Opiate-Based Religion

Written by Drew on July 10th, 2006

Religion, according to Karl Marx, is the “opium of the people,” something to salve society’s wounds. According to the Marxist view, religion is nothing but an invention of man to help him endure the ailments of his environment.

Jesus takes a different view. From His perspective, religion is the cure for man’s spiritual disease. “Those that are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mk. 2:17). The Great Physician calls broken spirits to find deliverance and rest through the blood of the New Testament.

Jesus and Karl Marx shared one thing in common: They both understood the desperation of the world. Marx believed Communism was the answer. Religion, according to his philosophy, only dulled the senses and made the world more tolerable. Jesus, on the other hand, presented Christianity as the way to abundant life (Jn. 10:10).

Everywhere the pure gospel is preached that life is possible. However, those who water down God’s word to make it appeal to a generation disinterested in moral reform distort the gospel. They reduce it down from the remedy for sin to a painkiller that treats the symptoms of soul-sickness but falls short of a cure.

Opiate-based religion still exists.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Paul says:

    Sadly, even some Churches of Christ water the word too to make it sound “better.” Some things must be preached, no matter how much it hurts.

    Great blog, Drew.

  2. The Berean Examiner says:

    “The truth might hurt but it is still the truth” which is true sometimes however Drew, what are you talking about? How are “they watering down God’s word to make it appeal to a generation disinterested in moral reform distort the gospel”? How do “they reduce it down from the remedy for sin to a painkiller that treats the symptoms of soul-sickness but falls short of a cure”?

    Paul, How are some “some Churches of Christ water the word too to make it sound better.”?

    That last post reminded me of the emails that I use to get from John Waddey. John wrote in very general terms and not in detailed terms.

    One good thing, John was willing to answer my Bible Questions.

  3. Ike says:

    Berean, I think this is a fairly easy answer.

    My sister-in-law and her husband (both life-long Baptists) have been not attending any church for some time now. When asked, they complained that church had just become “too much entertainment.”

    Now, a worship service can be entertaining, but not at the expense of the “worship” (glory yo God) and the “service” (everyone participating.)

    The “watering down” Drew refers to involves the elevation of the touchy-feely I’m-okay-you’re-okay message that permeates too many congregations of every stripe. I know one couple that selected a church simply because the kids had so much fun with the activities.

    That shouldn’t be your determining factor. Scriptural basis — fellowship — strong faith in the Gospel — THEN you can talk about “fun.” Although in my experience, when you have the first three, “fun” tends to take care of itself.

  4. Heather says:

    Hi Drew,
    I found your blog through Dale Jenkins’ blog. I am originally from Hamilton, Alabama and I was raised in the church (Hamilton Church of Christ.) I now live in Memphis.
    I just want to to thank you for staying true to the scriptures. My eyes have been opened and my heart saddened lately to find so many who are drifting farther and farther away from the truth. It does seem that there is a huge movement going on that is more concerned with trying not to offend and providing an entertaining “worship” service instead of trying to seek and save the lost through true scriptural methods. I am not saying that there aren’t also others who take the opposite extreme. It can go either way.
    I was just reading someone else’s blog and I was astonished with the women who were complaining because their elders weren’t allowing women to preach to the congregation, lead prayers, lead congregational singing, etc. As a woman, I was very sad. How could these women misinterpret God’s word on such matters? Women are very important to any congregation in the submissive roles that God has outlined for them. Submission is not weakness. It doesn’t mean we are a lesser people. It is simply part of God’s plan. That is all that matters. It is as though people are starting to question God and the Bible as the complete word of God. I guess I was just in my own sheltered world and I didn’t realize so much was going on out there. Keep up the good work!

  5. Paul says:

    I’m blessed to be a part of a congregation that believes in preaching the Bible. After every sermon, I have read a number of Bible passages regarding the subject at hand. I also notice that I get uncomfortable a lot. Not because of the preacher, but because of his message. It makes me wake up and examine my life.

    Not all churches are like that. At other congregations I’ve visited or was a member of, I noticed that there were more “feel good stories” and an occasional Bible verse thrown in.

    I’ve seen preachers at some congregations mysteriouly disappear after giving a “stepping on their toes” sermon. Why?

    I’ve even heard of one congregation studying “The Andy Griffith Show” for Bible class. Something is skewed there.

    The point is that Christians basic Bible preaching.

    We shouldn’t have “itching ears” like Timothy says.

  6. John Connor says:

    What is wrong with using “The Andy Griffith Show” in Bible class?

    John Connor
    Woodmont Hills Church of Christ
    Nashville, Tennesse

  7. John Connor says:

    Paul said “I’ve even heard of one congregation studying “The Andy Griffith Show” for Bible class. Something is skewed there.”

    This question just came to me. What is the difference between one congregation using “The Andy Griffith Show” as parables in teaching the Bible and Jesus using parables to teach with? What is exactly “skewed there”?

    “You do not have to be my twin to be my brother” (W Carl Ketcherside)

  8. John Connor says:

    What is wrong with feeling good?
    What is wrong with “feel good stories”? Why can’t “feel good stories” be used in “basic Bible preaching”?

  9. Drew Kizer says:

    Berean Examiner, pick an identity and stick with it.

  10. Ike says:

    There is nothing wrong with feeling good. After a good worship service, you should feel fulfilled, optimisitic, grateful, free, and exhilirated. And changed.

    “Feeling good” is a by-product of “Feeling God.” It is not the direct target one ought to aim for.

  11. Paul says:

    Oh, I love the Andy Griffith Show. By far, its the best sitcom out there. However, showing it in a Bible class for study is not wise use of time.

    I believe that Bible class is what it’s called. Study the Bible.

    As far as my point on “feel good preaching,” I was simply saying that it seems that preachers only tell what the people want to hear. While uplifting sermons are important, there should also be sermons that step on the members toes. We need wake up calls too.

  12. The Berean Examiner says:

    Paul, Do you also think that Jesus was wrong in using parables in teaching the Bible? Why is it wrong for us to use parables to teach the Bible but it is not wrong for Jesus to use parables to teach with? We, who are Christians are supposed to be like Christ. Is that right or wrong. What am I missing?

    The bottom line is that you are uncomfortable attending a Bible class that uses the Andy Griffith show in Bible class. That is your gut feeling and that is okay. You do not have to go to that class. You need to go with your gut feelings for yourself but do not condeme others to Hell for using the Andy Griffith Show in Bible Class (Romans 14)

    I also think that preachers need to preach both ways.

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