Youth4Him Home

Is Religion an Illusion?
Stephanie, Grade 11, South Africa

“Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses.” – Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud only had it half right. Yes, our impulses are instinctual but why? It is because God made us like that. We are made to worship something be it God, sex, money, life, academics, sport or anything else. By making us God took the risk that we would worship something other than Him, and he was right, we do everyday. But what God waits for is when we turn back to Him at the end of the day.

So the question on everyone’s mind…is religion an illusion? No! How can it be? Just a look in the mirror defies that very thought. The greatest thing satan ever achieved was to convince people he never existed, or more to the point, does not still exist today. There are some people (including Christians) that see satan as an evil being from long ago who now represents himself in the ‘negatives’ of this world. Many people believe he is not a single being but rather a representative of sin.

I’m afraid to say God disagrees. Jesus spoke about the devil coming into the wilderness to tempt Him. Satan sits on his ‘throne’ of sin and darkness and like a spoilt, selfish brat gets his demons, his principalities to do his dirty work for him. Religion is not an illusion but rather a result of a fallen world. The word ‘religion’ itself portrays a fallen relationship between us and God. God did not send His son so that we could follow a set of rules but rather so that we could engage in conversation with the wisest, loving, compassionate and thoughtful warrior of all time…and even before then.

‘Compassionate warrior’ sounds like an oxymoron to me. Jesus has always been portrayed as meek and mild holding sheep but he is denied glory for fighting the biggest battle, the battle of the souls.

And I hate to ruin it for you, but as my friend Brett says: if you read the end…we win! Say it with me “We win.” So why the hesitation? Why the lukewarm-ness? Because satan’s demons whisper in our ears doubts and fears. Because as Paul said: his mind chooses one path but his body insists on taking the other! It sounds like a vicious circle, how do we get out? By engaging in conversation with that compassionate warrior.

It sounds easy. I won’t lie to you, it’s not. It is harder that you could ever imagine. “Following Jesus’ footstep, and trying to live a righteous Christian life is the most difficult and extreme challenge ever.” But that’s why God gives us grace. “It [God’s grace] is free but it’s not cheap!” No, not cheap…Picture this: an innocent man given unfair sentence and killed; but not just killed, crucified. The only sin they had against Jesus was his disregard for the laws of the Sabbath. (Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath). The Pharisees however forgot that “Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” –Mark 2:27.

So finally my point: for those of you who don’t believe, give Jesus a chance to touch and change your life; you will never find a better friend. For the “head believers but not heart believers” take this to heart and release yourself from that psycho mumbo-jumbo satan uses to defeat us. And finally for those of you who are on fire for God, denying yourselves and living everyday for Him: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, forevermore, Amen!