This is the title of my most recent published book, “Has Religion Killed God.” Although I am not using this platform with the intent of promoting my book, I would like to express my view about both subjects covered in the book’s title. I began to notice how some people would use their religious beliefs to overshadow what God IS. It was as though they could not see daylight between the two. In some cases, people actually used their religious ideologies to promote acts of evil that without question, contracts the very nature of the God they claim to worship.
Upon further reflection every since the beginning of our recorded history, mankind has revealed a tendency of doing things that goes against the character and nature of God. It is something about our ordinary nature that compels us to act as such. This is because we have within us duel natures. With two distinct natures living in us, it becomes difficult to separate our beliefs, otherwise known as our religion, from what we learn to be true about God. The two very distinct natures appear to divide us right at our core causing a chasm between who we think we are and what we believe to be true about God. One is our carnal nature and the other our spiritual nature. This is the essence of the book. It was written in a manner that provokes self-reflection and asks of the reader to determine what and why they believe as they do. Did we choose our religion or did it choose us?
Religion is a philosophy that was created by mortal men. It contains a set of beliefs, practices, rituals or traditions that uses theological constructs in order to compel a person, or group of people, to adhere to their philosophy in order to study and worship God. Religion itself is not God. But during the process of becoming Spirit-filled, it might be difficult to divide the two. A good analogy of the difference I point out in the book is the relationship between a hammer and nail. A hammer is used as a tool to drive a nail into something in order to hold it in a fixed position. The hammer is not the nail, but merely a tool used to drive the nail in place. Likewise, religion is a tool used to study and worship God. Religion is not God but in the minds of many worshippers, the distinction has been blurred to the degree that one might consider them synonymous.
For thousands of years, immoral man has used religion as somewhat of a weapon to do things that are obviously wrong in the eyes of God. Since we have free will… we may choose to make selections that oppose or offends God. But the fact that people have freedom of choice does not make their decisions the righteous things to do. Even though many people consider themselves to be godly people, their self-evaluation does not make them Godly. If God were truly in the heart of a person the difference between right and wrong, moral or immoral, would be precisely clear to them. Only God’s Spirit can bring people into right standing with Him. Without It there would be no difference between right and wrong. Without God, imperfect people become their own judges.
Through our chosen faiths or religions we are capable of establishing a set of laws, rules of conduct or even determine a preferred set of beliefs. However, enforcing them is not a precise fulfillment. On the other hand, God’s laws are immutable. Yes, we can exercise our free will to act, think or do as we wish, when we commit willful infractions against God it creates a debt that can only be collected or forgiven by God. Since all debts owed must be paid in one form or another, all accountability resides in the capable hands of an All Mighty God.
In my book, I challenge my own beliefs, how they came to me, who taught me, the nature of the environment that raised me, and many other tangible factors that shaped me into the person that I eventually became. Even though a seed of knowledge was spoon-fed to me when I was a child, I did not fully understand why or how to properly administer such foreign information. Imagine telling a child that they must believe in something that they can neither see nor hear. Also tell them that God is unknowable but insist that they believe in this unknowable entity, and… that their belief must be certain. Even though some children will choose to do as they are told, most would only become believers on the surface but internally there would be mass confusion. It is because of this that no one can actually come to God without Him drawing them near. It is His Spirit that teaches us what is required to be known about Him.
Imagine also standing on the outside desiring to know more about God. With all the bickering and even infighting over which faith is right or wrong, even among people who share the same faith, a clear pathway to actually finding God becomes increasingly more difficult. It is like taking an impossible situation and making it that much more difficult. Add to the equation the fact that God is unknowable. Truth be known, without the aid of a religious tool many people would not be able to implant the initial seed of discovery. Therefore I am not anti-religious, I only encourage everyone to open the doors whereby God can step in as the only expert. In other words, religion might be able to take you to the door, but only God can allow you to come into His Kingdom, both here and in heaven.
Without condoning or condemning any particular religious practice or ideology, perhaps a better approach to dealing with the ails of which we find ourselves would be in encouraging everyone to draw a distinction between what is a philosophy or ideology that was created by mortal man as apposed to what IS sacred and holy, God. The two are not even close to being synonymous. However, until individuals are willing to make such a distinction they will only gravitate back to how they have been indoctrination to believe. Essentially when a man turns to himself for the cures to what he caused, it is like asking a physician to heal themselves. In order to make such an adjustment, it would require humility from mankind and faith in the Creator of all things. That would entail man, finding ways of discovering the true Almighty God. That is where the problem lies, in coming up with something that could be universally agreed upon. We are all mortal creatures but God is immortal. Even further, not all people choose to believe in the existence of an immortal supreme God.
Even though I cannot speak for God, nor am I attempting to defend a particular practice in this essay, I am willing to allow God to speak for Himself and that would require enough humility on my part to allow something that is superior to me to reveal Himself. What I am saying to those who claim to be a true believer is to go into a quiet place and speak to God from your heart asking Him to reveal Himself to you. If you are honest and sincere, God will make the next move. In other words, go to God in the secret chambers of your heart and allow God to answer you from that very place. God cannot deny such a request if it is sincere. But I caution you, if you are just trying to prove your established belief then you have not humbled yourself to God and more than likely will not receive verification from the Living God.
In order to get to an internal place within the self, it will require deep soul searching. It usually requires dedicated time and a willingness to be taught by God. The more we live according to cares of our mortal minds the less we give God the opportunity to draw us near. For example, if I spend most of my time worrying about what I will eat, where I will live, how to pay my bills, what others think about me or in general the things we refer to as the cares of the world, you really don’t have the room in your heart or mind for God to enter your sacred chamber. If you allow your mind to control how you think and what you believe it is limited to things that are of the earth. However, if you learn to control the mind and make it yield to a higher power that is not of this earth… then you have the possibility of God revealing Himself to you.
I am not advocating anyone abandoning their religion but I would suggest that everyone be willing to allow the Creator of all things on earth and in the heavens to reveal Himself, as He exists, in Spirit and in Truth. In many cases, and in many ways, religion has a way of causing self-reflection, but only God can reveal the true self to us. This was because it was through Him that all things were made. That includes you! My book, Has Religion Killed God challenges you to ask the question? Do you trust in religion or, do you trust in God? The two are not the same. Though I am comfortable with the tool I have chosen to practice my worship of God, my hope is that you take the time to become comfortable with yours. To God be the Glory.