WHAT is RELIGION?
BY: LOUIS CHARLES
I feel it important to answer the question “What is religion?” as it is important to know the difference between religion and spirituality. Certainly I do not want to ever imply that “breaking down the walls of religion” is a statement made in trying to deny the existence of Spirit, for that is not this web site’s intention. In fact, it is my hope to point to God’s very existence right in “your midst” (in you!).
Religion would tell us otherwise, and I most specifically speak about traditional Christian theology, though other harmful religions also exist. Webster’s dictionary would define religion as, “the service and worship of God or the supernatural.” Since ancient tribal times, religion in general evolved out of man trying to explain events of which he knew little about. If a volcano erupted, it was attributed to an angry god, for example. Religion always uses the term god to instantly imply that deity exists outside of mankind. In that sense, religion is a man-made attempt to reach a far away, external deity. This is not unlike the tower built in Babel (Read the Book of Genesis) to try and somehow climb up to where God supposedly exists.
Man always seems to see God as up, far and away from himself; an old man with a white beard, perhaps sitting on a throne in a cloud. He sees god as someone who must be climbed up to; and if one is good enough he may enjoy god’s blessing. By believing in a god that is external, we also create the beliefs that this same god may also be vengeful. “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” is a very popular bible verse these days for it uses fear to hold captive believers.
Religion always builds walls of separation to divide man from Spirit. It is an attempt in placing God somewhere outside of mankind. Religion typically tells us we are separate from this fearful god they create and of course we need to do something about it. It is no surprise then that religion also claims to have the cure for our ailment.
Harmful religion is most easily identified when it uses fear, guilt and condemnation in the name of their god to gain converts. Jesus spoke of this to the religious leaders of his day when he told them they would “compass land and sea to make one convert; and by doing so make that person two-fold the child of hell!” Unfortunately today, religious false prophets have caused many to fear the Jesus they create as being a vengeful god who brings condemnation, guilt and fear to the common people. I call this doctrine the “Jesus Religion.” What most today call “Christianity” was never Jesus’ true message. Truly, a religion was created in Jesus’ name after his ministry, while Jesus’ true message only attacked religion and the religious leaders who led the common people astray! In fact, most churches today follow the Epistles of Paul and his letters while not understanding the spiritual significance of Jesus’ parables! Truly, these are the churches Paul built!
I believe the truth to be within all, witnessing to the fact that we are not separate from Spirit. Simply look within yourself and know that you and Spirit…God are one, and not separate as the religious snakes would have us believe. Everything that exists has to exist within the Divine Spirit, who is the life-giving power by which all things are sustained.
Spirit is Life, is it not? You can have a relationship with Spirit by listening within yourself, for the true you is spirit. The Holy of Holies is within your being. God is not a book, nor is God found within a building, church program, etc. God is within all of us, patiently awaiting for us to believe we can connect as one. Jesus’ true message simply proclaimed is, “The kingdom of God is within you.”
Content copyright 2002-2009
WHAT is RELIGION [Louis Charles] 1