There was a time in the history of the world when a man encountered God when he wanted to; He stayed with him in a personal relationship, surrounded by love, at meetings he came naked with his love and was not at all ashamed of him (Genesis 2:25). And it was good.
Further events changed the course of the world and the fate of man; Everyone and everyone individually and took the effect of the snowball; Nothing was sacred beyond God, the Earth became an unfriendly place, devoted to evil, although God was still in the same place, he was now a distant human; The man began to fear him and be ashamed of himself, but he also began to seek for ways that would allow him, at least, to come closer to the Creator, and to please him. That’s how religion came into being.
When the sage points to the moon, the idiots look at the finger. (Saying from the East)
But in religion, a man will never regain his first relationship with God, because God is not religious and he has created no man for it, he was religious. He created us to relationship.
But what is religion really? And what is its opposite? Well, the opposite of being religious is not being an atheist.
Religion causes many evils in the world
– they say. And I totally agree with this opinion. Religion excludes everything that lively God gives; Love, freedom, spiritual growth, authentic joy and, above all, the relationship with him.
Why do people become religious?
The simple answer is: because they –WE – were taught so. Since childhood, we turn in a system of rewards and penalties. We need to do something to get some effect. Sometimes we learn that you have to deserve for love. We cannot even imagine that it can function differently. Religiousness is therefore involuntary – until a person becomes unaware of it and until it opposes it – until it breaks the spirit of religiosity.
Over time, religiosity seems to be something sophisticated, a higher, shrouded note of mystery, while the gospel is simple. For some people – too simple.
Religiousity can be the domain of egocentric practitioners; They want to do as much as possible, feel the action in their hands, feel how much they deserve God’s favor – usually in comparison to what others do not.
Religiousity is also characteristic of theoreticians; They talk beautifully about Jesus, about love, but they do not want to face it in everyday life.
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
(Luke 18, 10-14)
What else does religion do and what do religious people do?
– For a religious man, religion becomes more important than love.
– The religious man expects; From himself and from others.
– A religious man brings other people to the church instead of to God.
– A religious man tries to earn God’s favor through his deeds.
– The religious man is constantly afraid of Satan.
– The religious man has no reborn spirit.
– A religious man does not build his identity in Jesus.
– The religious man is not humble.
– A religious man fights with the body.
– Religious people love the law, but in the word freedom seeks danger.
– For religious people grace is inadequate; They constantly have to do something, because according to them God is constantly insatiable and not quite satisfied. They believe that God continues to use a system of rewards and punishments.
– The religious man is constantly struggling with sin; his and others.
– Religious people are like beggars who ask God for something he has long ago done!
– A religious man daily „loses” his salvation because of sin; It reminds Sisyphus, who rolls this great stone day after day.
– The religious man constantly compares himself to others.
– Religious people make sinners feel bad at their company; Religious people are outraged by someone’s sins.
– Religious people are not hungry for God.
– Religious people would throw Jesus out of the service.
– The religious man will indignantly read this text.
Are you shocked with the penultimate point? Yes! Jesus was constantly in conflict with religious people because he was destroying religious thought. Because He had another spirit. He knew;
- Religion does not lead to God and has nothing to do with it.
Religion is a 100% human creation, in which there is no God spirit.
Religion is not creative, it does not give any growth. It can lead only to foolish zeal.
Religion restricts man because it wants control over him
Religion requires form and has a framework.
Religion limits God.
Religion likes idols.
Religion excludes self-thinking at people.
Religion builds the mentality of the herd.
Religion proclaims human justice.
Religion excludes grace. They cannot coexist. Jesus has brought mercy.
Religion never releases a person beyond the sinner’s status. It makes him stay in it.
Religion requires spiritual perfection from man, while God wants to make man perfect and helps him in this, in total freedom and love.
Religion opposes the gospel.
Religion drives everything, not just in proclaiming the true gospel.
Religion does not allow you to grow up. Religious churches keep people under the rule of law and never allow them to grow up.
Religion drives people in a constant guiltiness
Finally, Jesus was crucified for breaking religious laws. If he appeared today, he would also be persecuted – by religious people.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (Matthew 23, 13)
Religiousity can characterize every denomination of believers. And it does not matter whether it is a certain direction of meeting, whether they want you to come in a certain type of clothing or to convince that God needs to be convinced; Run away from such a church as you will fade. And you will be told that it’s normal and it must be like this.
Christians are not religious people!
When I left the Catholic Church years ago and started another denomination a few years later, I had the effect of „Wow”; Wow, how different is here! Wow, what open people! Wow, finally someone knows the Bible and uses what is written in it … … yet I was not aware that I went from one form of religiosity to another. And everything was cool and great, but …. This moment when I met Jesus alone on my own, sitting in my own room, I fell in love with Him, He released me, and I saw the world completely different …. it was drenching, it was away – and I was told that it was supposed to be like this.
Then I saw sinners around; I liked to talk to them and I was glad when one discovers …. How great is it in my church; There was my church where there was „Truth” and there was a rescue, and there were poor people who needed to find out that they were to obey the Old Testament commandments, because God had saved their lives BUT….
I was up to my eyes in religion and there came the day when I realized I was in a bind and I had to get away. But I had …. a huge guiltiness! Well I did not know how to do it! For so many years I only knew one safe, paved for others, way – I did not even have to know the Bible well – I repeated the interpretations of these „enlightened” believing that the truth was revealed. But I was struggling harder and harder.
A dream helped me – God showed me the situation where I was and the one he wanted to lead me. The first was a tiny, dark cell with all the walls narrowed. For a few breaths, there was also a tiny grate in the ceiling that was right next to the tip of my head. Outside was God with all the universe, beauty, space and outstretched arms in my direction. I went there.
Do you have a problem with religiosity?
The drama of a religious man is that he either does not think he is religious or does not consider it a problem but the blessing.
If you suspect you may have a problem with religion – and this is the same problem as with alcoholism or drugs, know that there is a rescue. It is worth treating it for the sake of others and others.
All you have to do is
A) Believe that religiosity is not God’s idea for you.
B) Then believe that such a decision is not against God.
C) Decide that you want the change and all the strength you need to confront people you draw from Jesus.
D) Come to Jesus and do not be afraid to live in His freedom. And allow him to change your heart; This will be a process, so do not be afraid; You will be able to see the attitude of love-and-nothing-beyond. In complete freedom: -)
If you want, you can use words:
God, I believe you have planned for me life in love, freedom and joy. I’m not sure what is happening in my heart now, but you study it and if I have the spirit of religion I decide to turn it around. I want to live in your space, on your terms. Amen.
When I was about to write this text, I asked the Holy Spirit, how he would depict religiosity and its opposite. And he showed me … .. horses: -)
The horse is a noble creature – he has the strength and grace that can only delight in freedom and develop there. Like every believer.
God’s presence is not limited by place, time, form and type of person. You do not have to earn it. This is the space where you are with God. Therefore, do not look for him in any church. This time, let Him form your inner man. Just as He wants: -)
Bless you all!