The Greatest Perversion

Critics of religion often point to the many wars, killing and strife caused in the name of religion both today and throughout history to deride its very essence and purpose. Much has been made of this point. If you haven’t heard these arguments make your way to a local bookstore and go to the religious section. And, yes, the blame goes in many directions. No religion is off the hook.

That criticism has also been pointed closer to home, within the ranks of our “Christian” community. How about the fact that we kill our own? No, maybe not physically, but in every other way. When a believer sins, or God forbid a minister, they are publicly humiliated in the name of Christianity. Often the hands of those who do this sacred spiritual exercise are more soiled than the hands of those they are “purifying” to ease their self righteous piety.

Giving any amount of thought to these troublesome, yet true realities, causes ones mind to trend towards unbelief. The facts are real. This goes on every day. So what is the point of religion? Is God a fairy tale as those looking in would have us believe? How does one explain these two very disturbing realities? Is this the kind of God one would want to serve, let alone give their life to?

While pondering this very query, it suddenly dawned on me. Satan has been defeated. I think we can all agree on that, at least in principle from what we read in the Bible. Ok, and the only weapon he has left is deception. Are we together so far? Also, we can all agree that Satan is not more powerful or creative than God, right?

We see that Satan is merely a shadow of what God is. He does not create, he imitates. What God does for good, the devil does for evil. Jesus brings life, the devil death. Jesus heals, Satan destroys. The list could go on.

May I ask what the greatest gift to mankind from God is? Isn’t it forgiveness of sin, new life, and subsequent personal fellowship with Him through the Holy Spirit? I know that is the one thread that makes it next to impossible to ever reject my faith in Jesus. There is no greater fellowship and love than that of the Father through the Holy Spirit. It is so sweet, so kind, so accepting, so loving, so motivating; should I go on?

Doesn’t it make sense that the greatest gift, forgiveness of sin, new life and fellowship with the Father, would be perverted by the devil into perhaps the greatest evil known to mankind, RELIGION… THE GREATEST PERVERSION.

David described one day in right standing and fellowship with the Father as a far better experience than 1,000 days in the courts of a king. What God intended to be sweeter than life itself, Satan has perverted through deception into perhaps the most destructive force on earth.

Sadly, many non-believers site religion as the very reason why they want nothing to do with God. So much hurt, death and rejection has been caused in the name of religion. I have experienced this both personally and seen it in so many others. I know a wonderfully kind lady who made a bad decision as a young girl. She was so belittled and derided by the church for her wrong choice. She has since hardened her heart to God. As an adult, she fortifies her claims of God’s uselessness by citing further examples of friends and ministers she knows who were also mercilessly thrown to the curb as useless garbage.

I cannot believe religion or it’s adherents represent God. Not from my own personal experience with God, and not from reading the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus was nothing like religion. He was a friend of sinners, and told the least likely, a prostitute, “I do not condemn you, go and sin no more.” Those are not the words of a murderer; not in word or in action.

Perhaps you have given this subject some thought?

-Nathan Thurber

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