Traditional religion doesn’t work. It is quite clear that is has failed to shape, form and guide our society. It has left many to ask if God is even relevant. Is this the work of Christianity or of Christians themselves? Is there something that we have missed?
The answer is yes.
Why you might ask? Because religion doesn’t work. Period. Religion is a set of rules. Christianity is supposed to built upon a relationship with Jesus Christ and we are to be led by Him. The way Christianity has been practiced, however, in past decades and millennia has been about control – much in the same way that other religions practice. Do what I say, the way I say to do it, or God will not be pleased with you. They threaten you to do things their way and use scriptures to both dictate and justify what they are saying. The spirit behind the teaching is not one of love, mentoring or instruction. It is one of control, manipulation and a craving for power. Many have turned Christianity into nothing more than a religion – a set of rules that you follow in order to control behavior. Christianity is about following Jesus not a set of rules. It’s about following the heart of God not some man’s interpretation.
Religion removes relationship with God from the equation and replaces it with man’s interpretation. This creates an atmosphere of control and judgement. It also negates the Gospel. God is a Father who loves us. He wants the best for us but religion negates this relationship. Whenever a man comes between you and God you have a problem. Will God place people in our lives to help us, to teach us and to mentor us? Yes. But God will never have a human being replace Him. Whenever a man tries to replace God with himself you have a serious problem.
Christianity can be tainted by men imposing their ideas onto God and who God is. People do this with everything from government to relationships. It is people who are the problem not God. People look to God for answers but cannot find them because they are met with judgement, control and oppression. They are looking for God but cannot find Him. That is a very sad fact. I remember a minister saying once that when he was young he was looking for God but couldn’t find Him in Church. He said that he would have given his life to God much sooner had he realized that he was encountering religion and not God. His words stayed with me for a long time. How many people have been turned off by God because of what they have encountered?
With that said…what is Christianity supposed to be?
First of all, Christianity is not the church building itself. Christianity is found in Christ. It is not bound to the confines of the church walls. Christianity is simply following the Lord Jesus Christ. It is simply allowing Him into your life. It is simply allowing Him to love you. It is inviting Jesus in. It is not about you giving up your entire life, your joy, your hobbies and completely changing who you are. It is not about you trying to earn your way to heaven. It is about allowing God to fix the broken parts. It is about allowing God to take the pain away. It is about accepting Christ’s sacrifice and taking it as your own.
Oftentimes, people fear love. They fear the love of God and can’t believe that there is a Creator who loves them. They don’t understand how so many horrible things could have happened to them in their life if God is in control. God is not in control of this world. Do you think a God full of love would allow these horrible things to happen if He was in control? Absolutely not. God gave us the earth as an inheritance. He gave us the planet to rule over. He is only in control of your situation if you give Him control of your life. He will never override your freewill and choice and force His way in. God doesn’t want a robot or an automaton. He wants a son or a daughter. He wants someone to commune with Him. He wants someone who wants to get to know Him.
Feel free to leave questions and comments below…