(ThyBlackMan.com) So you go to church on Sunday (or Saturday), sing the songs or hymns, hear the pastor preach, put money in the offering plate, hug a few people and go home. You try to absorb enough of the message to avoid getting beat up by life and Satan until you return next week. You pray over your food and before you go to bed at night. You read a Psalm or Proverb or daily devotional for encouragement during the week. You try to live right in between Sundays and you might even squeeze in a bible study as often as you have the time. You know you are not perfect, yet you are not too bad of a person either and you help others when you can. But is that all there is to it – or are you missing something?
What I have just described is the classic pattern that religion bestows on a person. And yes, what you are missing is RELATIONSHIP with God because religion has choked it out, blocked it up or camouflaged outward behavior when we all should be focusing on inward relationship. But how could this be when so many people are doing just what you do every week? More people than you would believe are religious but have no idea about relationship.
RELIGION IS A FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF
2 Timothy 3:5-7 King James Version (KJV)
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Man’s religion and every denomination attached to it is more like the Pharisees and the Sadducees than the church that Christ founded. You see, man’s church has grown up right alongside the church Christ created. And while there are some similarities, there are major differences if you know what to look for. Man‘s church is about outward show, which is why you see so many pastors being promoted instead of them promoting Christ. Whose faces are on the buses, vans and billboards? Whose names are on the buildings? That is who they are promoting and here is a hint. It is often not Christ.
BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES – LUKE 12:1
Man’s church esteems the pastor and focusing on him (or her) as the leader instead of the example of serving others. Ironically, man’s church seems to teach everybody else servanthood. And that is a problem too because Christ teaches sonship (Romans 8:16, Galatians 4:7). Religion approaches God as the almighty, all powerful Creator who works in mysterious ways. But relationship approaches God as a Father who opens the mysteries of the kingdom to His children by way of the Holy Spirit.
When you ask religious church leaders to tell you what they know about the Holy Spirit, they are vague, ambiguous, sometimes confused or full of generic answers which show they really don’t know Him as a person in the Godhead. But if they do not know Him, and it is He who transforms a sinner into a new creation, are those religious people even transformed? If they are, how is it they do not know much about the One who transformed them? Hmmmm.
In man’s religious church you can sit there comfortable in sin and not feel challenged or convicted by the Holy Spirit to change. Why? Because they Holy Spirit may not even be there. In such religious churches you can place religion on a shelf until Sunday and then act like the devil Monday through Saturday. Religion is a behavior, not a lifestyle.
Religion is an outward act. Relationship is the manifestation of a new creation with a new heart, a renewed mind, a new destination, a new character and the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you – quickening you, empowering you, anointing you, challenging you to rise to a new level and then taking you there. Man-made religion can never do any of that. By now are you feeling that you have been short changed all these years by mistaking religion for relationship? Good, then your spiritual eyes are opening and you are waking up. But we are just getting started so keep reading.
MAN’S RELIGION CANNOT SAVE ANYONE FROM HELL
Religion is about allegiance and loyalty to your “church” even more than to Christ. But how can you tell when that grave mistake is happening? Easy. If Christ and the Apostles teach one thing while your “church” teaches another, yet you go with what your church teaches, you have your priorities entirely wrong. Religion can take you straight to Hell (see Mathew 23:15) but relationship never will. A born-again believer (the only real kind of believer) is given access to Heaven, the mysteries of the kingdom, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and eternal life because of a RELATIONSHIP that exists between the believer and God through Christ. Not ever because of religion, no matter how good of a person you are, no matter how much you go to church and no matter how much you give (Matthew 7:22).
In man’s religious church there is plenty of “gospel” music but very little real praise and worship. Oh yes there is a colossal difference. Real praise and worship has victory and power embedded in it. Real praise and worship causes tears, breaks strongholds and takes you into the absolute presence of God. Real praise and worship is what the angels do in Heaven. it is angelic, not of this world and able to shake the very foundations of the evil which comes against you.
Real praise and worship is where time goes faster than you realize and time does not matter anymore because as you enter in, you are breaking free from attacks, deceptions, fears, pressures, anxieties and trouble. Real praise and worship strengthens you and rejuvenates you because you are surrounded by God’s presence – inside out, outside in and all around you. Religious “gospel” music can never do that and therein lies the difference. If you have not experienced real praise and worship, you are being shortchanged where ever you are attending on Sunday.
