You Cannot Deceive God with your Religion! By Apostle Azemobor Gregory
Corey Booker’s famous quote about the hypocrisy of religion vividly encapsulates the signification of this discuss: “ Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people. Don’t tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all God’s children. Don’t preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbours. In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as I am in how you choose to live and give” Corey Booker’s submission did not only cast aspersion on organized religions but at the same time exposed the underbelly of their false virtue.
Let me state here unequivocally that God is not the author of any religion neither does He certify or asseverate any of them. Organized religion is an invention of man and not God’s idea. I know this truth is hard for some fanatical religious folks to swallow, but before you crucify me, let me ask you some pertinent questions: why should my religion tell me that I am different from the other person simply because he or she does not belong to my religion? Are we not created by the same God, who is our father? I am asking you, answer me! Now let me address my fellow ‘Christian brethren who will not hesitate to throw ‘scriptural stones’ at me for daring to utter such a ‘heretic statement- that religion is not God’s idea. If you like you can characterize me as a ‘renegade’ or a schismatic but I will stand by the truth. The truth anyway is iconoclastic; it does not posture with popular beliefs. But please do me a favour.
Kindly read through the entire new testament bible and show me where Christ founded the Christian religion. None! Rather the core of his message was about the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth and the entrenchment of the culture of love. And that was the mandate of the great commission He gave to us: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned” – Mark 16:15-16He was not a religious leader. He even opposed and reprimanded the Jewish religious leaders who he derisively labelled impostors. What about his disciples? They never practised the Christian religion. They were called believers and not Christians. The focus of their activities was to advance the kingdom culture on earth. Their lifestyle was strange and alien to the world system. They disrupted the capitalist economic system and redefined the concept of wealth and true prosperity.“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need.” –Act 2: 44-45
Christ proposed the concept of spirituality as the ideal communion with God our father “But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him ” He made this assertion when his disciples accosted him to contemplate the grandeur of the Jewish religious temple.“As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look at the magnificent stones and buildings!” all these great buildings?” Jesus replied. “Not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be toppled.” Mark 13: 1-2His sarcastic remark underscores the preeminence of spirituality over and above nugatory man-made religion.
Spirituality, essentially, is the disciplined practice of expressing the nature of the spirit of God in us. God dwells in every one of us irrespective of the religion we profess. The spirit of God in us is the ‘still voice’ that nudges us to good deeds. Some call him conscience or the voice of morality and the emotion of that spirit is compassion. The early apostles practised full spirituality. We were told that the Spirit of God descended on them during the Pentecost and they became different beings who were energized to preach and live the gospel. Apostle Paul even alluded to the concept of spirituality when he said: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”- Roman 8:14
Now those of you that think that belonging to a particular church denomination, attending regular church services, rolling on the ground and lifting up holy hands during worship songs, paying your offering and tithe to your church, becoming a worker in the church, doing evangelism by sharing flyers containing concocted miraculous testimonies and the picture of your pastor and his wife, would earn you express ticket to heaven, should better have a rethink about your life and get yourself free from religious bondage and deception “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’ “ Matthew 7: 23Now let me show you two scriptures that will aid your spirituality and communion with God:James1: 27“
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Matthew 25:34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Beloved, you do not need to subscribe to any religion in order to be righteous, Your righteousness before God is directly proportional to your humanity. Christ preached spirituality and humanity. This was affirmed in the parable of the Good Samaritan where ‘an unbeliever’ demonstrated humanity to a fellow brother who was at the point of death. The religious leaders who saw him failed to show him, love, because they were too preoccupied with their religious engagement. Is that not what you do as a Christian today? You prefer to sow your tithe and offering to a church expecting a bountiful harvest, instead of using that same money to help the poor. Repent! God is watching you.
Finally, statistics have shown that almost everybody, out of the estimated 7.3 billion people on earth practices one form of religion or the other. Christians remained the largest religious group in the world, making up nearly a third (31%) of Earth’s 7.3 billion people, according to a new Pew Research Center. Now, here is the paradox: How come this massive population who profess to religions that purportedly link them to one God cannot live together as one global family of humanity? Why this morbid religious acrimony? Why do we fight and kill ourselves in the name of religion? It is on record that religiously motivated wars have killed more people than any other war in history.
So sad! The time to abolish religion is now! It is an evil invention that has extirpated our common humanity. The question I have often asked is this: is God divided? Even within Christendom, there is an alarming proliferation of church denominations to the extent that you could see five branches of the same church in one street. Let us not even talk of the mutual mistrust among churches that profess to be followers of Christ
When I consider the level of deception and hypocrisy exhibited by those of us who avow to be Christians, I have come to the inevitable conclusion that the set of people that have done the greatest damage and disservice to the gospel of Christ are the Christians. No wonder, the great soul Mahatma Gandhi once opined,“ I like your Christ, not your Christians because your Christians are unlike your Christ”
Food for Thought!
Apostle Azemobor Gregory is a messenger of Truth and an Apostle of Humanity