Updated on April 7, 2015
Freedom From Religion
Around every Christian holiday, I can count on seeing a post or two shared on Facebook from an organization whose mission in life is to be free from religion. Strangely, I strongly endorse their efforts – but likely not in the way they imagine.
To understand what religion is, you must travel back to the beginning. God created Adam from the dust of the ground and filled him with spiritual life. He placed His children in the Garden and gave them dominion over the Earth.
However, they weren’t alone for long. There was an enemy present, Satan. His rebellion before led to a catastrophic judgment of Earth, leaving it in darkness, and covered with water. This was the condition when God recreated the earth in Genesis 1. He was an outsider, an intruder, and had Adam or Eve exercised their authority, they could have sent him packing. Instead, he engaged in a conversation with Eve. And she listened to what he had to say.
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.
“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.
“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” — Genesis 3:1-5 (<NLT>)
You will be like God. This is the biggest lie ever spoken on planet Earth. Adam and Eve could not be more like their Creator than they were at that moment. They were created in His image, spiritually alive and clothed with his glory. Instead of being limited to just information gathered through their senses, they had access to revelation knowledge – the Wisdom of God Himself. All that changed with the decision to disobey God’s Word and do things their own way. The moment they sinned, they died spiritually. Cut off from God, they had a new spiritual father – Satan. Access to revelation ended, and they had to rely on their senses to survive. It was this moment, religion was born.
Man is a spirit being, with a body, and a mind. Man is also designed to have a spiritual father, either God, or the father of lies. There is no other choice. When Adam and Eve sinned, they received a new spiritual father, and all of their descendents would be born the same – spiritually dead. From the very beginning, God made a way for man to reconnect with his Heavenly Father, through blood.
When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the LORD. Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” — Genesis 4:3-7 (<NLT>)
From the dawn of time, men have sought their own way to God. They rejected His Word, and attempted to worship him in a thousand different ways other than by faith. Consider just ONE example – Cain and Abel. By faith, Abel offered a lamb as his substitute as a sacrifice to God. It was accepted. Since Abel did it by faith, you can be certain he followed God’s Word (faith comes from hearing God’s Word – Romans 10:17). Cain offered produce from the cursed ground. It was not accepted. There is a profound contrast here – following God’s way versus man’s way. One was by faith, while the other was by works. All religious error, including much within Christianity, flows from a choice between following Christ, or religion, God’s Grace, or human merit, His Word, or the reasoning of theologians. Choose your path wisely. It will save you from much frustration. (Genesis 3, Genesis 4, Romans 1, Ephesians 2, and Hebrews 11:4)
Religion, in its purest definition, is a belief system that may or may not have a deity. A good example of the latter are those who believe in global warming. Without any evidence, and mounting contradictory data, there are those who cling to the false narrative that man is destroying the Earth. It is their religion, even if built on nothing more stable than the sand of human reasoning.
Throughout history, every culture has created its own unique religion. Pagans imagined gods and built a mythology, making them behave no better than the fallen humans who worshiped them. Satan will do anything to turn people away from God. He is not a creator, but is very good at perversion. Hence the numerous religions, cults, and superstitions all designed to lead people away from the Truth. As time passed, men turned to science and even philosophy to fill the emptiness that comes from spiritual death. They desired to be their own god, as Satan had tempted Eve. However, even believing that there is no Creator, is still a belief system, or religion.
Man has a choice. He can reconnect with his Creator, or stay connected to Satan. There is no other choice. God is Love, Light, and Wisdom. Satan is selfishness, darkness, and confusion. Choose your spiritual father wisely. And the only way this is possible is by faith in God’s Word. Anything that deviates from this is practicing religion. Its following Cain, who chose to do things his own way.
If your desire is religion, whether atheism, Christianity, or paganism, you are missing the boat. Jesus did not die on the cross to create a new religion. He came to give Believers LIFE, so that God can now once again fellowship with His kids – treating them as if sin never entered creation.
NEVER look to the experience of man, the knowledge of theologians, or to a religious system. Instead cling to the HEAD, Jesus. Believers are complete in HIM, not religion, no matter what flavor the denomination. Judge Christianity by the ideal, by Love Himself, Jesus. That is the standard. (Colossians 2)
Christianity is supposed to be about RELATIONSHIP, not religious ceremonies, rituals, dogma, or traditions. You can see where Jesus stands on this issue quite clearly in Matthew 15, Matthew 23, and Mark 7. Paul echoes this message for the Church in Galatians, Colossians, and 2 Timothy. Its not a pleasant read for the religious among us, but liberating TRUTH for those stuck in religious bondage.
You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false. — John 8:44 (<AMP>)
So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. They answered Him, We are Abraham’s offspring (descendants) and have never been in bondage to anybody. What do You mean by saying, You will be set free? Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin. Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever. So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free. — John 8:31-36 (<AMP>)
In the classic role playing game Dungeons & Dragons, every character could select an alignment from 9 options ranging from lawful good, to neutral, to chaotic evil. In the real world, everyone is born as a child of the devil. They are slaves to sin, and under the control of the enemy. Even in ignorance, man is under the control of the father of lies, who is the god of this world. Man is stuck in religion even if he thinks otherwise. Freedom from religion can only come through your Heavenly Father, because if Jesus sets you free, then you are truly free.
God gives you a choice between Spiritual Life, and spiritual death, Light and darkness, and Blessing and cursing. Choose Life, choose Him, and leave religion behind.
May God Bless You And Free You From All Bondage!