Many of us have grown up going to church and we all have an opinion of what we experienced. I believe all those opinions are valuable and have contributed to molding and shaping people for who they are. However, getting right to the point…..organized religion just doesn’t seem to work for me. What I mean by organized religion is basically the operation and hierarchical structure of churches or any attempt to sell God within a denomination to be saved. It just doesn’t work.
My experience has proven that churches are mostly Sunday morning country clubs (with their laws and carefully crafted by-laws) that are very exclusive. Exclusive to what they believe…They invite people in, but with the eventual understanding that you convert to
“Going to a church does not mean it will teach the faith that Jesus lived by…but that church will teach what it wants you to believe to belong there”
the statement of faith of that building, board members and pastor. The basic movement of the people in the organization will be to show yourself worthy of what they ultimately believe as a tribe. It’s all about doctrine and law….no, not the OT Law, but a new law that all churches have built around themselves to guide themselves to staying right with God so they can be blessed. Going to a church does not mean it will teach the faith that Jesus lived by…but that church will teach what it wants you to believe to belong there.
Let’s be frank, there really is no room for people who have doubt or hard questions to ask. In all honesty, there are no questions to ask within organized religion…why? Because it’s already organized! Sure…parishioners don’t know all the answers and churches feel called to bring the light of their understanding to the lost that need their way found for them. But what happens when a women decides that the Virgin Birth is not to be taken literally? Or, what if a man thinks that God was unreasonable to ask Abraham to prove his faith by murdering his own son? Or even bigger, what if a person thinks that God wouldn’t use the death of his own son to forgive the sins of humanity and then ask them to believe that or they will be thrown into hell for eternity? What happens then? Are they asked to become involved and brought close…or are they told that maybe another church would fit them better? Or worse…are they told that they aren’t “saved”?
“Everywhere the church told me not to go I went..…and my life is so much better”
This is the point…all of our religions have a point of origination. Of course, people will ask the hard questions if they are allowed to ask them. When a church, pastor, or denomination does not allow people to ask the hard questions…then it will result to being a cult. If we don’t release the dogma that plagues our statements of faith, then all that’s left is religion.
A great friend of mine said this… “Everywhere the church told me not to go I went and my life is so much better”. Their point was that they found the meaning of Love when they stepped outside of the walls of organized religion. When they got away from the rules that govern the organized church, they were free to Love all people regardless of who they are. They were free to ask anything they wanted. I resonate with this.Why? Because the organized church, or religion, is so obsessed with avoiding sin, beating sin, getting rid of sin that you will find yourself in hell trying to avoid it. In actuality, purity codes feed the ego and give us a sense of self-centered godliness. Think of the shame that you would feel if your church leaders knew what you struggle with in secret….especially if you serve in a capacity that demands purity to hold that position. This is a dangerous position which only leads to self-centered fear. No one finds the kingdom of God by being scared of going to hell. Abraham did not find God by wanting to murder his own son to show he was faithful. Abraham found God when God told him that he is not like that.
Love is the only thing that defies all origins. Love, which Jesus demonstrated, is the only power by which you can transcend above sin and find it within yourself to forgive your enemy. Jesus makes an excellent point to those trying to convert others when he says,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
If you just tell people to believe what you believe…all you have done is made a new convert to your religious organization. However, if you Love your enemy you are more than willing to let them be free because Jesus has first loved you. Is your church full of converts? If you want Jesus…then maybe it’s time to step away from organized religion. You are allowed to do it….just think about it. God can handle your questions.