As I said in the first article on this subject, religion is, replacing, implementing, putting in place in order to replace, substituting, controlling or manipulating a true relationship with the living God. (Holy Spirit).
Religion is also fire insurance, which means "just in case" in other words "this stuff just might be true." But religion has no allegiance to any one god, so if this one does not work out we can always try another. Or as one man told me "one can never have too many saviors." I thought this was very funny until I started to think about it and realized he was not joking.
In the last twenty five years we have had many Christian movements which resembled fads more than works of God. Among these were Name it and Claim it, Word of Faith, Promise Keepers, What would Jesus do, and those called to do spiritual warfare with Larry Lea. Today we have all the healing rooms and prayer movements, along with thousands of books about the hundreds of steps it takes to know God, or to have your prayers answered. When groups of believers get together it is always "have you read this book by so and so." Or, "this pastor has a new revelation" or "this sister is the next big thing in church."It's always about the church world but not the world of God. Everything is done in a mechanical way which works just fine in the corporate world, but you could never know God by listening to someone else's blueprint.
I have several dear friends who are devout Christians and love Jesus in the most religious way, but have a type of fascination with things from other religions. At times it seems as if they are wondering if they are missing out on some type of blessing from some other strange pagan god. They would never admit to this and don't know it's there, but it is there because a religious spirit has no loyalty to the one true God. Many would say "that's not me." But when you jump from one new pastor to another as if they were the flavor of the month, or jump on the bandwagon with every new book, are you not bowing down to that new god which is now all the rage. After knowing about grace do you still have to work in the church day and night to convince yourself that God does love you? Are you not bowing down to a religious work?
I have another dear lady friend who went from one cancer to another than another. She is a believer so I wanted to know how she could be so sick and go from one operation to another without the Lord showing her what was wrong. After much prayer the Lord showed her that she was always looking in the wrong place for her healing. She loved what she called Christian mystics, those who go about prophesying and lying about their calling, which are nothing more than the Balaams of this world. For those who do not read the bible, Balaam was a witch who worked for God and Satan at the same time, Numbers, Chapter 22. The Lord also showed her that she had a powerful spirit of religion and needed to get rid of it in order to serve him only. Two weeks ago she called and said she had been healed by Jesus after opening her heart to him. Before that the doctors had said that she would die within the year.
The pastors and prophets she found so fascinating were border line witches; they also had a lot of foolish superstitions, which had nothing to do with faith. The line between true Christianity, religious Christianity, and the occult is very thin and many find comfort in all three. The only one who can show you the correct way is the Holy Spirit. But this could happen to anyone. I love God the Father and try and please him every day, but the day my own father died, the pain was so intense that I could not get enough of religious services. I attended a Catholic mass in the morning, a protestant service in the afternoon and was about to attend another service that night, not even knowing what they believed in. I just needed to be around people who were looking for God in some way, and this coming from a man who has lived by faith for twenty seven years. Finally the Lord Jesus gave me the grace to see my father in heaven and this took away most of the pain.
But anything you put your eyes on outside of Jesus, be it the bible, or a picture of Jesus, a cross, a bracelet, a statue, a book, a pastor, or priest, a church setting, or church work, the new movement, or even the latest prophet, is idolatry. And idolatry always carries with it an evil spirit who means to curse you and not bless you. Remember Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, there is no new Jesus, and you can only find him by repenting and putting your trust only on him.
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