24 Nov 2011

Healthy Religion

Submitted by Stephen Winters

Of what value is man-made "religion"? Over the centuries countless people have been killed and tortured in the name of religion.

True religion is about a way of life, of serving and caring about people. It has nothing to do with fancy buildings, services, etc.

James... has it right, "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:26-27

Religion, in its purest sense, is supposed to be all about helping people to become honorable and noble, and to live better lives. Part of this is helping them to live pure and blameless lives, to think clearer, and to act with love, compassion towards around them. Healthy religion seeks to bring everyone together in true unity.
True unity encourages everyone to have their own thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs while, at the same time, teaches everyone to respect the thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs in other people. True religion is about people, not about making an organization.

 However, in unhealthy religion, the organization becomes the important thing. People are there to serve the organization. Unhealthy religion is all about obeying rules and trying to get everyone to 'believe" the same way. Unhealthy religion tries to substitute uniformity (having everyone dressing, acting, and believing the same) for unity.

Healthy religion encourages everyone to think for themselves, to have their own ideas and to use their own gifts to serve others in ways that have meaning to both the servers and the recipients.

Unhealthy religion wants to make sure that everyone believes the "truth", which so happens to be the same as what the leaders believe. Anyone who believes differently is wrong or is going to hell (to be tortured forever and ever).  This religion has programs that they want done. The leaders see people as being there to do the programs, which gives an appearance of  life, but in reality only brings death.

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