Why such a harsh title to this writing? Before I give an answer to that question, let me preface by saying both Dr. Michele and I are born-again spirit-filled Christians. I say this upfront with the request that our belief system not be placed in premature judgment.
Religion in itself is man’s best attempt to reach God. Religion in this context is based upon habits, customs, rituals, or practices designed to promote or develop a closer relationship with a superior being. So what is the problem with religion and why is it a terminal disease?
- Religion has nothing to do with a relationship, but instead places emphasis on behaviors or expected behaviors.
- Religion is rooted in the concept of judgment. If, for example, a person does not respond to or behave in a certain list of actions, condemnation and judgment will follow by the religions leaders. Grace is minimal, but punishment is the norm.
- Religion is based upon a certain list of behaviors that promote self-professed and self-described improvements in one’s spiritual self. This makes actions the dominant force in the success of the religious acts.
- Religion has been at the root of and an explanation behind enormous violence for centuries in the history of the world.
- Religion today has became about denomination and division. Denomination and division will always breed disagreement and potential contempt and ire.
Based upon the above five characteristics one can see why religion can lead to destructive behaviors, beliefs, and actions, not to mention a hopeless attitude of “never being able to live up.” Religion does not lead towards a better understanding of love, a life where love is exemplified, or a total complete person that is living in constant peace.
What is the cure for the fatal disease known as religion?
The answer lies somewhere in the heart of relationship. This relationship is based upon faith, love, righteousness, and hope.
- Faith is the expectation of things not yet seen but known to be true without doubt.
- Love is a pure love. This love is based upon unending and unexplainable grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
- Righteousness is based upon righteousness not obtained through self-acts, but upon righteousness obtained through the acts of another and totally not deserved.
- Hope is knowing peaceful and eternal destination is in store despite the chaos in the world.
It is mine and Dr. Michele’s sincere hope that as you read this blog, God in whom we have a relationship with, will reveal Himself to you in a true, real, and genuine manner and that encouragement will fill every part of your being.