TO HELL WITH RELIGION

By Jim Paris

Matt. 15:7-9

"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto ME with their mouth and honoureth ME with their lips, but their heart is far from ME. But, in vain do they worship ME, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

In response to any preconceived notions, because of the above title, that I may be an atheist, agnostic or even anti-Christ, I will answer with an emphatic, "NO!" I am a born-again Christian who believes in the finished work of JESUS CHRIST on the cross and the continuing MERCY, GRACE and FORGIVENESS of ALMIGHTY GOD! What I am about to express is NOT hearsay, but rather the testimony of my own experiences of the years I personally suffered the "HELL" of religion, from which I am still recovering. By GODíS GRACE, I will continue recovering from those demonic, deep-rooted heresies until I successfully leave it all behind.

The simplest, most comparable definition I know is: CHRISTIANITY is GODíS way and the ONLY WAY of drawing fallen mankind to HIMSELF! Religion is manís foolish, vain, asinine attempt to reach GOD by way of his own "good works," traditions and extremely burdensome rules. The two words should not even be used in the same or breath except to show the difference, which is as great as LIGHT and TOTAL DARKNESS!

JESUS, HIMSELF, said in Matt. 15:7-9, in reference to Is. 29:13, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto ME with their mouth and honoureth ME with their lips, but their heart is far from ME. But, in vain do they worship ME, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

CHRISTIANITY is simple: Thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thine heart, soul and mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. But, man, with all his human frailties, pride and search for significance feels that he must theorize, intellectualize and complicate the simple COMMANDMENT of GOD until it is co complicated that GOD, if HE was not omniscient and omnipotent, would also probably become confused. CHRISTIANITY IS BORN OF LOVE! RELIGION IS BORN OF PRIDE AND REBELLION!

For years I labored under the grievous burdens, unsuccessfully, of "do's" and "doníts." I was subject to the seduction, manipulation and intimidation used without mercy to dominate and control GODíS "sheep." The perception I had of GOD was one that would drive one away from HIM rather than to HIM. To be human was to "draw GODíS wrath" upon us without mercy. We were, invariably, commanded to keep "every letter of their laws."

Religion is multi-faceted. There is one to fit each one who is seeking one. The extreme opposite of what I experienced is called, "secularism," or "liberalism." They say that if it feels good, do it, without consideration of anyone else or future repercussions. They tell you that GOD is a "god of love" and that it doesnít really matter what one does, that GOD does not judge but that HE automatically forgives all sin. They even give their sins acceptable names, e.g., Drunkenness is called a "disease." Homosexuality is called an "alternative lifestyle." Adultery is the "act of strengthening oneís marriage." The list goes on and on. As the adage says, "A rose by any other name is still a rose."

Any way you slice it, RELIGION IS BONDAGE! Either you will be subject to someone elseís rules and regulations OR a slave to your own carnal, sinful desires.

If you are concerned in the least about where you will abide throughout eternity, you should be aware that it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to determine if you are perishing within the BONDAGE OF RELIGION or if you are "STANDING FAST IN THE LIBERTY WHEREWITH CHRIST HAS MADE YOU FREE." (Gal. 5:1)

As you probably already know, there are a great many jokes about judgment day. But, when it becomes a reality, it will be anything BUT a joke. You can plead all of your "good deeds" or the absence of the "bad deeds," but unless you can plead the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORK by the HOLY SPIRIT in and through you, the verdict will be: "Depart from ME, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you!" (Matt. 7:21-23)

"There is a way that SEEMETH RIGHT unto man, BUT, the end thereof IS THE WAY OF DEATH." (Prov. 14:12 & 16:25)

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