The pitfalls of Religion over a Relationship between one’s self and the Lord of Creation. There are those that believe that religion is almost superior to a Relationship. It is this author’s belief that a personal relationship is to be desired and not a human-made religion.
There will be many that will reject what I am saying to embrace a religious denomination, that my friend is their choice, and I respect what they believe, but I do not agree with them on this selection. Religion will tie one’s hands, but a relationship sets us free.
People in a time of crisis will turn to a religious denomination that gives them comfort during this stage. However, when this predicament is at an end those same individuals who embraced religion fall back into their old ways of life.
According to the dictionary, religion is a belief in some superhuman controlling person. This controlling could be the reason why people run to religion when a catastrophe presents itself to them. Religion is a set of rules laid out by the founder of that religious sect, or today we call them denominations.
Each one has their regulation that the devotee must adhere to or face excommunication.
In James 1:26-27, it says,
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
In verse 27, it speaks of a “Pure and undefiled religion,” simply put all human made religions are not Pure or Undefiled, but are laced with the religion of the Pharisees of old. With an extensive list of “do’s and don’ts.” A “Pure and undefiled religion,” is, in fact, a relationship between individuals.
According to the dictionary, a relationship is how people are connected or how the individuals act towards each other. When one has a connection between them and the Lord Jesus, it is not about “do’s and don’ts” it is how one shows their love and respect for each other.
If we truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be the easiest thing in the world to obey Him. Our first task should be as the scripture teaches.
In Matthew 22:37-40, it says,
37 Moreover, He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
If one truly loves the Lord as stated, then all else will fall into place. There is no religion here, but a RELATIONSHIP between God and people. There are no “do’s and don’ts” to follow in a relationship because one does it out of love.
Husband and Wife
The first relationship was between God and Adam; this was out of pure love on the part of God. Then God created a woman and now a relationship was among humans, no religion involved here.
In Ephesians 5:25, 33, it says,
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
It has always been relationships that are important not the human-made religion we see today. If one has love and devotion to an individual, one will do anything to make them happy.
That is why a relationship is far superior to any religion on all fronts.
It is all about relationships to all humans no matter their color or race.
In Ephesians 6:1-9, it says,
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. 9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
The above passage is not about religion, but a relationship with children to parents and parents to children, it is also about a slave relationship to their master and master to slave. All healthy and active relationships are given to the Lord and must be from the heart.
It is the author’s contention that this whole passage is based on relationships, with other individuals. Religion will not work because it has too many rules.
The Ten Commandments
Relationships to others are so important that even in the Commandments given by God to Moses was that most were to show how our relationship was to be with our fellow man.
A short list of the commandments from Exodus 20:
Relationship Toward God
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make idols.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Relationship Toward Man
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.
There are more commandments towards man than God, as God shows us that it is a relationship that is superior to religion.
It is one’s relationship that is far more superior than any religion. Religion only translates into denominationalism. Religion or denominationalism or whatever one desires to call it is a tool that has caused divisions in the body of Christ called the Church. Genuine and honest relationships only bring one closer to each other in love and devotion.
Humankind has gotten so wrapped up in religion that it has forgotten people in the process. Do not let religion rule your life, commit one’s self to a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and see the results soar to new levels.
God does not have a religion with us, but He does have a relationship waiting if we but ask.
Sola Scriptura– By Scripture alone
Sola Fide– By Faith alone
Sola Gratia– By Grace alone
Solus Christus– By Christ alone
Soli Deo Gloria– Glory to God alone
Copyright Dr. George L Gallant, ©2016
All quotes are from the: New American Standard Bible, ©1995.