Just because I’m religious, doesn’t mean I’m superstitious

Has this ever happened to you? You’re speaking to someone about Christ and all of a sudden the conversation takes a turn for the weird. Not the normal weird of being a Christian in a fallen world, but I mean weird weird. I feel like this happens to me all the time. I’ll be talking about sin, righteousness, and the judgement to come, and somehow now we’re on the topic of blood moons. I’ll show a love for God and His word, and for whatever reason it’s assumed that I’d be the guy into anointing things with oil. And I’ve often wondered why people mistake being religious for being superstitious.

To be fair, I don’t think people are trying to be superstitious. But it’s like that Michael Scott quote from The Office: “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.” And it manifests itself in a lot of different ways. An overemphasis on end times prophecy or an over-fascination with crosses. Blessed handkerchiefs, anointing random things with oil, or reciting incantations. Weird views of angels or that holy indigestion that helps to make a decision. And what makes it weirder, is that because it is done in the name of religion, people assume that anyone who is religious wants to join in. I’ve literally been a part of a workplace ceremony where bells were rung, candles were lit, and the spirit of a person was “released from the duty” of their vocation. And all in the name of the Christian God! That is so obviously superstitious, yet no one said, “That was weird.” But what is it that moves something from being religious to superstitious?

The key is the word of God. Things often take a turn for the weird whenever the word of God is either abused or ignored. Just like Satan to Christ in the wilderness, “Christian” superstitions twist the word of God to suit the need of the moment or to justify some misplaced confidence. And most of this type of superstition really has more to do with New Age philosophy than the word of God. On the radio just the other day, someone called into a Christian talk show and said that God gives His promises to us in everyday things around us. I think I literally said to the radio, “NO!” God gives us His promises in His written word, and “all the promises of God find their Yes in [Christ]” (2 Cor 1:20). True religion is informed by the Scriptures.

I am very religious, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested in superstition. I don’t want to participate in weird rituals or Christian wishful thinking. I want to be filled with the Word of God and confident in the God of the Word. And even when I’m mistaken for the wrong kind of weird, I want to know that I am rooted in His “precious and very great promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Let’s be a people of the Bible: Religious, not superstitious.

© Jacob Crouch 2023

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