10 Ways Religion is Bad for You

Every story needs a villain and the villain I most often employ is religion.

Grace is good, but religion is bad. Grace promotes trust in God, but religion is all about trusting self. Grace says, “God helps you,” but religion says, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Some have said that I’m giving religion a bad rap, that religion is not the evil empire I make it out to be.

“A lot of good is done in the name of religion.”

Others distinguish good religion from bad religion.

“Didn’t James write something about pure religion being acceptable to God?” He did, but James hated religion.

Religion means different things to different people, so let’s begin with a definition. According to the OED, the word originally meant to bind to religious vows, practices, or traditions. Google “etymology of the word religion” and you will see that it comes from a Latin word meaning “to bind.”

At its heart, religion is a form of bondage. To say there are good forms of religion is like saying there are good forms of slavery.

So that you may be certain in your mind, here are ten reasons why religion is bad for you.

1. Religion is based on a lie

At the heart of religion is the belief that we can make ourselves good. It’s the serpent saying, “Do this and you will be like God.”

We think Adam and Eve were fools for listening, but we repeat their mistake whenever we look to ourselves as our source of security and joy. Religion is a temple built with human hands.

2. Religion prostitutes the love of God

Religion perpetuates numerous lies about the character of God. “God is mad at you. He’s keeping score. He may reject you.”

These lies feed the fiction that God can be bought. “But if you do A, B, and C, you can appease an angry God. If you are faithful and good, he will bless you.” What a villainous distortion of our Father’s unconditional love!

3. Religion alienates you from grace

Religion offers a pathway to God that perversely leads away from him. “Keep these rules, heed these principles, do what you’re told, and you’ll be acceptable to God.”

Nope. The highway of religious pride does not go to the throne of grace (Gal 5:4).

4. Religion is idolatry

Forget Baal, Molech, and television. The biggest idol is the one called ego or Self. This idol of independence utters two words again and again. “I will make things right. I will do better. I will never fall away. I will follow Jesus anywhere. I will do great things. I will ascend to the heavens. I will be like the Most High.”

Religion runs on will power and speaks the language of Satan (Is 14:12-14).

Differences between gospel and religion

5. Religion rewrites the Bible

Since religion is false, while God’s Word is true, it has to redefine words like repentance (penance), faith (works), hope (wishful thinking), obedience (rule-keeping), and grace (grease for the gears of self-effort), lest it be exposed for the sham that it is.

Christ said following him was meant to be easy, but religion makes it hard. The gospel is meant to be good news, but religion makes it bad.

6. Religion makes you angry

Religious people are the maddest people on earth and understandably so. They are hounded by the dogs of law. They carry unbearable loads. They hear the happy sounds of a divine party, but their pride won’t let them join in.

Tell religious folk that they’ve been conned and their investments count for nothing, and they will tear your head off.

7. Religion makes you stupid

Insanity is doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result. For fourteen centuries the Israelites practiced religion hoping to earn the favor of heaven. That’s 70,000 Sabbath’s to figure out it doesn’t work. Then Jesus came and fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law so that you might be justified by faith in him, and religion still says it all depends on you.

Jesus makes the simple wise, but religion makes you stupid (2 Cor 3:14). Religion will lead you to say things like, “God raised up ISIS or Covid to serve his purposes,” and “Divorce your current husband (who loves you) and return to your first one (who abused you).” (I’ve heard both claims in recent weeks.)

8. Religion will kill you

God gave us relationships so that we might enjoy life, but religion prefers rules. Rules suck the life out of your marriage, your family, your church. A blind adherence to principals will cause you to sacrifice friendships and crucify your brothers. Rule-based religion will destroy everything good in your life (2 Cor 3:7).

Carl Jung on religion

9. Religion is a cult

Everyone knows cults are bad, right? But did you know that religion shares every characteristic of a cult: authoritarian leadership, indoctrination, exclusivism, isolation, and opposition to independent thinking.

Cults recruit people by offering a counterfeit form of acceptance and purpose, which is also how religion operates. Like a cult, religion discourages questions and marginalizes those who fail to toe the line.

Organized religion is just a cult on steroids.

10. Religion is dehumanizing

Jesus offers you abundant life here and now, but religion says the life you desire is only available tomorrow. “One day you may become the person you want to be, but right now you are incomplete, inferior, and far from God. You are a sinful, little grub with no value except that which you produce.”

This dehumanizing doctrine of demons is a million miles from the gospel of Jesus. In Christ you are completely holy and righteous, eternally forgiven and accepted forever!

Make no mistake – religion is rotten to the core. Religion is organized crime masquerading as an insurance racket.

Like the Mafia, religious institutions may hide behind a storefront of good deeds. Don’t be fooled! Regardless of what it says on the brochure, the purpose of religion is to enslave you. Religion wins and you lose whenever you buy into its propaganda of uncertainty and fear.

Jesus didn’t suffer and die to establish religion. Jesus is the end of religion.


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100 Comments on 10 Ways Religion is Bad for You

  1. Wayne Alumbaugh // February 10, 2016 at 1:30 am // Reply

    Well, Well, Well, My, My. The Rules. Jesus says follow me. I haven’t found really anyone who wants to do that. They either are too busy attempting to make a living of doing as they think and drawing disability. Or neither of those and living in a cardboard box under the bridge at Summit. People believe all kinds of stuff! It’s usually wrong. Why is this so hard?
    We argue about everything. It has to be Free Will and SIN. Romans 3. People do not understand or care, and when you attempt to tell them, they say you are UNLOVING and mean and pushy. There is no need for me to go on and on. I see very little changing from Hunan perspective. The question is are we gonna continue on or give up? Wayne

    • Wayne, failure and the compounding judgement of others can cause a brokenness in a person that is crippling. You have no idea what may have led up to a person living in a box. Telling them they must change is not helpful and only worsens their condition. It’s actually kind of obvious that some change would be helpful, don’t you think? A steady diet of, “you don’t measure up”, is the root of the problem. They would like to change, but they lack the power within themselves to do so. The only thing that can heal them is the unconditional love of God which is the power of the Gospel.

