Who are you Following
There is so much more to the the Gospel of Christ than what most religious Sunday-meeting attending people have presumed. Religion has largely succeeded in convincing people that what God is generally concerned about is Sunday-go-meeting attendance, the giving of tithes and freewill offerings to the denominated organization, getting you involved in some denominated ministry, building grand religious edifices and to put off elaborate event-driven "inspirational" programs, etc., rather than engage in an intimate, vibrant, abundant, incredible, close and personal love relationship with God and to teach people how to have this kind of love for one another! God's desire is for His Community of the Redeemed to be the outlet for Jesus to live His life through to minister to the Community of Humanity! He is interested in teaching us how to function as a unified body under the Headship of Jesus and not under the bondage of religion.
The Gospel is very intimate, very much alive, very much organic and personal! God has never been interested in the religiosity of religion, in fact, when Jesus came to earth it was the religious system that He completely upset!
You don't think so? 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 religious 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', 'Bishop', 'Reverend', 'Pastor' and 'Prophet" and they like the spiritual pedestal they are placed on. Believers all have a single Teacher...the Holy Spirit. Don't succumb to the religious deception that their seminarian denominated expert is the spiritual pipeline directly from God to you for spiritual nourishment. That function in the Community of the Redeemed is for God's appointed teacher...not man-appointed teachers. 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 believers...Christ Jesus. 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 mix words 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.
Neither will taking a stand for Grace today because Grace is a danger to religion.
If you are going to take a stand for the pure unadulterated Gospel of God's Amazing Grace, you will meet with stiff opposition from denominated organized religion because to fully recognize the extent of His Grace religion would lose its control over, and manipulation of God's people. Religion will no longer be able to grab the reigns and open their "boxed up" man-made doctrines and dry, lifeless rituals, and their denominated routine event-drive-programs, and it would KILL RELIGION and free God's people.
I for one, would count it a privilege to attend the funeral of religion.