"Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. Neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation."--Gal. 6:12-15The cross of Christ is foolishness to the world. Scripture tells us that many times. Yet the world loves religious symbols and is enamored by stories of religious sacrifices.
Christ was under continuous fire from religious people in Israel because He didn't adhere to the rituals and regulations that their religious leaders had instituted over the centuries.
You and I should drop all defenses that involve our "religious Christianity" and boast and defend only the cross of Christ. It is only Him crucified that leads us through to our own death and resurrection. We must not boast of anything but Christ. When confronted with Stalin's mandates to capitulate with the Soviet government and support its programs of imprisoning and killing its enemies, the Russian Orthodox Church capitulated, allowing government control of all its operations. The Church leaders sold out their followers, and so entire generations of Soviet people lost the message of the cross.
Why? Because in the end, religion will do anything to save itself. But no religious person will give up their life for Christ and His cross. Each of us needs to examine his/her own heart. Do we value our religious form, our music, our rituals, our garments, our buildings, or do we value above all the cross of Christ?
When they come for us, will we capitulate or will we go to Golgotha gladly with our Christ?