"Jesus gives us the classic picture of the failure of both religion and irreligion in his parable of the two sons in Luke 15. The elder brother represents the religious leaders; he never disobeys any of the father's laws. As a result, he tries to control his father and exclude his brother. In the end, he is the one who misses the feast of salvation rather than his profligate brother. There could not be a more powerful warning: The elder brother is not lost despite his obedience to the father but because of his dependence upon it."*
Go ahead. Let it sink in. Whew. Good stuff. Free-ing stuff, if we let it be.
*From the article, "Religion-less Spirituality" by Timothy Keller.
Thanks to Josh for sending it my way.