      • LJP – Was Wayne A. saying, people don’t measure up or is he saying the condition[s] has more to do with ‘unbelief’? That people would like to change is akin to, ‘I’d like to chew gum’. They’re both choices. When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain to change – people may choose to change – Rom 7. Surely, all have power to make choices [saved or unsaved].

        John 9:31 says, the Father does not hear sinners…only those who hear + listen + do {His will] what they see Him doing are the ones He loves. Those who worship Him in Spirit & in Truth – they are one with Him in Spirit – those He loves.

        Isn’t judging people what Jesus & Paul taught us true Yashuah (Jesus) Followers to do – not the heart or motive of men, but the fruit [actions, words] on the tree of a person.

        Is Wayne Alumbaugh telling people to change or pointing them in the opposite direction? Suggesting they look to Jesus…repent [re-think, re-new the mind], believe on Him [the Son of the Father], be baptized [profession of inward changes, outwardly], immersion in water for the forgiveness of their sins & receive Holy Spirit.

      • Religion has twisted the true meaning of being a sinner and God’s will. Is there any greater sin than looking at the Savior who went to the greatest extremes to give you life and saying I must produce life in myself? God’s will is that we abide in the Vine for life. Which does not mean look to Jesus and act like Him. It means look to Jesus to live His life in you. The only choice that can save you from anything is to allow His life to produce the fruit of the Spirit in you.

        I would say Wayne’s comment drives the point of this post home. The law points to the person living in the box with criticism -“you are in this position because of your choices”. The Gospel of Grace offers healing to that person who is hurting so bad (in large part because of the law thumpers) they have lost all hope… but they do have hope. The hand of the Savior is reaching out to them with love burning in His eyes and all they have to do is take it. That’s God’s will.

      • Amen!!!
        John 8 sums it up. The only catalyst for change is the empowerment that comes from the revelation that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

      • LJP – It sounds as though you have a bent towards ‘the law’, as being hurtful? In this case, critical…perhaps ‘the law’ [that criticizes] you speak of here, is that of the oral rules (traditions of the Pharisees past) the modern Rabbi is still often partial to over the ‘written laws of God?’

        Are ‘the law’ & Grace different or separate? Doesn’t the one compliment or bolster the other? Rom 7 says, ‘the law’ (written) is holy, the Commandment (brings life) is good & just.

        To the person living in the box – when they believe, confess, follow, obey & trust…their first steps in the process of healing__does the law not help them go to the place [Genesis] Jesus points to the most, the ‘written law’; older covenants (plural) concerning his first commands?

        1.) … Have lots of sex; in conjunction with committing (to a wife) through your declaration ‘bone of my bones…’

        2.) …Subdue the earth, be the caretaker of it & everything in & on it – for (IAM) Me

        3.) …this is your food…

        …and it builds from there. Might we better know the the ‘written law’ [as well or better than the newer covenant], to know better what is being meant, when those in biblical terms, point back to all the commands & older covenants – Jesus so often did?

        Like you pointed to in the opening of your last comment, Jesus is the answer yet, Grace we experience is simply an outflowing of our commitment to the (written) laws of God.

      • Stephen, Romans 7 does not say the law brings life. It says, “I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death” (Rom 7:10). (The fault is not with the law, but with weak flesh.) As Paul says elsewhere, the law is the power of sin (1 Cor 15:56) and since sin leads to death, he calls the law the ministry of death (2 Cor 3:7). Although the law is good, it is not good for you.

      • Stephen, I’d like to wrap up our discussion so we don’t dominate the comments of this post any more than we already have. We obviously have very different views on our relationship with God. You say the grace we experience is an outflowing of our commitment to God’s laws. I say the grace we experience is an outflowing of God’s commitment to and love for us. I think that sums it up. Thanks

  2. Dave in York PA // February 10, 2016 at 2:11 am // Reply

    Thanks, Paul! A message much bolder than my coffee.

  3. Wow! That’s good Paul! I was raised in religion and always felt in my gut that something was wrong but I couldn’t verbalized it and beside, everyone in the religion tells you that you are doing the right thing. And when your a child you want to please your parents and their friends. It felt like bondage and still does. People talk about religion like its a good thing and I always wondered what the definition was. I wonder if they knew the definition of religion, they would see it for what it really is. My parents think I am going to hell for not going to church but then they say going to church won’t save you??? It makes NO sense!!!!

  4. Beautifully stated brother Paul. Thank you

  5. Amen thanks for this, there is so much information I can use when asked these exact questions about grace and religion. May the grace of God attend to every need you and your family have.

  6. Great stuff! I appreciate your commitment to the God of all grace.

  7. Well said. I’ve experienced all of these and my religion made the cross of no effect in my life. Regarding number 9, I watched a documentary about Jim Jones years ago and was surprised by how similar the teachings were to my church. It stirred things up a bit when I shared that with a fellow church member at the time. Oops 🙂

  8. Brilliant! Love this!! 😃

  9. I really like this Paul, you have covered even more then i thought of,and a good choice in Snidely Whiplash as the villain who would tie poor nell fenwick to the railroad tracks and Dudley Do-Right would have to come along and save her

  10. I really like this. Because it shows no mercy. It’s relentless in stating Jesus + NOTHING. The vast majority of the church will say, “well – I agree with most of this but I have a small problem with point x or point y. Surely God requires us to do this and a little of that. This kind of teaching is so dangerous because you have no responsibility, and anything can happen.”

    The truth is that, once you put all your eggs in this basket, you really see things flowing from God to you. We know you’re blessed because you’re a pretty good guy, but once you see the true unmerited favor of God operating in your life you finally begin to understand how this thing is really supposed to work. But it won’t work if you’re not all in.

  11. Bishop Moses Olaka Kattey // February 10, 2016 at 4:35 am // Reply

    Thank you. I am about to star a ministry called Gracelink is so . Since I came across Escape to Reality my messages and many lives have drastically changed. Praise God. Can you come to Nigeria to launch this ministry ? Archbishop – elect. Rt. rev. Moses O. Kattey

    • Hi Bishop Moses, I’m a minister in one of the Nigerian Churches in Lagos. Escape to reality was one of the fora God used to set me free from religion. Glad to meet a Nigerian here. Can we meet?

