Word pictures or analogies can be powerful tools. I still remember in my early years, hearing a speaker tell how “Some people have been exposed to just enough religion it keeps them from catching the real thing.” Even as a child I immediately knew what he was talking about.
He was right too! Just like an inoculation of a vaccine that’s made up of contagious organisms can be treated in such a way it tricks your body into generating antibodies that will help keep you from catching the real thing… the same can be true with “religion.” (I’m using the term as man’s interpretation and speculation about life after death and a Supreme Being, and what mankind needs to do to get and stay on his good side so they can be assured of entering their eternal reward as opposed to his eternal wrath or judgment.)
Think of “Religion” as being like a vaccine. It’s a product that comes into being from people taking the Real Thing (God’s plan of Redeeming man) and treating it in such a way that it loses its unique power. And when injected into a life, it can trick their spirit into thinking it’s the Real Thing… keeping them from developing a right relationship with God.
The sad part is, just like a vaccine can trick the body, some people have unknowingly been tricked into believing they’ve already “tried God” and been disappointed in some way. Or they believe God has let them down when in reality it’s the man-made vaccine of “God and Religion” that’s failed them… causing them to never catch on to the Real Thing, which is God’s hope and redemptive plan for all of mankind.
Are you one? Have you ever felt let down by God… or come to the conclusion that Christianity, the Church, or Christians are just one big disappointment and not worth your time?
If so, please know that you like so many of us, have been the unknowing victim of the “Religion Vaccine.” But thankfully its effect can be overcomed. Just go back to square one, and on your own get to know the Real Thing through a right relationship with God.
Did you catch that? The Real Thing isn’t a “Religion”, it’s God’s Plan on how to get and stay in a right “Relationship” with Him! And you develop it the same way you do any relationship that’s important to you. You do it by investing your time into it, in various ways.
If you do, you will soon see the difference between “Religion” and a “Relationship” with Him is like the difference between night and day.
An important P.S. It’s important to see I’m not saying going to Church is a wrong, bad, or an unnecessary thing. But I am saying it can become part of a “religion” to us if we’re not careful. But never fear. As we learn how to build and develop a closer Relationship with God, the more we see and understand the critical role and great benefit God wants the Church to be in the Christian life.