The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Religion

January 18, 2013

Flu season

NORMAN — Flu season is here. Emergency rooms, clinics and doctor’s offices are filled with people seeking relief. News reports are using words like “epidemic” to describe this year’s flu season and some communities have closed their school doors for a few days. The flu is serious and can even be deadly, claiming at least 20 children and dozens of adults over these past weeks. Have you had your flu shot? While not a 100 percent guarantee, the flu shot offers significant prevention against the flu.

Vaccines are one of the marvels of modern medicine. While still controversial among some, the data demonstrates that vaccines have been vital in reducing and even eliminating death from measles, polio and other diseases. Now, cancer vaccines are offering the same hope. Vaccines introduce dead or “weakened” viruses into the body so that the natural immune system can recognize and attack them, thus being able to “remember” and destroy the live virus if it is introduced into the body.

While in the physical realm vaccines are life-saving, some suggest the opposite when applied to the spiritual realm. Dead or weakened religion has inoculated many against real or true religion. In many circles today, religion has become a “bad thing.” How many times have you heard or said, “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual?” Yet, James 1:27 declares “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” That sounds like a good thing. The problem is not with religion, the problem is with bad religion. And, when exposed to bad religion, it often serves as a “vaccine” against pure religion.

Unlike some medical vaccines, there is no shortage of bad religion vaccines. Religion that promotes legalism and meaningless ritualism is bad. So too is religion that embraces selfish consumerism, prideful arrogance and blatant hypocrisy. This kind of religion oppresses and may be part of the explanation as to why so many are avoiding church.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conference set

    Following a diocesan-sponsored national conference on violence, “Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace,” the Episcopal Church Women of St. John’s Norman will host an Oklahoma diocesan-wide women’s conference and Bishop’s day on April 25-26....

    April 18, 2014

  • Muslim group urges re-education

    LOS ANGELES — Seeking a way to prevent violence like last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, an Islamic advocacy group Monday announced a plan aimed at helping U.S. mosques identify and re-educate radicals....

    April 18, 2014

  • This is ... Friday ...

    It’s Good Friday. Good Friday? What could possibly be “good” about Good Friday? Think about it … this is the day in which the Lord Jesus was beaten and crucified. He hung on a cross between two thieves. Abandoned, betrayed and denied, by ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Why do we always test God?

    ‘Do not put the Lord God to the test,’ Jesus said, but don’t we do this all the time? Human nature The Rev. Holly McKissick, Peace Christian Church UCC: It’s human nature: testing the limits of God’s peaceful creation....

    April 17, 2014

  • Girl told not to say prayer

    OVIEDO, Fla. — The 5-year-old who said she was told not to pray over her lunch visited the school Monday and identified the staffer in a line-up, her family’s lawyer said....

    April 11, 2014

  • CrossPointe chooses Butler as lead pastor

    One of Norman’s largest churches has chosen a new lead pastor for its congregation. Mike Butler, 38, was voted lead pastor by the congregation of CrossPointe Church on March 23. Butler succeeds Glenn Quirk, who served as lead pastor for ...

    April 11, 2014

  • A divine drama

    All of us love drama. We experience drama in many ways. We watch a play on a stage or a show on TV. We have lives filled with drama every day through interactions with other people....

    April 11, 2014

  • What should we think of original sin?

    The Rev. Joe Nassal, Precious Blood Center: Watching the evening news recently, there was one disaster story after another, from the Malaysian airline that disappeared to the mudslide where one minute people are going about their daily ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Lenten lunch set

    The next Norman Ministerial Fellowship Lenten lunch will be Wednesday at NorthHaven Church, 4600 36th Ave. NW. Guest pastor will be the Rev. Joseph Summerville, University Lutheran Church. The sermon theme will be “The Thursday of Holy ...

    April 4, 2014