Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 10 – Futility and Death

The Bleeding Blogger

Things Destined to Perish

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?

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Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 9 – Division in the Body

The Bleeding Blogger

Finding the Sacred Everywhere

Can you meet God anywhere? Even in an uncomfortable setting – perhaps something different from what you grew up with?

Or, when visiting another church fellowship, are you so distracted and annoyed by the furniture, the different worship style, the theological differences on small, non-central issues, the way people dress, or the different leadership structure, that you don’t believe the Spirit and Truth of God can be present there, and you’re unable to meet him, and let him breathe through you in your worship?

If the church buildings and traditions were to collapse, who would still be the church, even if they couldn’t “attend” church at a beautiful building, in the “right” denomination,  with all the normal, comfortable church supplies for the rites and processions on hand?

What is our solid rock – bricks and stones, or the chief corner stone?

Are you prepared…

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Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 8 – Works and the Wisdom of Men Replace the Spirit

The Bleeding Blogger

Fruit vs. Root

As Christians (either reborn believers or Christians in name only), we often make the mistake of striving to replicate or copy fruit (works) rather than the seeking the root (the Holy Spirit) of those works.*

We take the fruit (some good, some bad) of our forefathers – writings, ideas, theology, creeds, and church practices – the fruit of ancient men and women – and try to copy-paste these things into our lives today. We create doctrines and precepts and rules out of these ancient fruits or good works, neglecting to pursue the heart behind that fruit, a heart which is one with the Spirit of God.

Rather than sitting at the feet of God, we sit at the feet of theologians, Bible commentators, and famous orators. We trust their interpretation of God’s voice more than we trust or listen for God’s own voice. We look to…

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Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 7 – Spirit and Truth

The Bleeding Blogger

Worshiping Him in Spirit and Truth

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Jesus

It is possible to speak the truth of God without actually believing it – or having a heart after God. I recently read about an atheist church leader (a priest, I believe) who declared she believed in God in order to keep her job. She “worshiped” – no doubt at every service speaking words of truth – but certainly did not worship in the Spirit.

No doubt, she’d even performed many rites and had them performed on her as well.

Communion.

Baptism.

Yet she was clearly not saved.

Christians can be just as dishonest in their worship.

When we repeat…

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Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 6 – Lip Service

The Bleeding Blogger

God Wants Our Lips and Our Hearts

This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”

Jesus

God looks at the intent of our hearts in our worship, not the style or simply the words we say. He doesn’t delight in a song unless our souls are present, too.

“I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.

Jeremiah 17:10

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Jesus

It is the purity of our hearts – a righteousness which only comes through the blood of Christ and power of the Spirit – not our efforts – which leads us to God.

Every man’s way…

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fallacy of division - logic - picture of puzzle pieces, mostly blue, but not entirely

Fallacies – Fallacy of Division

Assuming that something which is true of a thing must also be true of some or all of its parts (reverse of the Fallacy of Composition).

Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 5 – Religion Doesn’t Really Need God

The Bleeding Blogger

The Heart of Worship

Christ can work wherever he chooses. In any denomination, any church style.

The style is not what matters.

It’s whether the style has become the idol or focal point of that church.

The “right” way to do things.

It’s the question of who – or what – is at the center of that church. God, or men? The Spirit, or flesh? Entertainment, or worship?

A church building may be aesthetically appealing – or its music sweet to the ear – and this does not necessarily mean that the focal point of the church is entertainment.

It takes vision and discernment of the Spirit to know who is at the center of the church, regardless of the material surroundings and aesthetics, or lack thereof.

The question is, are the worshipers within still able to meet God in a different – perhaps less comfortable or familiar – church setting? 

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Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 4 – Missing the One Who Sanctifies

The Bleeding Blogger

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

Jesus

The Holy Spirit inside us (the new temple of God) – sanctifying us – is more important than the bread or wine which many Christians…

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Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 3 – Religion Does Not Produce Holy Worship

The Bleeding Blogger

Sacred Worship

It is the presence of Spirit-filled believers who participate in sacraments (from the Latin, sacramentum, from sacro (“hallow”, “consecrate”), from sacer (“sacred”, “holy”)) that make them sacred, worshipful acts.

The sacraments are often considered to be primarily communion and baptism (or in some denominations, a few other things as well).

But in reality, every activity done for the glory of God is a sacrament. There aren’t two or three or eight sacraments. There are thousands upon thousands. Anywhere the Holy Spirit inspires or moves us, we are performing a sacrament.

Sacraments take place everywhere Christians are present, not just within the walls of church buildings or through the blessings of ordained priests.

All who are reborn in Christ are priests, and any work in which Christ’s followers engage for His glory is blessed and holy – is a sacrament – because it is touched by the Holy Spirit.

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Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 2 – Ignorance and Enlightenment

The Bleeding Blogger

Ignorance and Enlightenment

The enemy has used both ignorance and “enlightenment” (or the perception of it) to mislead many.

Even thechurch has been used many times to lead people into darkness – or to keep them there.

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church capitalized on the ignorance of the laity regarding the truth of the Bible – deceiving and exploiting them for sordid gain. The heart and truth of God was greatly misunderstood, if it was known at all.

And then came an “Age of Enlightenment”, in which God was “reasoned” by some out of existence.

The enemy is clever, and uses the trend of the day to deceive people.

Unfortunately, we sometimes seem to be less clever, either following the trend of the day for the sake of following it, or clinging so tightly to tradition that we miss the truth.

See to…

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