this country sickens me.” my friend wrote. Then he went on to say, sarcastically, “A very Christ-like approach, nice job Reverend _______.”

I responded with, “I’m glad you can tell the difference between religion and Christ-like behavior. You’re most likely Presbyterian!”

IT’S OBVIOUS: My comment was tongue in cheek… but not really. You see I honestly do believe there is a huge difference between what is commonly understood as “religion” in America and what it actually means to be a Follower of the Way of Jesus. And I think that many people like my friend – who is not a believer – note that difference more clearly that we realize.

I believe we need to understand that it is often religion that keeps people away from Jesus.

I am grateful to be a part of a congregation – First Presbyterian Church of Brandon – where our focus is on being disciples, and where following Jesus is no threat to our religion.

In John’s Gospel Jesus said, “The world is going to know that you follow me when people observe the quality of your love….”

In love, and because of love – DEREK

4 thoughts on “when Jesus ruffles our religion

  1. Henry Ziegler

    Hi, Derek,

    The “evangelical pastor” obviously does not behave in a Christlike manner when he would treat someone in a manner other than in which he would like to be treated. He’s obviously not doing things “decently and in order”.

    Peace and Blessings, Henry

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  2. Carol Kauffman

    Thank you Derek for your blog but mostly for your love for Jesus and your desire to reflect Him in and through your life. My name is Carol and I am a childhood friend of Marion’s. We grew up together in Hong Kong and I used to go to Kowloon Union Church where her father Norman Kemp was the Pastor. My father was also a Pastor and he and Norman shared pastoral ministry at the Isle of Happy Healing an island near HK where lepers were given care and Christlike love by Christians. I spent a summer on that island with the Kemps and I was deeply impacted by the love our fathers and many other Christian followers of Jesus had for them. Thank you so much for displaying Marion’s unique art on your site. God has given her great talent! We are working together on a piece I have written called ” A Trilogy on Forgiveness” It is somewhat stuck at the moment, as my husband and I are in the process of moving from Hong Kong to Norway. I would appreciate your prayer that this piece could come to completion in God’s time and way. My prayer is that it would guide seekers to discover the Gift of eternal life that is available to us because of the all encompassing love of God in giving us His Son Jesus so that we might by His grace, live and love as He did in this life and into eternity. Thank you Derek for representing Jesus through your life and ministry also.
    Gratefully abiding in Him,
    Carol

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    1. Great to hear from you! Thanks so much for sharing some of your story. I’ll try to write a longer reply later (maybe facebook friend me or share your email address…)
      Peace – DEREK

      Like

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