If you wish to walk with our creator but be free from religion, try to overcome one simple belief, that there is an eternal fire of Hell waiting to consume the enemies of God. Think, why would everlasting LOVE for whom all things are possible, choose to punish anyone forever?
It’s written, Love your enemies, forgive your enemies, and treat them the way you wish to be treated. The LOVE from the creator of existence is unconditional, meaning there are no “terms or conditions” attached to this LOVE, the creator of existence is by very nature LOVE. We cannot say “God has unconditional Love for creation, BUT, if you do these things he will burn you in Hell forever and ever.” Either the Love of God has terms and conditions, or it is unconditional.
Religion dictates, that there are “terms & conditions”, rules to abide by, and standards to uphold, judgment, eternal punishment, or reward. Spirituality dictates there are no terms or conditions, our creator loves us unconditionally. There is no judgment, there is eternal life and reincarnation.
If Love is your way of life and indeed your religion, then there is no need to be free from your religion, such a religion should be embraced, celebrated, shared, enjoyed, and talked about.
But religions that preach about hellfire, are man-made constructs that use your faith in God or a Higher power to control and manipulate you. This article concerns breaking free from dogmatic, mind-numbing, legalistic, ritualistic, duty-bound guilt manipulating religions in which you can feel trapped.
Rules, laws, and regulations are found in most religions. Ancient texts seem to have the authority on walking with God. But the Creator is ever-present, living, and active right here, right now, real-time, able to communicate immediately in your heart and mind if you are able to believe.
The image of a judgemental God who punishes and condemns his enemies to eternal hell, can instill a tremendous fear in people, and if avoiding Hell is a motivating factor for your “walk with God” then you are having a life experience based on trembling in fear and guilt. Picture for a moment two men, both have wives, one man’s wife stays with him trembling out of fear and guilt, and the other man’s wife stays with him because she loves every little detail about him. Which one of these men would you respect more?
I’d like to take you on a journey through my own study and understanding of Scripture, but I would prefer you don’t put belief in me or my words, you are on your own personal journey from the womb to the tomb, believe what your instinct and conscience dictate.
This is from Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.
Galatians 1: 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be eternally condemned!
In Paul’s letter, he claims to have the one true Gospel, and that if anyone, even an angel from Heaven were to disagree with his message, they should be condemned forever. But what brought Paul to this conviction?*
Galatians 2: 2 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.
Paul says after 14 years, “I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain”. So he went to the students of Christ, the Apostles who had been taught directly for 3 years by Christ. But note, Paul called himself an Apostle.
Paul had never met Christ, he was not part of Christ’s ministry, yet his teachings make up more than 70% of the new testament.
Those Christ taught were in a much different frame of mind than Paul, concerning dealing with people who had differing opinions, Christ had helped his disciples understand whoever was not against them was for them.
Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us
Mark 9:38-41 / Luke 9:50
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Christ said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
Here Christ says “giving a cup of water” can qualify a person to receive their reward. But what if they have a different belief than Paul? Can what you mentally believe cut you off from Love for all eternity? Or is it that something as simple as giving a cup of water to a stranger is enough to qualify you to please our creator? Did Christ come to give us a new religion, with new laws to hold to, or did he come to set men free from religion?
Mathew 22: 36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Christ replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets are summed up in these two commandments.”
This is good news. “All the Law and the Prophets are summed up in these two commandments.”
In part 2 I will go deeper into Christ’s teachings and explain why I believe he sets us free from religion, and why Paul did not understand that freedom and through his teachings bound religion on to those wishing to follow Christ his way. And why Christ said “call no one on Earth Father,” Mathew 23:9, and why Paul said, “I am your father in the faith” 1st Corinthians 4:15.
Freedom From Religion Part 2