"A guidebook to accessing the life of God
Without being sidetracked by religious tradition."
By Charles Pinkney
**Schisms and division in the body of Christ
from denominational boundaries
**Although Christianity is the outgrowth and fulfillment of
Judaic roots there is little acknowledgment of these foundations
By Charles Pi
and RELIGIOUS ELEMENTS
takes a lot of time and study to understand the Scriptures, we
call The Holy Bible. Is it history or fable? Is it the
word of God and relevant to life in the 21st Century? Is it infallible
truth or not? It is only after we have studied the Bible carefully
with the intent to understand that we begin to glimpse its
consistency and simplicity. It has been called many things,
such as the "Makers users manual," "A love letter from God,"
"A book that prophetically foretells things to come." Theologians
dig into the study of Scripture from a variety of motives and
at times leave with a lot of knowledge but little understanding.
In these writings, I will focus upon the attributes of the Religious paradigm which has an adverse impact upon our faith and spiritual growth. There are doctrines and practices that will likely be familiar to you. These beliefs can actually keep individuals from ever experiencing the Kingdom of God or the greatest gift of God, our redemption and salvation. These Religious paradigms impact our faith and spiritual growth in negative ways.
I hope the topics which follow will shed light upon things which most of us have seen or done which constitute "religion "or religious practices. Religion in its traditional forms, takes away from the fullness of the life of God, the "living way" by giving itself over to externals, superficial formalities and habitual practices modeled from human headship. Not only denominational churches but virtually all institutions of "Christian" worship have become encumbered with some form of religious traditionalism which begins to depart from the simplicity and authenticity of apostolic roots.
The often-ignored negative attributes of the Religious paradigm, described throughout these writings, are elements which impact faith in negative ways and in fact can actually keep individuals from ever experiencing the Kingdom of God or even the gift of God's Salvation.
All of us whether we are "religious" or not, need to evaluate our beliefs and especially our sense of really knowing God. If we are to be children of God we need more than just an assent to an idea or a doctrine. Doctrines do not change us on the inside. We need to experience God. I believe that I can say with assurance that God does not favor religious institutions or traditions which substitute worldliness for spiritual fellowship or the liberating truth of God's Word for a human understanding.
is man's idea of what God
wants us to do to please Him
If religion were only pure and good and brought forth good fruits such as personal joy, and liberty, there would be no need for the Lord to issue an exhortation to religious people.
When Jesus (Jeshua of Nazareth) came to minister to the people of Israel in his generation he came with signs and manifestation of God's favor and He came with the impeccable credentials, that of prophetic fulfillment. Jesus brought a message that was Spiritual because God is Spirit. A spiritual message is always contradictory to worldly forms of worship or to tradition for its own sake. The Kingdom of God promotes spiritual relationships, sharing, and community within the body. The agency of the Spiritual life is partaking in God's "oneness."
true messenger of the Kingdom of God, comes as Jesus came
with a spiritual mission and a spiritual message. Jesus was more
than a good man. He was the man sent from God, a man who was more
than a man, more than an anointed prophet, he was the very Son
of the Living God! Yes, he was all of these things, but in the face
of this he was not received, he was not believed, especially
by the 'religious authorities.' He was called an imposter, the rabbis
and teachers of the law, religious authorities confronted him and
resisted his mission, his ministry and his message.
is a spiritual force of resistance above merely contrary human wills.
This spiritual force aims to hinder the making of a righteous and
unified family a reality. God has taken this force of evil resistance
into account and has given us instruction on how to persevere against
Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon your shoulders" Why? So that we can do what? So we can be further burdened? No. Because he intends to become a burden bearer on our behalf. "You will find rest and help, - - for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 29:30)
Religion has among its attributes the tendency to establish duties or rules of conduct which are somehow supposed to please God. However, these so called righteous deeds are not able to establish our righteousness before God. The hardest thing for a religious person to unlearn is that we are free from duties to perform, from obligations and from laws of any kind to establish our goodness and acceptance by God.
Works and obligations are not a factor in bringing us to God nor in determining if we receive any of the kindnesses which God has promised us in His word. We can't earn any gift. Once we go to Him to become forgiven and to be cleansed, our most fruitful Spiritual efforts would best be applied to thanksgiving and gratitude for His mercies.
The works of faith are a reality but they remain less our work than His work. It is not God's intention for us to do His work with our limited abilities. Once we become a child of God and establish a life of intimacy and familiarity with our Spiritual Source and Supply we are transformed sufficiently to be able to offer the kind of witness to the world which can be of value to God.
Christians are always trying to do things for God. It is He who wishes to do things for us. (a foreign notion to religious thinking.) It is Christ in us who is to do the work though he chooses to work through us.
says, "Take my yoke upon your shoulders" --so that we can
do what, be burdened? No. Because he intends to become the burden
bearer. "You will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden
is light." Jesus declares. (Matthew 11: 29:30)