  12. Where do you get these words from? This is exactly what I think and feel better than I could say it.

  13. Religion enslaves.

  14. Rajat Tirkey // February 10, 2016 at 4:57 am // Reply

    Dear Paul,
    Having followed your writings closely and profited with most of them I was rather surprised about this spiteful blog about “Religion” leaves me wondering specifically about couple of things among others,
    1. By religion are you referring to the mainstream Christian denominations – such as catholics, anglicans, lutherans etc. etc.
    2. When you say ““Keep these rules, heed these principles, do what you’re told, and you’ll be acceptable to God.” Nope.” how will you explain the very words of JESUS himself in Matthew 5 : 18,19 and Matthew 19 : 18,19.
    In Chirst

    • I am not referring to Catholics or Anglicans or Buddhists or Hindus, for these are people Jesus died for. By religion I am referring to an institution that promotes itself as a self-help or insurance scheme but whose fundamental purposes is to enslave. Regarding the precious words of Jesus, please see this post and definitely this post. Thanks.

    • Rajat,

      It is extremely important to look at the context of passages of Scripture such as you mention.

      Jesus was speaking to very religious people who proudly professed that they obeyed the rules. In this discourse Jesus raised the bar from simply obeying the rules to a level where the rule keepers would have to admit they can do nothing but fail.

      The finished work of Jesus caused something spectacular to happen! Read Hebrews 8, especially v.13.

  15. Grace is Jesus, who He is, what He did, and what he is doing in and through us as
    we rely, trust , depend and believe in Him. Religion, is law what you have to do. Jesus
    fulfilled the law so we can now live by grace, trust in Jesus . Anybody can try to do, but it
    takes faith to trust in Jesus. 💖 Abide in Him, and He produces the life giving fruit.
    Living loved and free in Him.

    • In the quote here, ‘Religion is law…Jesus fulfilled the law’. What ‘law’ are you referencing here? It appears to be one & the same – ‘religion is law…Jesus fulfilled it’. Is not religious law wholly different from the ‘Law of God’ Jesus fulfilled?

  16. Dear Brother Paul,

    I thank God that he gave you understanding to differentiate good and evil to glorify Jesus but,

    I would have been very happy to read “infinite ways GRACE Is a gift for you from a loving father ” (OR) “only GRACE”. TRUE that religion is robbing some of our precious brothers and sisters. I was one of them but by the GRACE of GOD I am free and getting to know more daily from the people whom he raised for his glory like you and Joseph prince to lift up a lowly burdended souls. I truly want to know about love of God and Jesus death on the cross. And I want to be conscious of his love alone not a religion that does not honour Christ. Yes, I believe meditation of cross and blood of Christ and resurrection will empower me more than knowing about religion. When light comes darkness goes away. When truth is preached, every one who are in bondage (self/religion) will set them free. All the way we are trying to do is again keeping an eye on religion and comparing it with a GRACE which is far glorious than that.

    Brother, Paul can you please write more articles only on love and grace of God. I believe you can understand me. I am glad that it is the first time I am responding to your articles…..
    Thanks for your reply…

  17. Lystra Joseph // February 10, 2016 at 8:11 am // Reply

    Hi Paul. First let me thank you for the many messages I have been receiving from you. They are inspiring me in my Christian walk. In this message you helped me with a topic which my co-workers and I were discussing. It was “whether Christianity was a religion or not”. Some said that it was but I was not in agreement with that. I started doing a research and found that there were people who were for, and some against but when I received this message and read it, I said, “Yes, this is it! This is what I was searching for:. So I want to thank God for you and the great work you are doing in His name. Thank you so very very much!!!!

  18. hey I thank you for your article today wow I’m super religious my church doesn’t teach this stuff. There’s like a recipe to please God. Growing up without a human Father I been searching for truth not guilt, fear, relentless, truth about Jesus. any suggestions? youtube videos? I feel more condemned at church honestly

    • I grew up without a father too. I recommend reading “Who’s Your Daddy?” – you get it free when you subscribe to E2R – and The Birthright by John Sheasby. These two books will help you understand the Father-heart of God.

    • Hi Josh, many people that comment on this site found their way here following the teachings of Joseph Prince, which I follow myself. I attend a Southern Baptist Church, for now. I have not been attending much as the church teaches a cheap grace, badmouthing Joseph Prince and others basing their fears, which it really is, on 2 Timothy 4:3. Anything outside of what they believe is wrong is basically what they are doing and that kind of “religion” is what is turning people off. I have been to various churches through my life searching for something I couldn’t put a name to but found it in Joseph Prince and again here at Escape to Reality. It’s not about having to do this or that, which is bondage and where is the freedom Christ spoke of in that? Romans 5:13 tells us clearly that sin is not imputed where there is no law and we are not under law but grace. There is the freedom the Good News. Christ exchanged all our bad for all his good making us among other things, the righteousness of God in and through Christ. The freedom and love we get, once we realize the truth, is, as Eph. 5:18 puts it to not be filled with wine to feel that freedom or weight lifted off our shoulders but be filled with the Holy Spirit. If the world understood this freedom Christ offers and followed it can you just imagine what kind of world this would be?

  19. Warren (South Carolina, USA) // February 10, 2016 at 8:42 am // Reply

    Wosha Saint Paul. . . LOL!!!
    I agree and have always said “I hate religion, as it detracts from a personal relationship with God.” The deeper I walk in grace (having my lens polished) the further and faster I run from religion.
    Going to read this one again!!!
    Warren (South Carolina, USA)

  20. Great points. I especially liked point #9. Religion is a cult. Hadn’t thought of it that way before, but so true.
    There’s nothing meaner than a religious spirit.

  21. Wow wow wow! These quotes are all so awesome! Especially this one-“Religion is idolatry

    Forget Baal, Molech, and television. The biggest idol is the one called Self. This idol utters two words again and again. “I will make things right. I will do better. I will never fall away. I will follow Jesus anywhere. I will do great things. I will ascend to the heavens. I will be like the Most High.” Religion runs on will power and speaks the language of Satan (Is 14:12-14).”
    This is all so amazing!

