Do girlfriend remember that scene indigenous the Ben Stiller movie, “Along came Polly?”

It to be the scene wherein the scuba instructor (Claude, i think to be his name) to be recounting the story of the hippo. The happy hippo.

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In Claude’s story, the hippo painted a strip on his tail to look like the tiger, but he fooled no one.

Then the painted a clues on his side to look favor the leopard, but everyone quiet knew he to be a hippo.

Eventually the hippo simply offered up, referred to as himself what the was, and also lived life happy – happy together a hippo.

I supposed that to it is in a tongue-in-cheek arrival to my column, due to the fact that I understand that the topic ns really want to comment on can be fairly offensive to some, and also I hope the ton of my editorial remains as cordial as the hippo story.

You see, Christianity is similar to the hippo – it is what the is.

And the is, at least in mine opinion, a religion.

I discovered myself take away aback number of weeks ago by a set of chalk writings I experienced on the campus sidewalks. I don’t recall exactly what they said, but their message basically amounted come this: the Jesus and also “religion” are incompatible.

I wasn’t offended through the chalk writings since they merely disagreed with my very own Christian opinion; i was offended since I could tell the such statements were a straight (though, perhaps, unintentional) attack at Christians like me.

You see, I’m not the run-of-the-mill American Protestant. Ns was because that years, however today i am relocating further and further toward the human being of eastern Orthodoxy (though I’m offering Roman Catholicism a fair shot, too). And I have the right to only imagine the words that a fundamentalist would usage to describe an Orthodox worship service – I’m certain that “religious” would be among them.

Part of me marvels why there’s all this talk around separating “religion” from Christianity in the first place. What’s wrong v “religion?”

The price to the question, ns think, lies in the truth that many Christians in America take into consideration the principle of a ritualized type of Christianity steeped in heritage to be a violation of every little thing the holy bible talks about. All this extra stuff – this “religion” – simply gets in the method of the genuine message.

I understand and sympathize v that place – it to be a position, after ~ all, that ns took for plenty of years. And it is additionally a position I to be finding difficult to rest from.

But what specifically is this “real message?” What go the holy bible “really” say about religion (and a whole bunch of various other stuff, for that matter)? for years, i adhered to the protestant mantra that the real post was everything the holy bible said it was. It to be as simple as that.

A Fundamentalist Protestant through that mind-set can easily suggest to the Bible and find all the proof that or she requirements to support the concept of a “religion”-less Christianity, and can likewise use that same scriptures to impugn Catholics and Orthodox Christians for their supposedly un-Biblical method to things.

But is this “religion-less Christianity” ide really together Biblical together it could seem to some? Or is it just somebody’s own interpretation of the Bible?

The Bible, ns was surprised to find out several months ago, is younger 보다 the church. Lot younger, in fact.

The Bible, at the very least as it exists today, did not come into being until sometime throughout the 4th century.

So if we really want to recognize what the holy bible means, wouldn’t the church that offered us the holy bible be the best place to look?

What is odd about all this is the the church of the first four century appears, at least to me, to have been fairly “religious.”

The church that existed at the time that the holy bible was being placed together to be steeped in traditions, plenty of that are still brought on through the Orthodox church now – and many the are regularly dismissed by Protestants together being in which method un-Biblical.

It appears that, at the very least in this argument, we space left to decide in between a Biblical translate that asserts the “religion” simply gets in the method of the “real message” top top the one hand, and also an interpretation meanwhile that matches a bit an ext accurately through the attitude of the church that offered the human being the scriptures in the very first place.

So, that really painted the stripe on the hippo?

Bennett is a junior print journalism major and employee writer because that The Spectator.

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