What I Don’t Like About Religion

I’m tired of organized religion frankly but feel closer to God than ever.

I think a lot of people really want to understand and have a relationship with a God who cares about them if only they knew he existed.

Yet unfortunately, I see organized religion built way too often on excluding people.  If I don’t speak the right doctrine, worship the right way, wear the right clothes, give to the right causes then I’m excluded by them.  And they tell me by their god.

Which leaves people hurt not only feeling excluded by friends but thinking they’re excluded by God as well.  And frankly I think that’s a major reason some people reject God.  But though it’s false it still leaves a longing deep inside.

I discovered though God gives us the opportunity to have a relationship with him outside of organized religion.  Sounds crazy I know but we never can be perfect enough to earn God’s acceptance anyway.  So we can only enter into that relationship by asking.  When you think about it how else could it work?

And then he accepts us.  No more insiders or outsiders.  Frankly, I can go to church or not and it doesn’t change that I’m chosen by God.

I’m his child and that still simply astounds me.  Sometimes I feel his love in ways that are hard to explain.  Not every day but often.

And we get all the blessings Jesus promised.  For me the one that summarizes that best is we can, “Have life and have it abundantly.”  That promise arrested my attention years ago and still encourages me today.

Paul writes, “And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.”  (Ephesians 3: 6 NLT)

I see only inclusion and love there.  What about you?

 

Religion focuses too often on exclusion.  A relationship always focuses on inclusion.

 

When have you felt accepted and included by God?