  22. Hi This is Pinky from FB I just signed up to get these too the other is KC’s even though it says KC and Michelle/ Anyway I had read only the first half and now after the second half just wowza! All of it! Especially this! “Religion is dehumanizing. Jesus offers you abundant life here and now, but religion says the life you desire is only available tomorrow. “One day you may become the person you want to be, but right now you are incomplete, inferior, and far from God. You are a sinful, little grub with no value except that which you produce.”…Jesus didn’t suffer and die to establish religion. Jesus is the end of religion.”

    In NYC we call the established but every famous spirit-filled pastors Christian mafia. Even you would not believe some of the stuff that goes on in NYC churches by clearly anointed pastors. Stuff I have not heard of or read happening any where else. I know the religion, self righteousness thing seems to be the norm for the rest of the US. Not here so much not that I have noticed. But in NYC everyone and I mean everyone and I am not exaggerating this includes me as well competes to be the worst of sinners. I don’t do it any more once the Holy Spirit showed me but it took years. But it seems the winners in the contest for worst of sinners are the pastors of mega churches that flow freely in the gifts of the spirit. Those who preach against law. I mean the type of sin that makes the news that sinners are shocked by. Only they never get caught! But most Christians know and are aware and just accept that it is what it is. A sermon by Joseph Prince today on his web site finally explained that to me! Thanks so much for this!

  23. Amen! So refreshing! Thank you so much! Your books and posts are water to my soul and I thank God for you.

  24. Religion tells you that John 15:2 is saying that every Christian that does not bare fruit is like a branch that does not bare fruit and that Christian is removed from the branch, taken out and burned. John 15:2 says Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away. “Taketh away” is a Greek word which is “airo” meaning the same thing in Luke 17:13 which says …And they [lifted up] their voices. “lifted up” also is the Greek word “airo” meaning to lift up so what John 15:2 is actually saying is every branch that beareth not fruit is lifted up off the ground so it can bare fruit. See the difference? One is condemning and instills fear the other is freedom and exhibits the love of the father.

    • John, you might be interested in this post.

    • John also speaks of the vine keeper washing the leaves.The vine keeper lifts us up and continually washes us. Why does he do this? To cause the production of fruit from the branches (us). It’s his job as the vine keeper,not the branch’s. When we confess with our mouths that the vine produced fruit in our lives today,we practice grace and truth which are one and the same and we are confessing that righteousness is a gift coming not from ourselves. When we say to the vine “Look at the fruit I produced for you today”,we practice religion and self righteousness which the Holy Spirit tells us will cause a production of fruit unto Death.

  25. My response to this article may be different than others – I was left with the hungering question, “But where else can I find fellowship?” I don’t want to be a Lone Ranger, walking and learning on the path of Grace all by myself, in my living room, just me and Jesus. I am an externally processing extrovert! I need people to journey with, here at home in Vermont.

    If not attending “an organized church” (where religion tends to hang out), where else do people find fellowship? I would love some ideas.

    • Here’s my opinion, Cathy. First off – you are not alone. When the majority of us here first heard this message we were probably in a church that wasn’t preaching pure grace. IMO most churches preach a mixture of grace and law. This is understandable given human nature; when one finds God we instantly think about how can I please him and the “logical” answer is what can I DO. My opinion again – you should be in a local church, the best one you can find in your area. Let your light (your new revelation of God’s grace) shine in a non-judgmental manner and let God worry about the people that remain unconvinced.

      • Bob, thank you! I love your reply. I have yet to feel as though I should leave organized church, although many of my friends have. Unfortunately, most have also left the life of faith, as we know it. I want to stay in the stream of God’s grace and faith, as I know this is where He has called me. So, I plug away… ! (But hearing the mixture of law and grace can get old at times!).

    • Excellent post Paul. Do you have one referring to the fig tree that Jesus cursed for not bearing fruit?

    • I have the same problem Cathy, I have been to 6 or 7 churches in the past few years due to that. Maybe God trusts us so much that he is teaching us the truth outside the church so we can bring it in.

      • Beautiful John C ! Thank you! Your comment causes me to reflect how effectively I am able to teach my clients about Grace – as I know the mixture they are exposed to and can explain the difference.

        I did start a Grace home fellowship with 2 other couples which lasted for a couple of years. But we also all go to 3 different churches and people are busy. I love corporate worship, so the home church experience is lacking that piece for me.

  26. Praises to our Lord. N savior Jesus Christ very nice descriptions as my opinion Christians has also one religion that is belongs to particular congregation whereas we all are well known that no anybody or any congregation will save us or give eternal life untileunless not accepting as Saviour , we have to escape from congregation religion like others corrupting

  27. Paul,
    Thank you for this post as always. I was curious if you had any recommendations for a proper, grace-filled commentary on the epistles of John (1 John, 2 John, 3 John)? These books seem to at first glance indicate some sort of conditions with salvation (1 John 3 :1-10, 1 John 2: 3-6 , 1 John 2 :19, etc.), but I feel that I am obviously misreading them as I am still an insecure believer at this point due to my upbringing in a legalistic type of mindset. Any recommendations or insight from anyone would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  28. Reading this post has confirmed what I already suspected that much of what passes for respectable organized religion,including evangelical and charismatic Christianity,is no more than a racket with pimps and gangsters in charge.There seems to be very little difference between the Baptists,.methodists, Pentecostals ,Anglicans etc and the JWs Mormons,Seventh Day Adventists ,catholics, whom mainstream Christians love to hate.In fact,I sometimes think the more mainstream a group is the more dangerous they are Becoz they are more subtle i.e. the youthful trendy young pastor of a mixed grace church is more deceptive the obviously whacko Mormon ‘men in black’ becoz its less obvious.

    • In thinking about what you wrote is it any surprise that the truth of grace had to come outside of the United States who has become so full of laws that you almost need a permit for breathing,which the government is trying to impose as it is.

  29. Bravo Paul!! I LOVE this post!!! Thank you for sticking to the REAL Gospel in your ministry. Blessings to you and your family!

