I read a comment on YouTube recently after watching a couple of videos from Nick Vujicic. If you haven’t seen this recent one, it’s worth a look.
The lady who commented on one of his videos was now an atheist because, in her words, “religion had only caused her pain.” When I read those words, I couldn’t help but agree with her.
Religion does cause pain. Pain is an accurate description of the aftermath of a life of following religion. How else would you describe something that suffocates you and leaves you unable to catch your breath? How else would you describe something that imprisons you, shackles you to shame and points the finger of condemnation?
As I recently mentioned in this post, I want nothing to do with religion. I have no need for it anymore. Religion causes confusion and muddles up the message.
This morning I read a portion of Galatians 6 in The Message translation. I love how blunt Eugene Peterson can be sometimes in his wording…
“For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do—the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus.
May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes!” Galatians 6: 13-18
I love that last line. “May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours.”
Religion sits on the surface, checks off rules and tells you that you must work for your salvation. Christ says stop. Stop trying to gain something that I have already accomplished. Stop thinking that what you do or don’t do is going to make you any more righteous or less righteous. Stop striving, come to Me, and find rest. Accept my gift, step into the wide open spaces of LIFE, and breathe deeply and freely!