Religious Attributes


Religion Divides


Denominations Empires


It is Finished


Clergy & Laity


"A guidebook to accessing the life of God

Without being sidetracked by religious tradition."

By Charles Pinkney


Author's Brief Testimony

Attributes of Religion


The Clergy Laity Doctrine

Denominational Empires

2"It is finished" What was finished?

Religion Essays Indexed

Behaviors of the Pharisees

Religion, Jeremiah's Stale Cisterns

Religion: A dividing force

Religious, emulated behaviors

Religion's Focus on Performance

Looking at Externals

Terms that have become Religious

Vines, True Vines and Others

Do you find the Bible hard to understand? It takes a long time to study and understand the Scriptures. Are the words on these pages history or fable? Can it be proved to be the "word of God" and relevant to life in the 21st Century? Does it define the realities of truth or not?

Those who possess the "Spirit of Truth" will hear and understand; those without it will not. It is only after we have studied the Bible carefully with the intent to  understand that we begin to glimpse its prophetic accuracy and its consistency. It has been called many things, such as the "Makers users manual,"  "A love letter from God," "A book that prophetically foretells future things."  Academics and theologians dig into the study of Scripture from a variety of motives and at times leave with a lot of knowledge but little understanding.

The apostle Paul was highly educated and religiously situated and highly placed in the Hebrew faith until he was called to be a witness for the risen Messiah. Paul proclaimed that scholarship, philosophy and theology are a pathway that does not inevitably lead to knowing God. Human knowlege is not Spiritual knowledge. Truth and wisdom is a Spiritually derived gift. Spiritual life is outside of religion. For it is only God himself who through the revelation of the Holy Spirit to impart to human beings the necessary understanding and revelation of the Mysteries of God. (Read 1Corinthians Ch.1&2)


**Schisms and division in the body of Christ from denominational boundaries

Schism and division result from the designation of clergy and the subordinate laity

Some form of priesthood remains as the controlling voice in fellowship

Human headship a heirarchy of authority controls and imposes obligations

Formalistic rituals or orders of service prohibit God's interacting

Religious services become a form of performance or entertainment

Congregations (the laity) undervalued and serve mostly to support the institution

The members of congregations are identified as "sheep" to be exploited

institution church is focused primarily on maintenance; continuance and growth

Religious traditions borrow worldly values and methodology

The doctrines of institutional Christianity may be at variance with scripture

All individual believers are not expected to grow, mature and assume leadership

Traditional religious practices lack a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit.

**Although Christianity is the outgrowth and fulfillment of

Judaic roots there is little  acknowledgment of these foundations

Religion: A Dividing Force
A House Divided Can Not Stand

What Subtle Spiritual Forces Work to Separate us from the Gospel Truths?

There are two active spiritual forces. The first bears the influence of the Kingdom of God, of which Jeshua (Jesus) is Lord and ruler. The other bears the influence of the kingdom of darkness with its own ruler, Lucifer or Satan. Satan is called 'the deceiver' of the brethren', 'prince of the powers of the air', 'the lord of this world', and 'the enemy of our souls'. The Lord of heaven, Jesus, is a gathering power. He gathers together, restores the broken-hearted, delivers the captive, brings liberty and hope. He saves. He heals. He delivers. Satan, conversely, is a dividing force and a devouring force. His strategy is to divide and conquer as well as deceiving and destroying. Satan is continuing at work to cause strife and division among the people of God. It is Satan's purpose to also divide us from enjoying peaceful relationships with one another. The devil beguiles and encourages self will and vanity. This was the sin that brought him into condemnation. Every human soul remains separated from God until the time when we call upon God to rescue us from our own chosen destruction. The un-redeemed person habitually serves self in vanity and ultimately whether we will cease to follow the self directed life which keeps us from knowing God.

In a time of God's choosing, our life's purpose and orientation reaches a crossroad and we begin to experience God. These significant times are of special significance (Gr. chairos) in God's timetable. At such times God's hand reaches forth in grace and begins to strengthen a man or a woman and raise them up and provides them with a testimony, a voice that bears witness of redemption. Until such times we remain in a kind of inertia both as individuals and as institutions.