  30. I am new to this E2R but the little time I have been here, a lot have really changed in my entire way of my spiritual life. God bless you greatly.

  31. How about those who say we should consider Christ who became nothing. Is that a good model? So it’s Christ through and in me that does the work. Not I but Christ?

  32. Wow, a lot of great comments from everyone in the room viewing the Center where Jesus is at fro me as the leader in all his Mercy given me to live by to all as received

    Well with that, the definition of religion is to me

    What one does to get others to place pats, loving kind words on them to be accepted and feel oh so good about self , as one is in truth trying to get God to be pleased and accept others saying God does accept them by their, at least my old fake works I admit I used to do and am still susceptible to do in the desire to be liked and accepted

    Until I saw that definition of world religion. What one does to get a deity or deities to respond to one in what one does

    Now in thought I got this, if I can get God to respond to me in what I do or not do, then that would make me God of God would it not?

    So religion out, personally relation through belief to God in risen Son in, I see now for me to only respond to his Love, Mercy and truth given me and all the persons ever in this world done once for all by Son alone

    And by this one does in faith as Son did while here on earth in flesh and blood that only perfect flesh and blood ever to walk this earth to this very second as each second continue in the passing away

    Thank you
    Fro this post and am using your tag from Facebook on the sight I have and run thank you Paul deeply
    The fruit in truth is always identified in others responses to. and I have given fake to eat in looking for self gain in past, and one day I got to eat my own fruit that I was passing out and got a mouthful of wax. God turned me around

    Acts 20:21King James Version (KJV)

    21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Romans 2:1-4New International Version (NIV)

    God’s Righteous Judgment
    2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

  33. We, as Gentiles, were never under the law, unless you consider the Ten Commandments the law. The grace The apostle Paul speaks about in Ephesians, is that the Jews are no longer under the law and are saved by faith, and the grace is that God has included the Gentiles into the beloved, whom are also saved by faith.
    Paul said that circumcision means nothing, neither does uncircumcision, what counts is keeping the Commandments.
    He also said that circumcision means nothing, neither does uncircumcision, what counts is the New Creation.
    If we are not putting the flesh to death, we are not walking in the Spirit, and as it says in Romans 8, we must die, this is the new creation.
    If you look at the believers in heaven, in Revelations, they are described as those who hold the testimony of Jesus and keep the commandments.
    In 1 John, it says, how do we know that hat we love God, by keeping His Commandments.
    It also says in 1 John, that those that went out from them, the true believers, belong to the antichrist, because they deny Christ and the Father.
    The word deny, means to contradict, just the same way the serpent contradicted God in the garden.
    It would be better for all concerned, if you contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, than this, a different gospel.

    • And what would you consider to be “His Commandments”? How does this approach align with John 5:15, which speaks of the works of Christ through us. This is works not salvation.

      • Not sure how you got John 5:15 to say that, but the Ten Commandments are all about loving God and loving your neighbor.
        What is the problem you have with that.
        This is repeated in Hebrews 10, and this is the New Covenant, that the Commandment to love God and love our neighbors, would be written on our minds and hearts.
        Why do people complain that is a “Religious spirit” or “Being under the law”, or “Trying to earn our salvation “, these arguments are false and not scriptural.
        Jesus said, in John 17, that God’s word is truth, in 1 John 5, it says that the Spirit is truth.
        Jesus is also the word and the Spirit and the word agree.
        Jesus is also the light of the world and the light of the gospel.
        It would be better to shine the light of scripture, that is, ALL scripture, on your thoughts, words and actions and what you believe.
        If it’s not in the Bible, don’t believe it, and if someone says, “God didn’t really mean that, it really means……” Then beware, that’s the same line Satan used in the garden.
        Live your life from reading the bible, and with the Holy Spirit to teach you, obey it, rather than listening to men and obeying them.

      • Mark Hritz // February 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm //

        Peter,you say that the ten commandments are all about loving God and your neighbor.
        The holy spirit shows us that the ten commandments are a list of laws that the Jews were to obey in order to receive God’s blessings. If they didn’t obey,they were cursed. You then state that the first covenant and the second are the same.
        Hebrews 10:9 tells us that Jesus has taken away the first covenant (the Law/ten commandments) so he could establish the new covenant that you have highlighted here from Hebrews 8. This clearly states that the two covenants are different.
        Hebrews 8:7 tells us that the second covenant wouldn’t have been needed if the first was faultless.

        The religious spirit tries to keep the law/the first covenant to earn favor from God.
        The spirit of Grace and Truth (the second covenant) knows deep in his heart that he has his heavenly father’s undeserved favor flowing into his life as a gift,not a reward. He knows that the love he has toward God and his neighbor (Israel) is produced by first being loved by his heavenly Father.

        We are told that trying to do all of the things commanded of us in the first covenant will produce fruit unto death.

        We are also told that if we believe that our father will do all of the things he says he will do for us according to the second covenant,he will cause us to love him and he will cause us to bear fruit unto life and he will cause us to reign in life.

        In the first covenant Man does the work and is in bondage.
        In the second covenant our Father does the work making us free indeed.

        The first covenant was a shadow of the things to come and was a covenant with the Jews,not the believers.

        The believer is entered into the second covenant where his role according to the agreement is to believe.

      • Nice one Mark

    • Peter I wonder if you are aware of the scripture references 2 Corinthians 3:4-18 which refer to the Ten Commandments as a Ministry of Death. The Living Bible explains it well. In Mark 12:28-31, Jesus gives us the two most important commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Secondly to love your neighbour as yourself. God Bless !

  34. AMEN!! Great Post brother! I love the boldness and clarity of this article. Oh Lord, open our eyes that we would see that “religion” is NOT Christ, that Satan has duped us into climbing the right branch – but of the totally wrong tree. We are addicted to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and our only cure is the tree of life. Thank you Jesus for coming to rescue us!!!

    • Addicted to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I like that! Well said jason.

