Why Do Religious People Have So Many Rules?

When you become a Christian, the joy of overcoming the burden of sin by giving it to Jesus, who paid for all of that sin when He shed His blood on the cross, is euphoric. Then, as you attend church, you learn there are rules to follow. Rules that no one told you about when they offered to show you how to be saved.

Cut your hair (if you’re a guy)
Don’t wear pants (if you’re a girl)
Don’t drink
Don’t smoke
Don’t dance
Don’t listen to that rebellious rock music
Don’t hang out with those who do

So many rules but they are not specifically prohibited in the Scriptures. Some are hinted at. Some are put under the covering of , “Beware the appearance of evil” (even though that verse is talking about being diligent in looking out for when evil people appear to corrupt you, not to avoid things that look evil to others, because the fact is, EVERYTHING appears evil to someone…one group thinks drinking Pepsi is evil, another forbids drinking Coke, and another forbids wearing ties because they are flamboyant).

I’ve learned that many of us mean well, but are wrong. Usually the reasons for being wrong fall into some of the categories:
1. Ignorance, usually babes in Christ who haven’t had a chance to learn.
2. Self-justification, usually someone who made a choice and tries to reinforce that their decision was right by making others adhere to the same.
3. Self-righteousness, these people know you cannot do what they are dictating so by dictating such, they can say they are better than others.
4. Zealotry, people who think, “God drew the line here, and if we avoid crossing that line, we please God, so, if we draw the line even farther away from sinning, then we are REALLY pleasing God.”
5. Fear, similar to zealotry, except for desiring to please God, they do not want to anger Him.
6. Control, people who make rules for others to follow so as to control them.

I am sure there are other reasons, but these are what I found. Most of this is taken from Jesus’ rebuking of the Pharisees. Jesus then went on top chide the Pharisees for being full of pride, and that their pride will prevent them from correcting their errant ways.

That pride is still what keeps us from admitting being wrong.

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2 Responses to Why Do Religious People Have So Many Rules?

  1. MK says:

    From my perspective all different Churches have different rules. The evangelic lot seem to be very hypocritical with adding extra rules while claiming to believe the Bible alone. Catholicism/Eastern Orthodox are the most pure as far as this goes except some sects that believe anything goes and sins all been paid for. Nothing on your list is forbidden as a Catholic in moderation (or at all).

  2. senseiern says:

    I disagree. (I would have responded sooner, but the blog never notified me of your response.)
    The Catholic church I attended taught all sex was for procreation, and not for pleasure. Thus, oral and anal were strictly forbidden.

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