What image does the word “religion” conjure up for you? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Not so good. What does “religion” even mean these days? There’s a lot of confusion about its meaning, and that’s apparent in the way journalists, musicians and the average person on the street talk about it. To many, religion is a belief that causes people to act like hypocrites or the moralism police. To others, it’s a force that causes wars or compels its adherents to blow themselves up and fly airplanes into skyscrapers.
We’re going to talk about religion and religious people for the next couple of Sundays, as we work our way through Acts 10 and a portion of Acts 11. We’ll ask, “What is religion anyway?” “Is it OK to hate religion as long as we love Jesus?” “Why do religious people seem so nasty when their beliefs often espouse love?”
The Acts narrative about Peter and Cornelius is quite lengthy and is repeated once again and referred to yet another time. Luke is playing up its significance and it represents an important turning point in the history of the early Church. But there is something about it that smacks of religion. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Together, we’ll take a look at what the Word of God has to say on Sunday.