    • Dear Jason & all who have commented__yes, knowledge can be like ‘a little leaven’. Paul was attempting to keep true believers in Y’shua (Jesus) from being defiled by the ‘oral rules’ … How can believers today, fully realize the error Paul is pointing to in Galatians 5 & many other Newest Covenant passages unless we familiarize ourselves in the differences in law? The Law God vs the laws of men?

      And to top it all off, some of the annulments (i.e.) ‘violence’, ‘divorce’, & ‘marriage’… Jesus made [in the Newest Covenant] to the Laws of God – older Covenants?

      The difference between ‘religion’ & the ‘Law of God’ is, the first brings death, the second, life. Religion is as far removed from God as is ‘death’. Now how many in and out of faith in the God of Creation are still clinging to the first?

      • Stephen, it seems you are saying there is God’s law and then there is something different – man’s law, which is religion. that’s not what is being said here in this blog… what we are calling religion is the flushes attempt to keep any rule or law or standard in order to gain acceptance or be rewarded in some way. whether the laws on and are gods really is irrelevant- the new system is Grace, spirit – Jesus. see the difference?

    • Yes, & thanks__grace is about living in the spirit, one with the Spirit of the Lord.

      However, is the article not pointing to the misappropriation of [religions, RCC, Protestant incl.] man-made traditions – by those who often hold to religion rather than simply the one thing the Father is looking for in those he calls, ‘to worship Him in spirit & truth?

      Traditions, religion takes us us away from Grace? If so yet, there’s no room to link dialogue/conversation here – to other truths…

      …I would be hesitant with the Grace factor. Only because of what can happen when focusing on any one part of the older covenants vs newer covenant [on Grace in this case].

      ‘Grace is the new system…’, you say, then help me understand also, of the potential to create pretext out of context to fit a possible agenda vs truth? As in, now we separate the Law from Grace__

      Matt 5:19 is an example, the written Law of God [older covenants] has not been put aside to accommodate Grace alone, but Grace has been made available as part of a newer covenant. As Followers of Y’shua (Jesus), the Law is in affect with Grace – together.

      It is a pleasure to talk with those who understand when the ‘heart to head’ [processing] needs fellowship in a variety of ways.

      • Steven, I would like to reply to your comment in my understanding of Grace and Law as spoken of as covenants, seperate yet complimenting. I think it goes without saying that one covenant. 10 Commandments, was issued in via arrogant Hebrews. Though the Law was written specifically to the Hebrews it is also an example of the perfection God demands IF one chooses to think their obedience/works can get the job done, which is impossible. This is also known as self-righteousness, also stated as what we must do to obey. Grace is an acknowledgment that the 10 Commandments stand forever as the only means to completely satisfy a perfect creator. The difference is that it is also an acknowledgment that we are incapable of obeying the requirements of God and accept his absolute love for us and gift of Jesus Christ, to obey His requirements completely and on our behalf. The bodies we have on this earth are tainted with sin and require replacement to enter heaven, thus the new bodies we will receive. Grace is not simple something you receive and forget about, though you always have it the body always is tainted as well and without the constant washing of the Word of Truth that tainted flesh will get the upper hand and we already know that sin leads to death so as it says in Deuteronomy 30:19 that life and death are set before us, to choose life, that we may live. Hope that helps

      • John C – Thank-you for your response to the Feb 19 post; I was answering Jason’s Feb 17 to my Feb 16. Might, we continue…

        To your response, as I may not have made clear__ to say Grace & the Law of God to Moses are covenants at all, no! There are several covenants + the Law of God to Moses & many other aspects of God’s instructing us in love, in the 5 books of law, chronicles & prophets – the Old Testament. The Newer Testament is like an adjunct yet, also an essential part.

        It’s the misappropriation of proper interpretation (wishing to show), to think Jesus/God is separating [OT/NT] one from the other – the Commands He refers to in the Gospels, ‘Love God & love your neighbour…’ He’s always pointing back to ‘older’ & back to the ‘newer’ because of dis-obedience.

        God’s – His-story, His is being the Father – we being adopted Sons (not children as in child-likeness), if we are known by Him. His intention for Sons [not children], we hear + listen to + do what we see Him doing in/on the earth – obedience with trusting.

        I was wishing to show, as Sons, we are always under the Law of God (older/newer), that is love – no longer under (traditions) laws of men, that is not love [Pharisaical/rabbinic/modern priestly or otherwise, oral rules of men].

      • I can’t really say I understood your reply but if it is in line what Paul teaches then I am okay with it.

      • Thank you, I hoy what you mean here in the two Testaments are still one in all,
        For since day one in the fall, God has had Mercy, and he clothrd Adam and Eve put them out to find out, the lie they got involved in as the be God’s so out of the garden to find out and till the soil and have Children after them all of us here today, in the valley of the shadow of death, this earth we are in and not a part of once belief sets in and the curse reversed by Son’s death and life for us given us in belief to this by Father, thank you

        For the enemy of God, lucifer whom is defeated ever since The Christ was raised form the dead, and keys he had taken from him and kicked out victory is God’s for us in risen Son, I no longer live of the flesh and now only of the Spirit and yet do not always act that way, wish too, but in reality do not yet God remains Faithful

        1 John 2:1-2Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

        2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

        John 2:12Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

        12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.

        So be reconciled to God as God is reconciled to us all in Son’s death. That is what is being fought to this day, to not see this new life in the risen Christ me, to be defeated of me

        As Father in Son is waiting s=to this very second for the last one to come t belief and end all this mess we all got born in here on earth, thanks to the curse in from lucifer theough Adam and Eve that took part of in unbelief to God

        Today to turn around and tell God personally between you and God you believe and be set free, and be content in all things good or bad that happen to thee

        Thank you for your service in belief to God, by Son , the way, the truth and the new life in his risen life to be received by Father only and then do by Father leading in Spirit and truth

      • In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

        Hebrews 8:13 (NKJV)

      • Paul has already written about the New Covenant and its place in the whole of the Bible with a gifted pin (in the above post as well as many in the archive on this site). His posts are rich and thick with encouragement, good news, revelation, and truth that sets the captives free from the shackles of the deceiver. I would recommend to anyone with a clouded view of the Gospel to peer through the archive and bounce around the links and watch the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace who is Jesus unfold… their truly is joy with Christ and reason to celebrate our union with Him.

