by Jenene Stafford ] The Jesus Woman
God Hates Religion
Religion was made up by man in order to discover a relationship with God. It all started out well and good, actually it was perfect with Adam and Eve. Then they ate of the tree and we all know what happened. They didn’t do “the will of God” by obeying. They were tempted by that snake that disguises himself in one way today, as religion. Quite the clever and suave snake satan is who presents himself so high-and-mighty that he desires worship like the Father. The religious are so blind they are literally worshipping the enemy and are completely blind to it. I know that seems like a way-out-there statement. Yep! We’re running out of time and we’re beyond the days of sugar-coating the tactics of the enemy. C’mon Church! Get with it!
Here’s the thing. I know right now you’ve perhaps probably got a particular denomination in mind about who the “religious church” is. “My Church teaches…” Do you really believe that God favors your Church over others? Quite the contrary, if your denomination professes to be “the only true way”, I can pretty well guarantee that it isn’t! In fact in the Book of Revelation Jesus is letting us know all the things He has against the Church and we will be judged by the Sovereign Judge sooner than you think. Now is the time to get right with God and what Jesus really taught. Take your religious hat off and put your relationship hat on because that’s what The True Jesus has always been about.
What Jesus Said About The Religious
So you may be wondering where in the Bible it says that God hates religion. Starting with the Old Testament below there are several scriptures and then finish off with what Jesus Christ Himself said concerning religion.
Isaiah 1:13-14 states, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies…it is iniquity…Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.”
David prays to God in Psalm 40:6, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire;…Burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.”
Amos 5:21 says, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell (the odors of their sacrifices) in your solemn assemblies.”
Micah 6:6-8 includes; “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
And here’s the secret: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”James 4:10. Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and start worrying what god thinks because soon nothing else will matter and you don’t want to miss the train to heaven.
You see, the Israelites (Jews) of the Old Testament had forgotten the relationship with God and became dependent upon the religious system of works and sacrifice and offerings expecting spiritual redemption or to appease God. But in these passages we see God Himself saying, “ I’m not interested in your religious activities, I want your heart.” In fact that is exactly what He expresses here in Isaiah 29:13, “Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me…”(Jesus quoted this passage in Matt. 15:8-9 adding “…in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”)
Pride is the capstone of religion. What comes along with being religious is self-righteous, hypocritical, prideful and underneath it all is fear. We’ve all had to learn this lesson that proves how deceived we are. We’ll continue to learn this lesson. This is why the great deceiver, satan uses it. He loves to cover himself up with the words of Jesus. Do you think he isn’t just smug-as-a-bug about that? That’s why I say he is being blindly worshipped by Jesus Christ’s church. It’s time to STOP the hiding madness that looks so proper and start asking, “Father, what is your will today?” and mean it.
Religion is a bondage that is often carried down from generation to generation or it has become part of the culture in countries around the world. Church and state are not separate. It is a bondage that Jesus confronted with a strong tongue lashing directed at the religious leaders of the day; the Pharisee’s of Judaism.
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.”
Jesus Let’s Them Have It
A Warning Against Hypocrisy
23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the lawand the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 
15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenthof your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah,whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’
There’s Good News
Jesus said “Come unto me… and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) Religion can’t save you; only relationship and that comes through humility and repentance. Christ says in John 10:9 “I am the door: by me if any man enter in he shall be saved…”
The truth is the religious sit in every religion in the world even the ones that claim not to be a religion. However, they are by way of their ritualistic practices. Christian, Islam, Buddhists, Hindu, Satanists (who claim not to be a religion, but that’s a lie), various world spiritualistic practices, etc. With every religion there are rituals and many of these rituals attempt to take the place of a relationship with a Living God, Jesus and they give us a false sense of security or power. Religion is full of blindness and spiritual deception.
Perhaps there are more religious in some churches than others, but the intention is all the same, to keep God’s Children from finding His path for their life. Jesus hated religion and He still does. Nothing has changed, the packaging just looks different. Being religious is personal. It’s a question for every person to ask of themselves. Where is my heart? Is my heart for God’s will or my own? Let’s get in real relationship with God and do the will of the Father. Seek first, His kingdom and then all these things you desire shall be added unto you. Seek His kingdom by seeking his face with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Keep Your Eye On The Bottom-Line
- Do justly.
- Love mercy.
- Walk humbly with your God.
- And all these things you desire shall be added to you.
And here’s the secret: Do all things knowing you are in the sight of the Lord.