When men and women get their hands on religion, one of the first things they often do is turn it into an instrument for controlling others, either putting or keeping them ‘in their place.’  The history of such religious manipulation and coercion is long and tedious.  It is little wonder that people who have only known religion on such terms experience release or escape from it’s freedom.  The problem is that the freedom turns out to be short-lived…

-From the Introduction to Galatians, The Message Bible (Eugene Peterson)  

    

Religion is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. 

If Jesus came to bring us freedom from anything he came to bring us freedom from religion—he came to deliver us from it’s death-grip.  It wasn’t restraint Jesus came to deliever us from so much but it was from the old code of rule-keeping and polishing up our own spiritual resumes if you will.   And nothing has changed—plenty of the same old thing goes on today.

Do you ever wonder why non-believers find us so difficult to get along and converse with?  Maybe one of the big glaring reasons is our fascination with passing out a thousand rules instead of simply sharing the glorious freedom offered within the gospel message?  Jesus didn’t suffer and die so that we would have the freedom to merely keep a couple of rules. 

 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.    (Galatians 5:1, The Message Bible)

I am convinced that religion is largely responsible for a good number of church people who are straight on their way to hell.  So much for the separation of church and state—I’m one person who would rather see religion get the you know what out of the church.

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