        But to add to the ongoing discussion here: I think sometimes we complicate Christianity. I often think that in our desire to pick apart the puzzle and achieve greater understanding we lose sight of “our first love”. I think simplicity was what Jesus was teaching when He said we need to come to him like the children do. It boils down to one truth – do you believe God loves you? – And if so, how great do you think that love is? Jesus came to display God’s love for us (you). Adam and Eve believed a lie way back in the beginning and that’s why Jesus came. What was the lie? The lie was simple… God doesn’t really love you. Stop a minute and let the simplicity of that sink in. Humanity’s continued belief in this lie has put us in and keeps us in darkness. Until we are convinced of God’s gracious love for us, as creatures created to need love as much as food and air to breath, our flesh will seek and find a way to EARN it. “Religion” is right there to offer a helping hand to the willpower of the flesh. The problem is it gets us no closer to God, only improves the flesh or makes you guilt ridden. God’s Law fixes this problem. The Law supplies a standard too high for the flesh to attain, thus exposing our need for a Savior. It’s super-duper important that we seek to separate Law and Grace in our Christian experience.

        I like to think of the Law as a runner in a relay race that when it’s done its work – shown me to be a sinner in need of Jesus’s salvation- then hands me, the baton, off to the next runner, who is Jesus. The runner that was the Law is DONE WITH ME and can go sit down as Jesus takes off running with me in His hand.

  35. Ever since I have been saved, I had this idea that I used to call Christian radio shows about. NYC had 3 Christian radio stations at the time. I called them all and none of them gave me a satisfactory answer. Over time I realized and I don’t mean this arrogantly but most Christians even grace preachers I knew didn’t have a true deep grasp of grace or Gods love. Not to say I have it all figured out. But your teaching on religion is the best I have read or heard anywhere!

    This quote of yours helps me to explain what I have been trying to say to people for years but nobody seems to get it except KC and you. This is the one area I do have a deep revelation of grace.

    The idea Christians and pastors kind of spread around is that if God heals you or gives you some kind of blessing it is ONLY for the purpose of USING you and bringing others to the kingdom.

    I always tell people he healed you or gave you that blessing because he loves you. People seem every uncomfortable with that idea. People get mad at me and say no its because he wants to use you its all about bringing in the lost.

    What you said-“You are a sinful, little grub with no value except that which you produce.”” It is the silent message even grace preachers relay when they try to USE you for your testimony in spite of legal or other problems you might have.

    Thank you so much for this teaching! -Pinky

    • So profound, what you said there. We, as humans, are so obsessed with earning and producing that even as we talk about grace we have to constantly qualify everything with the fact that, when you experience true grace, your behavior will improve and works will follow. As if behavior and works were the ultimate goal, rather than having uninterrupted union with God, and experiencing his complete love and favor. As if our works is still what is pleasing to God, that he is only using grace to get us there. Thank you for writing that. It really bore witness to me.

    • Thanks for your comments Pinky! God is not “Using Us”at anytime. When He shows us how much He loves us and we receive healing that He provided on the cross, we want to shout it from the rooftop, not because God manipulates us into it, but because we are thankful and excited about His goodness and blessings that He bestows on us and wants to continue to bestow on us daily. As you mentioned I had revelations of many of these issues that Paul brings to the forefront and met with great criticism, but I don’t regret any of it because I know who told me and am so blessed by Holy Spirit’s revelation of the truth of God’s love for us. I am also so blessed by this site and encouraged by the number of people who want to know more about these topics. I so often feel all alone in these revelations.

  36. This is really awesome, the 4th point speaks to me. “I will be like the Most High” is in essence what we are saying when we attempt to be justified by the law. Amazing! Thank you for the article!

  37. This is so beautiful. In my country it’s so rare to hear such good News. The iron fist of religion disguises itself even in churches with a “Grace” sign right upon their neons. I used to attend one of the biggest ( churches). Once , they had the members begging and inploring for salvation during a night vigil on which they kept playing the (in)famous audio “Shouts from Hell’. May God bless you. Pray for Brasil.

  38. Roshan J Easo // February 1, 2017 at 6:43 am // Reply

    All this seems true at the first. You can’t help but smile and thank God in your heart. Then religion comes and uses carrots and sticks as if the love of God comes with price tags. It makes you feel cheep and stupid but it claims to be your friend. Yes the law is a tutor that leads us to Christ. Once you receive grace what else would you want but to share it? “Grace is a lie a deception based on popular sentiments, it’s a failure and it’s a product that works better in the hands of the law.” Yeck! I’m not against good principles. I’m saying performance-anxiety is a trap for those who are resting on great and precious promises. We need to renew our mind and eliminate teaching that says life is meaningless. Grace isn’t a season to walk through as much as that is nice. Grace is life.

    • Roshan J Easo // February 1, 2017 at 11:05 am // Reply

      My error: The law leads us to Christ. Sometimes it’s a lifelong process, but it sure is awesome to be led into the arms of grace. Thank you Papa.

  39. Paul I commend you for the truth of this article. Religion has crippled the body of Christ for far too long. I am so tired of religion that I am in tears and sick to my stomach as I write this comment. I just came from a prayer meeting and with every powerful prayer of grace and believers authourity, was an echo of doom and gloom from the religious sector–correcting each prayer of truth of the Word of God with lies from the pits of hell and the mind of man. No wonder the Lord called the Pharisees snakes and vipers. Religion takes the beautiful truths of God and turns them into self- deprivation and suffering. When the children of God don’t realize HE IS GOOD, and they don’t understand the finished work of the cross, Satan just plunders them and my heart breaks as they suffer needlessly.

  40. Religion is a killer. I know a pastor in my country who died of hunger on the eightieth day of his spiritual power oriented base fasting. Instead of receiving the powers from Him who died to provide every good thing, a man of God kills himself trying to receive blessings from fasting. That is religion motivated suicide. It’s nonsense!

  41. Marjorie Keenan // January 3, 2018 at 12:41 pm // Reply

    AMEN Paul! I just finished sharing these thoughts with a friend before I read this post. Thank you Holy Spirit for revealing truth!

