Today I found out that a popular saying means several different things. St. Paul in the midst of the Areopagus had something to say about it. Acts 17:22 "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; (23) for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, I proclaim to you:" After reading this, "being religious" takes on a new meaning.
How can you really worship an unknown God? How can you love someone you don't know?
Paul goes on to tell us who He is: (24)"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. (25) Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. (26) And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; (28) for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' (29) Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. (30) Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, (31) because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He Has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (some having believed what Paul said, followed him.)
I wonder if I had to approach people, who somewhat believed in God, and who did not know Him, what I would say. Paul talks about the creation of all, life-giver, repentance toward God, the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, and judgement of all mankind.
I wonder if people today understand things in the same way, that is, they know and believe that there is a God, but not having the luxury of being "churched" really do not know Him, nor do they know how or where to go, if they had an interest/desire to learn more. There are so many religions to choose from. Luckily, my parents were church goers but there are some who were not as fortunate. How would you decide?
The bible goes on to say "to join Paul and to believe meant to "enter" the Church as the corporate expression of Christian existence."
Entering the Church has everything with your belief. If you don't go, it says clearly that you are on the fence and not really to sure about things concerning "faith" in God. Remember the unclean spirits knew who Jesus was. Knowing who God is, does not save you. Maybe other "things" are your god. May be at this time you think you don't need God in your life. Whatever the reason, time is marching on, and will be at a point, spent.
The bible explicitly says that;(Acts 17:30)"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,"
When I hear someone say, "I believe in God, but I'm not religious" I hear in my mind the "but", which prepares me for the excuse to come. It says to me, I'm not interested. Perhaps, it might be they do not feel the need to experience God and what He has to offer, or maybe they are too busy. Preoccupied, their time is more important.
One can believe in God, but without works it is fruitless. James 2( :19 ) "You believe that there is one God, You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble! (20) But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"
What can keep us from the love of God? Loving, worshiping and serving God is a personal decision.
Maybe it's time to take that first step to life, life eternally and enter or reenter in. You don't have to be "religious" to step out in faith.
All scripture references have been taken from the Orthodox Study Bible and commentary
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