Real praise and worship does not require a choir that rocks or stomps. That may excite the soul but your spirit is who needs to connect with the Father. Real praise and worship does not require an organ or instrument that gets louder and louder. A trick often used to stimulate or evoke emotions from your soul instead of your spirit. Real praise and worship is your spirit in fellowship with God because of your relationship which allows you to enter in. And man’s religious antics can never touch that realm, no matter how much whooping, stomping, choir rocking and religious dancing he or she does.
Religious leaders hear this. You better stop playing with God, using Yeshua for your own gain and fleecing the flock instead of feeding the sheep. If you don’t stop, change and become born-again, you can expect to bust Hell wide open and find seats waiting for you with your names on them.
Man-made religion is based in denominations – none of which were created by Christ nor to ever be a foundational part of His church. Yes that means you Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, AME, CME, Holiness, Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Unity School of Christianity, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, Southern Baptists, National Baptists etc.
Every church and religion created by man can be traced back to the day it was created and the man (or woman) who created it. The Lutheran, Presbyterian, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist and Mormon churches are a few examples. The church created by Christ can only be traced back to the Messiah Himself. That is how you tell which is the real church of the New Covenant. The church Christ founded is not boastful nor huge nor based in any denomination nor man-made religion. It is not all over TV. Its representative leaders do not promote themselves. It does not have its pastors buying jets, driving Rolls Royces, living in mansions and giving loans to members who need help (if they even get approved).
But make no mistake about it, the church founded by Christ, His church, is small yet very powerful. It operates in the anointing of God. It operates in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is unpopular just as Christ was (Isaiah 53:3, 1 Peter 2:8). His church does not compromise nor make excuses. His representatives are correctable, anointed and obedient to His teachings as much and as often as men (and women) can be. His church is accountable to the Body of Christ and realizes the connection amongst born-believers. His church has strong families, strong relationships and helps those in need, with charity first beginning at home. His church is about love not pride, sonship not servanthood, grace not law, giving not “tithing“, sacrifice not selfishness, power not fear and victory not selling out to the world.
Christ’s church does not look like the world, act like the world nor think like the world because the world has no hold on it. Nor do the leaders of Christ’s church dress in fancy robes and collars like the Pharisees (phylacteries) to parade themselves around as if they are superior to the people. The members of Christ’s church have been transformed from the inside out and even those who are babes have renewed minds. His church over stands the doctrine of baptisms and has or seeks to have all three.
Christ’s church is not confused over doctrine because the members hear from God or they are on their way to learning how to directly. His church loves and prays like the Lamb but also rebukes, corrects and exposes like the Lion of Judah – and makes no excuses for the balance. Christ’s church walks in victory because it reflects Him. And that is something religion can neither do nor do for you.
Finally, the Bible is an encoded family book, a family guide for life and a family key to the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. It is a blueprint for finances, health and relationships. It is the battle plans for both war and victory. And it is a road map home to those of us who are God’s children. But those who are religious have no claim to any of these things, at least not until they become born-again believers and shun religion. So if the Bible seems confusing and full of contradictions, maybe that is because you are outside of the family which has a right to over stand these things. And for those on the outside (the religious, those not born-again), it is just as Christ said regarding the parables. Those on the outside will not understand it anyway.
So there you have it. Not all of it of course. But enough to let you know there is much more than religion out there. Relationship is waiting but it is not for those who are afraid of joining the army of the Lord. Yes the army. You have armor because you fight spiritually in an army. Just remember God is not Santa Claus and Yeshua (the Christ) is not a genie. True relationship, unlike religion, is not free as some have said. It demanded a cost of Christ’s life and it will also cost you yours – at least having your way, your old way of life and your old way of thinking. But you will gain a new, better and eternal one. If you have been expecting everything for nothing, you have really been lost in religion.
When I hear people say “salvation is free”, I know they do not over stand all the costs nor the entire process. Nor do they grasp the verses they quote. Christ paid the price for redemption but redemption is not the only element of salvation. Salvation had a cost for the Father (His son), the Son (His life) and the Holy Spirit (His inhabitance or dwelling place). Then sanctification will cost you even more as time goes on, yes YOU, not Christ. And while religion may not cost much of anything, religion will cause you to lose everything. Many of you thought all this time you had relationship when you only had religion. But now you know and your age of innocence has come to an end. Choose relationship and leave religion alone.
Staff Writer; Trevo Craw
A Free Thinker, who loves to talk about Politics, etc. Also, all about uplifting the Black Community even if it doesn’t fit your mindset. One may hit me up at; [email protected].