So much about religion can be beautiful, warming, uplifting and help bring us closer to God, but so much else does the opposite. It can make us closed minded, hard hearted individuals with an oversized sense of self worth and superiority over others.
How can so many faiths all call themselves Christian, yet be so divided from each other? How can they be so varying in what they believe, how they behave and in how they treat others of differing faiths or those of no religion?
If they all have such differing ideas, how can they all be true Christians? Splitting away from the main body of Christianity, the title of their own individual faiths, and their laws made by man within those faiths, seem to mean far more to them than being united as one, obeying God and doing HIS will. God makes no such division and has no ego, man does.
Far too many leaders and followers believe only their faith is the right one. They talk of unity and respect for others, yet display no sign of it in anything other than on the surface. Their behaviour and thoughts towards others not of their own thinking is often rude or seen to be condescending false tolerance.
I have been to so many beautiful services and processions over the years where everyone appears to be so devoted to God and loving towards others sharing in such services. The days are glorious and give a feeling of warmth, love, closeness to God and of purity. However, the reality behind it all is not as it appears to be.
Sit with any of those people attending such services or processional days and try speaking of other faiths. Talk about people of no faith and ask their thoughts on such matters and you’re immediately met with a stoney faced expression of disgust. A handful will be open, accepting and loving. They’ll be the true followers of God who are trying to be as He asks of us, to be as Him. The rest will be filled with hostility while putting up a brick wall immediately.
You’ll be treated as a heathen, a trouble maker and not really ‘one of them’ even if you are. This is the reality behind the scenes of people professing to be good people, true followers of Christ. People who have no tolerance for anyone outside of their faith or what those others might believe in or behave like – even if their behaviour and lifestyle is purer than those condemning them.
Religion saddens me greatly. Each time I hear people within religion talk about God and their beliefs, my heart sinks further and further. It sinks because I hear so much self adulation, bigotry, self glorification of their own holiness and so much that saddens God. Walls are built up and doors slammed in faces – metaphorically speaking.
None will accept this about themselves no matter how much truth of this is pointed out to them and proof given. They are so filled with their own self worth as Christians, they refuse to look at their own behaviour and see if what’s said might be even a little bit true.
Religion is and can be beautiful, but the trouble with religion, is that it can also harbour those with the darkest of hearts and the biggest ego’s. Not only with some of their leaders, but with far too many of the people filling places of worship. This fault lies with leaders who don’t lead or teach well.
I have stopped going to church and have mentioned this a few times, but the more I see of people within religion and hear how they speak or behave towards others, the more I feel repulsed they call themselves lovers of God and Christians. Some are genuinely good people, don’t get me wrong, but far more aren’t. They just think and say they are.
One upmanship is everywhere you look. On the surface, everything in places of worship seems peaceful, joyous and filled with people who come together as one. It’s when that little bubble is burst we see the cracks and problems that simmer under the oh so perfect and holy looking surface.
Talk of interfaith services is rife, talk of unity is starting to be, but hardly anyone I’ve spoken to from various faiths knows the real meaning of either. Even those who take part in such things think themselves superior to those they sit alongside.
All is on the surface only. Talk to any of them in a one-to-one and more in-depth way about any of this and you’ll find they’ll get angry and will show they’re not unified in any way at all, but are as superior about their own faith as they ever were.
To find someone truly respectful, non judgemental and accepting of how others live their life, how they believe, or don’t believe, is very rare. I have found the people prepared to speak about God properly, share their love of Him, who follow Him as He asks of us and who are most pure in spirit, are always those outside of religious beliefs rather than most people within them.
Many people who have walked away from religion that I’ve spoken with worldwide over the years, say they left religion behind due to feeling let down for various reasons. They disliked the superiority of followers within their churches and the same superiority they saw of others under the Christian banner.
Others who have walked say they found their churches wanting. They were seen to be moving more and more from God and into more of what mankind (or women) wanted, whether of God’s laws or not. Man’s wants were, and are, overriding God’s.
Leaving religion doesn’t mean leaving God. Sadly, some are so dejected by what they see from so-called Christians and weak or bad leaders, it makes them walk away from God too. These are people who can be won back easily, because if they truly know and love Him, they’ll find He’s in their lives each day anyway. They never really lost or left Him, they just think they did. On talking to them, they realise He is still there.
The reason for many thinking God and religion are one and the same, is because far too many are taught God and religion are one and the same thing. That you can’t have one without the other. Well you can, and many people do.
The reason they think this, is because it’s what their religions teach them. That man is lost unless coming to God through THEIR teachings. Teachings that sometimes twist words given by Christ through either desire to control followers, or due to not understanding what was meant.
The two things coming together – God and religion – should strengthen one’s love for God, but instead, it seems to be weakening it these days and this is why so many are walking away.
Churches are giving us far more of man’s wants than they are of God’s laws now in their desperation to bring back people who left or to keep church numbers high – regardless of their worth. Leaders who behave in such ways will one day be answerable to God for each soul they lose. Churches are losing their way, but good leaders can help bring them back into line.
It is with a very sad heart I wonder what lies ahead in the future, as regards God in mankind’s lives and the world. So little of His ways lie within places of worship or within the hearts of those who go to them. Man’s ways and demands have been seen to be catered to more and more over the years until we have been left with a watered down version of mainly man’s making.
I cannot stop feeling this started to be seen with the introduction of Vatican II. There is a real death of religion happening right before our very eyes, but people are so wrapped up in their own self glorifying sense of piety and holiness they can’t see what’s happening right before their eyes. What’s happening within them as individuals. They refuse to accept how they’re speaking, behaving and thinking of others is often not of God.
I find it so sad to say, but I find more of God outside of religion these days than I ever do in it. I used to love going to church. I used to love the prayers, worship and the people who sat alongside me. The people who used to respect others, other beliefs, people of no belief and who used to see the goodness, the love in others rather than what they choose to see now. God created and loves us all, people of all faiths and none. He does not just love those you decide He does.
Hypocrisy is growing day by day and it is ugly to see. The services may still be beautiful, the followers and leaders may appear to be all loving and holy, but it’s what’s hidden beneath the surface I cannot stand being alongside any more.
I still go to church once in a blue moon, as I miss all it used to stand for, but due to the knowledge God has seen fit to give me, and the more I see, the more removed I become by the falseness of what so much of it stands for now.
One day, I hope to see it change and that only true followers of God who do as He asks of them will be sitting within such places. I’ve been told this will one day happen, but not in my lifetime sadly. The clean up has started now in small ways, but we have a long way to go before it is purified.
How beautiful it will be when those truly of God will sit together as one in humility, rather than sitting divided in superiority as they all are now. When people of all faiths or none can come together truly as one.
The pope has started the clean up, now we need the laity to look deep within their hearts and souls to recognise they’re not truly worshipping or obeying God at all. They need to clean their souls.
They need humility to be able to recognise it, but most lack such humility. We also need leaders and laity of others faiths to start doing the same. Until they do, lacklustre Christianity will remain in Satan’s grip.