Religion lies … all the time. Big nasty whopper type lies. Not fibs or porky pies, but huge neon lit fabrications that suck the stars out of your effervescent sky.
It saunters up to a glorious beautiful book, flicks contemptuously and arrogantly through its pages, cuts out that which fits its theories, paints pictures of the god it wants to find in there, a god that helps it control and manipulate a human kind that have forgotten they are beloved, and then plasters them all over its sepulchers.
Then it invites these lost and lonely human beings to come see its death dealing laws and threatens them with that very death if they don’t bow and scrape to its angry god. Ah but first it preaches a false love, a sickly sweet, sugar coated, poison laden hook that catches you unawares. It could be anything that feeds your need, “Gab it and grab it”, “God loves you… put your tithe here”, “Jesus loves you and took your punishment from his wrathful Father, fulfill your obligation here”.. “Are you lost and lonely, come to Jesus he will make it all better… but only if you come to Sunday services every week, meet 2x weekly for bible study and prayer, oh and join the rota for children’s church and coffee on Sundays, and most important of all, Tithe, Give and it will be given to you… as the good book says.” Religion holds you at arms length, giving you a clear hierarchy for you to aspire to but never reach. Pastors and priests who are better than you, who don’t come to serve but to lord it over you as their flock, making sure you toe the line, holding you accountable when you trip over each of their laws etched across the floor of their sepulchers.
If only we knew how none of this is necessary. it is all a subterfuge to divert humanity from the God who strew the stars in the sky to the religion who sucked them out. Religion that created a box for you to live in and gave you a plastic torch to charge the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling to give you false hope when things looked grey.
God has no need of subterfuge, or lies or portraits and tithing plates. He smashes down prison walls, gets up close and personal, wrapping you in an embrace that does not end. He calls you BELOVED, and says ” I am your Abba, your Papa, you are my child, there is no one like you. I have called you by name. I cherish you as I cherish my own first begotten Son, who entered this world with Joy to be the cure for the dis-ease that ferries you into the religious trap. No walls can hold you as they did not hold Him. No lies can keep you down, the Spirit that raised my Son from death to life, is the same Spirit who raises you now, who wipes the tears and religious scales from your eyes, and then lifts your head so you can see the beauty of the stars again”. Then mystery comes to live inside of you, Christ in you the hope of glory. Here He is, not a Son murdered by an angry violent dad, but a beloved Son and brother who brought the cure for our sickness so that we could know who we truly are again. Our eyes are opened, the fog is cleared and like the prodigal son we return home to a Father who hoicks up his robe and sprints out to meet us with overwhelming joy. Who prepares a feast for us as a welcome home and invites the whole of heaven to join in. Religion has no part in this.