Periods of religious revival have occurred when men or women of God became empowered by the Spirit. They break through the malaise of tradition. Men and women receive something from heaven. The fire of God begins to consume their spirits. They break forth proclaiming that God really is one who rewards all that seek him. They call a sleeping church to awaken; they refresh a world to hope. Religious belief systems are probably born in a time when spiritual power was in evidence, and this witnessed first hand. Then, eventually in the course of time people fall out of the spiritual loop. A religious person has been told that there is a God but they personally have never experienced Him. They are told God answers prayers, but they've never experience answered prayer. They are told that God once spoke to people but he doesn't speak anymore. But, God is a God of the living not of the dead. God is a right now being. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Religious traditions tend to turn the reality of God's "now-ness" into God's "then-ness." Religion for all intents and purposes becomes a kind of "oral tradition, and no more.

So it comes to pass that one group's tradition comes in conflict with others and the house divides further. Eventually we have a hundred denominations or sects; few of whom see one another as brothers and sisters in the faith; few of whom enjoy the "now-ness" of God; and even fewer who see themselves as the true disciples who Jesus prayed for in John 17 when he commissioned us to be as He is in the world.

Fellowship is bonding power of unity.
Agreement is the power of faith.

Fellowship is the bonding power of unity among any community. Agreement is the power of faith. Everyone has an area of interest or interests. It is natural to seek those who share your interest, whether it be an interest in playing cards, playing golf, collecting stamps, fishing, or drinking beer at a honky tank. We seek people who like what we like. We are stretched when we are around someone who shares nothing in common with our interests. We all crave fellowship, belonging and acceptance.

Religion divides believers. Division weakens and hinders the purposes of God and his Kingdom. Jesus prayer recorded in John's Gospel, chapter seventeen, prays for unity of all his people. It is prayed for his disciples, and ultimately for all who will know him as Redeemer and Deliverer. Jesus prayed for the disciples who were then at his side and for the disciples who would believe in him at a future time as new disciples are made, thus extending the line of discipleship to the present generation. The substance of this prayer is the culmination of his earthly ministry and articulates his wishes for all of the children of God both the Jew and Gentile to be one, perfectly one in Himself.

Oneness (unity) in Jesus Christ is to have the same fellowship with the Father that he knew and experienced. In addition, Jesus also prayed that we should partake of the same glory which had been given to him. Later in the prayer, the Lord expresses that it is his will for us to share in His commission and ministry upon the earth. He Jesus, prayed he would be replicated in each disciple to continue his own life and ministry. The same charge of service (ministry) that Christ had received from the Father has been turned over to the disciples. All of the petitions in Jesus' prayer were spoken with the express understanding that the Father would bring it to pass. Everything Jesus prayed was in the Father's will. These prayer petitions define the divine parameters for the Christian life.
We see these parameters restated and amplified by the apostles later in the scripture with further elucidation and instruction to believers in the apostle's own writings (the epistles of John, Peter, Paul, etc.).

The divisive power of "religion" thwarts the intentions spoken by Jesus in his "high priestly prayer." Traditions enable this spirit of tradition to perpetuate. We are instructed by our human religious mentors in matters of faith and the manner in which to live our lives. We have as much or as little of the truth of the Gospel as is understood by our mentors or expositors of our tradition. We are limited by the areas of ignorance which limit our mentors. The apostle Paul states at various times, Brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant about Spiritual matters but you were brought forth into this idolatry even as you were led, (1 Corinthians 12:1 paraphrase) . Because we have been mentored into ignorance of the truth, we can not extend ourselves into the realm receiving spiritual life through spiritual promises because we have no faith to move into these dimensions. It is within the dimension of the Spiritual where we desire to move; wherein are all of the promises of God pertaining to our forgiveness, health, blessing, reconciliation plus authority over the realms of darkness. These promises are for any and all believers because God has promised these to all without prejudice. Any and every believer is an inheritor of all of God's promises.

The Gospel Without Religion

E Book 2:

A Disciples Handbook

E Book 3:

Mysteries in the Bible Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles


Charles Pinkney

Updated 2019