  42. Marjorie Keenan // January 3, 2018 at 1:05 pm // Reply

    Reply to Stephen Meek: “they are one with Him in spirit-those He loves” — John 3:16: Jesus died for the whole world. He knew their sins before He died. There are no conditions on The Father’s Love. He loves you no matter what you do. To not seek the kingdom of God and the wisdom of God has nothing to do with whwther He loves you or not. It means that if you don’t seek relationship with Him you will miss out on all the wonderful plans He has for you. God does not withhold from us; we withdraw from Him. His live truly is unconditional!

  43. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
    James 1:27 NLT
    Christianity is a religion. Just because broken people twist and prostitute religion doesn’t make the “religion” the problem. I appreciate your point and generally agree because there are so many who have destroyed, demeaned and abused others in the name of a “religion.” Christians are definitely faced with a great opportunity to show what a true relationship with the only true God is about. We must insist that our religion is real. We must begin by expecting it from ourselves. Say it and do it. Love God and love others – that’s true religion, not just a set of beliefs or dogma.

    • You may be interested in my article on James 1:27.

    • Marjorie Keenan // June 2, 2019 at 7:15 am // Reply

      Jesus is not about religion..He is about relationship! Religion is about man-made concepts and laws. The law is a ministry of death..the law caused sin to abound. Relationship is about love and trust. Grace is just that and knowing how much we are loved, causes sin to diminish. Grace is the Spirit of Life! The God of anger and wrathful doings never existed except in the mind of man and was promoted by religious beliefs. God is love and His plan for man-kind was always about love. Grace always existed until man decided he didn’t want to be graded on God’s goodness, but on his own. Jesus established Grace on the cross once and for all. Jesus is Grace personified and Jesus said if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. There is no room for religion in a relationship with Jesus. We live under the Covenant of Grace and God relates to us only under this covenant and no other.

    • So, “Christianity is a religion”. That is the real issue right there – that is the mindset that has the precious bride of Christ acting like a street lady of the night in the slums rather than basking in and radiating the glorious union we don’t even realize we have. Jesus is the end of religion!

      Let me put it this way. Anyone can be a follower of Jesus. He welcomes people of all nationalities and cultures, and backgrounds… EVEN CHRISTIANS too.

      We have to get this. He is the great lover of the human race. In the absence of knowing the Father’s love ( which is already there and always has been ), we build our religious systems to address our perceived separation from God and gain worthiness, which leads to institutions, which leads to empires, which leads to all manner of nonsense that has to be defended and proved with bible verses to be the right version against others. That is the work of the devil and that is what Jesus came to destroy. The gospel is not “here ya go, we have a new and improved religion for you, it’s the latest and greatest, straight from God’s own son”. No, the gospel is the message that the Father, Son and Spirit have always loved you and they brought you into being to place you in the center of the perfect fellowship that they have shared together from all eternity. God has never been alone. He wants you to know who he is and he wants you to know who you are. When you catch a glimpse of who you really are through the eyes of Father, Son and Spirit it astonishes the heart. That is the mission Jesus came to accomplish. The kingdom is relational, it’s family, it’s togetherness. Overlay religion on these and it’s like smothering a fire with a blanket, you’ll snuff it out.

      • Well said jason b. Such a lovely way of laying out the truth that we are right now, the beloved Bride of Christ. Heart warming, encouraging truth.

      • Relationship(s) done for us by Father and Son, Thanks Father and Son just love us all. Proven in the resurrected Son as High Priest for us to live new in. having been given the love this world or any flesh, us can not fathom

        Father gives true love as in 1 Cor 13:4-7, imputed into us from the Faith of Abraham Romans 4:17-25

  44. “Organized religion is just a cult on steroids.”
    “Religion is organized crime masquerading as an insurance racket.”

    Hahahaha! This is awesome! I’m so tickled… awesome job writing this piece! You’re hilarious Paul! Thanks!

    • So true, yet by saying things of Christ, Christ is revealed to those that are serious to know Father. Like a divided Kingdom can not stand, which is religion, Yet Father the Holy Spirit sees and uses it all to bring his sheep home to him in risen Son for them

      Thanks, I have been involved in religion, was angry at first, now glad, for God has and is teaching me new, as he knew, so to all of you are working at it, great, Father will bring you in to see as his enemies will try to get you to be angry over it, others using truth to deceive. Romans 8:28 is a promise to us all, from Father of in risen Son for us, Thanks Brother. I do not know how God will use it, yet I know God will use it all, to bring in his Kid’s, that the enemy tries to use to keep us out

  45. All Religion is for the ‘flesh’. It appeals to it. The ‘flesh’ wants to ‘be good’ (self-righteous.). But, unless you are ‘born again’, that’s all there is – as the Spirit is ‘dead’. Therefore, it’s all about ‘you’, what ‘you’ need to do.

    The only ‘religion’ found in the Bible is the covenant of the Law. If you bring the Law back in to the new covenant, Christianity starts becoming a religion.

    • Xo true, yet I see the Law as fulfilled, in Jesus for us to walk new in the misunderstood Law, needed to be understood. The greatest of All Law is Love, God’s Type, as described in 1 Cor.13:4-7, and we can not do that as God has done and shown us by Son. Therefore, I and all need the imputation as in Romans 4:17-25

      Thanks, and even though religion is what it is. It is a good start to carry onto others to come to see the truth, and be new by imputation of God (Father and Son) to us each to stand in this truth denying God, even as Job would not, as Jesus himself would not, and all the way to death for us all, to be made new in his Love given us to abide in. Wow, woe is me as in Isaiah6:1-6. Thanks Mike, anyone using the name of Jesus, and not having the right motive, God is not worried over that at all

      For those called will come to see him. Even as he told his disciples, to let the others be. Anyone that is divided, using His Name, is divided against themselves
      God takes all things, good or bad and uses these to bring his Children home

  46. DUDE I literally never looked at religion this way, but now I kinda see what you mean. I think that religion is really just for personal gain of the people running it. Thanks for opening my eyes man. Luv u

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