I dislike what religion has become. Religion causes confusion, tears up families, and begins wars. I have always had an issue with the religion I was born into–Christianity. I could never understand why there were so many denominations of this one religion. Last year I went on a search to figure out which denomination was the ‘right’ one. Why did Baptists have a different view on salvation? Why is the Presbyterian service so structured? Are Catholics even Christians? Why are there different versions of the Bible? So many questions ran through my mind as I begin to dissect why all these denominations that claim to follow Jesus were so different. The more I researched the further I got from God. It was to the point where I was even beginning to question his existence. I could not believe that a Gracious and Loving God would allow for the growth off all these denominations when only one was correct. I couldn’t believe that people who genuinely loved God would be condemned to hell because they didn’t speak in tongues or they didn’t believe in the trinity.
That was when I realized that religion was stupid. Here I was trying to understand all the minor details of each church when the only thing that Jesus really cares about is: Do you love me? It really is that simple. If we love Jesus, naturally we will want to do anything in our power to please Him. Being a follower of Christ is about understanding him more, not church doctrines. Religion is about rules. Jesus is about relationship. Not to say that rules are not important; however, if all we focus on is the rules we loose sight of Jesus.
Even Jesus criticized the religious (Remember the Pharisees?). Was Matthew Pentecostal? Was Andrew Catholic? Was John Baptist (no pun intended)? All we know is that they LOVED Jesus. They dropped their life, their desires to follow Him. We need to do the same. Stop focusing on what separate us and begin to look at the core: Jesus. Imagine if we gave people Jesus. No rules, no church doctrines, no list of do’s and don’ts…just Jesus. I’m sure we would see a growth in the church (not walls…but people) like never before.
I just watched an awesome video that speaks to this truth. I hope it encourages you to focus totally on Jesus.