The more I fill my eyes, ears, mind and heart with the Word of God, the less tolerance I have for religion. Religion tells us to follow specific traditions, patterns, and acceptable behaviors. Christ tells us to follow HIM. I propose that if we truly follow Jesus Christ (His life, His teachings, His commands), we will find that we are doing what we ought.
I encourage you to study the Scriptures for yourself; ask the Holy Spirit to open your understanding of what they mean and how to apply them to your life. No one is perfect, and we all need assistance in rightly dividing the Word of Truth. We need to stop relying on what religious leaders tell us God is requiring. Micah 6:8 (NLT) tells us that God requires us to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. In order to do that, we need to know what’s right, what mercy entails, and what walking with the Lord really means. All those things can be found in His Word.
As long as man is flawed, religion will continue to get in the way of true worship. It has been happening since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden; this is nothing new. Religion crucified Jesus Christ. Religion imprisoned and martyred the apostles. Religion holds many church-goers in bondage today, with its rules, regulations, and expectations.
Once you know the Truth, it will make you free. You will be able to participate in church services, without feeling obligated to do so. You will be able to give cheerfully, without being embarrassed into it or made to feel guilty. You will know when to say ‘NO,’ because you recognize that Jesus Christ offers you abundant life, not a mundane existence tethered to routine activity. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, continually replenished and bearing good fruit. Don’t let religion rob you of the joy Christ offers you.