Good amounts of people want to be explicitly told what to do in life. And so, Christians, capitalizing on this internal cry for surrendering control in their lives, read the Bible for religion. Now don’t get me wrong here: I am not saying religion is bad. Religion is what Christianity is, but some people go about religion as a set of rules rather than how Jesus forms it in the Gospel. I’m saying that we can get in this mindset where we read the Scriptures looking for rules to govern our lives instead of for the glory of God.
The implication of reading Scripture like this is dangerous. I had someone tell me before that they were questioning being a disciple of Christ because they disobey his Word a lot of the times. And we all struggle with doing something in contrast with what is blatantly obvious in the Scriptures! But questioning being a disciple because of our disobedience is too much.
The major implication of reading Scripture like this is that we come to worship our own morality instead of worshipping Jesus, who gave us the message of grace and salvation.
Here is my point: we read Scripture for religion when we define Christianity by our morality rather than the message of Jesus Christ. We look for rules to define ourselves by instead of looking for attributes to define God by! Then the biggest danger of this reveals itself when we have thousands of people across our nation crying out that our nation is on the roadway to Hell just because a political party gets voted in that is set up as being an adversary to the Christian faith. And then, people who don’t believe that either run as iconic Christian “hipsters” or question if they’re really even a Christian at all.
Don’t get me wrong. There is good theology and there is bad theology. But in our culture (when we read for religion and then define ourselves by that) we use the social construct of what a Christian should be as the discerning factor between the two, rather than a heart set on the salvation and glory of God.
Main application: Don’t read for rules, read for truth.