Religion's Twisting of Truth.

There is so much more to the Gospel and "Church" than what most Sunday-go-church attending folk know or practice. Religion has largely succeeded in convincing people that the Gospel is about Sunday gathering in segregated denominated buildings, preaching to get conversions and members, tithing of your money to the denomination of choice, being involved in some denominational ministry, listening to men devised sermons, develop denominated "inspirational" programs, obey denominated religious rules and practice denominated religious rituals. 
But, is that really the Gospel? The Gospel is more about an intimate, vibrant, abundant, incredible, close and personal love relationship with God as He teaches you how to have this kind of love relationship with people! God's desire is to prepare a Bride for His Son! He is interested in teaching us how to function as a body under the Headship of Jesus, not disjointed members of segregated denominations. The Gospel is an intimate relationship that is very much alive and very much organic! God has never been interested in religion, in fact, when Jesus came to earth it was religion that He completely upset and wanted to end! "No way" you say? Well just look at these few examples...

Matthew 21:12-15 - Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves. He said, "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a place of prayer,' but you're turning it into a gathering place for thieves!'" Blind and lame people came to him in the temple courtyard, and he healed them. When the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing miracles he performed and the children shouting in the temple courtyard, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were irritated.

Matthew 15:7-14 - (Jesus said) "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.'" Then he called the crowd and said to them, "Listen and try to understand! What goes into a person's mouth doesn't make him unclean. It's what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean." Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you realize that when the Pharisees heard your statement they were offended?" He answered, "Any plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone! They are blind leaders. When one blind person leads another, both will fall into the same pit."

John 2:18 - "What right do you have to do these things?" the Jewish leaders demanded. "If you have this authority from God, show us a miraculous sign to prove it."

Mark 3:1-6 - Then he went back in the meeting place where he found a man with a crippled hand. The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction. He said to the man with the crippled hand, "Stand here where we can see you." Then he spoke to the people: "What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?" No one said a word. He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, "Hold out your hand." He held it out--it was as good as new! The Pharisees got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod's followers and ruin him.

Matthew 23:1-13 - Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. "The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God's Law. You won't go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don't live it. They don't take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It's all spit-and-polish veneer. Instead of giving you God's Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn't think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called 'Doctor' and 'Reverend.' Don't let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of 'Father'; you have only one Father, and he's in heaven. And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them- -Christ. Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you religion scholars, you Pharisees! Frauds! Your lives are roadblocks to God's kingdom. You refuse to enter, and won't let anyone else in either."

It's pretty obvious, from just these few examples, that Jesus didn't hold back when it came to the straight up truth about His kingdom and His people... but it didn't make Him very popular with the leaders of organized religion in His day. Jesus caused the religious system to be agitated, offended, repulsed and utterly resistant to change or even the very idea of it...especially when its own livelihood was threatened, it is the same within religion today. The only option was to break free of the control of religion if you want to participate in the moving of His Spirit in love and grace. Those who opt for the way of grace way will ridiculed, rejected and ousted from religious "fellowship" if they want to have freedom to follow the leading of God's Spirit.

Organized religion will have nothing to do with anything it cannot control nor anything it can not take credit for inventing. Even in the few cases where revival movements were invited inside the walls, it wasn't long before the walls closed in on that movement to attempt control of it. As it was true it is today!

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