Those who have heard me preach know that the word “religion” is a dirty word to me. I use it to describe all the human substitutes for a real and vibrant relationship with God the Father through Jesus, God the Son. Religion represents all the merit-based, effort-based, knowledge-based activities humans enter into in an effort to get to God–forgetting or not knowing that in Jesus God came to us!
Now I realize that the word religion can also be used in positive and meaningful ways by people who have a very vibrant relationship with Jesus. The word religion elicits strong responses–to use it in a way that exposes human substitutes for a real relationship with God is powerful–but not the only use for the word.
Control is another word that elicits a strong response–and one used by me in a very negative sense. In doing so, I hope to get people to think–really think–how perverse human (and satanic) nature is. In the vocabulary of my book, Control describes:
Now I know the word control is a good and useful word when used in other ways or other settings, but it is imperative that we use it to describe that part of human nature which is fallen most like Satan’s – that thing in us that wants to dominate, intimidate, or manipulate. When we act like the devil, we grieve the Father. God does not control, He Reigns–He did not give Adam and Eve control; He gave them dominion to reign! In the fall we fell into control; in Jesus, we will rise again to reign!!