Religion is political.
For centuries, it has been a governing force responsible for boxing in believers and separating faith-filled followers worldwide. Instead of establishing the foundation of spiritual identity on the root principles of God — Compassion, Forgiveness, Character, and Loving Kindness –– religion seeks to solidify the value of a person’s walk based upon how closely they obey biblical law. This tangible law refers to the written doctrine found in the Bible — often more specifically related to the 10 commandments.
More so, as religion is carried out as a human practice, individual evaluation is judged through the narrow lens of a literal understanding of the bible. The challenge of interpreting scripture literally is that it requires placing God into the capacity of people and the human experience. While teachings do give direct instructions and articulate human consequences, thought must be expanded to gain a more approximate grasp on what the word is designed to show us. Religion is technically positioned as a social construct created to enforce an inherent ruling infrastructure — similar to the way in which race is constructed. Except, instead of classifying and colonizing nations by skin color, religion subjugates and restricts communities by spiritual interpretation.
The religious body says if another individual or community is not in agreement with my specific belief system, their ignorance condemns them to inferiority and requires a rescuing of their spirit to assure God’s acceptance of their lives. Or, if a person believes in God, but does not follow the precise teachings of the Holy Bible, he or she is believed to be less of a righteous believer than another. And just like racism in the U.S., this separatist mindset has been the force behind millions of deaths, imprisonments, and rebellions due to its condescending presence over society.
Scripture tells us, “judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt 7:1). All humans are imperfect. Every person has sinned and continues to stand against the evils of the world daily. God says, “I do not know of a just man that does not sin” (Ecc 7:20). The goal of such wisdom is to teach us that measuring holiness according to good deeds and religious practices is a nice gesture, but spiritually irrelevant. Rather, the only detail credible enough to guarantee salvation is a pure heart and sovereign wisdom of purpose received through the exclusive and intimate experiences we have in our private relationship with God.
The moral of the story: Spiritual maturity is vital to truly following and understanding the ways of God. He is only as big or small as we create him to be in our lives. God is limitless; existing without label, boundary, or restriction. Your mind must be open, thoughts liberated, and chains broken. God represents freedom to be completely yourself in the fullness of your identity. This gives you the right to praise God how you are spiritually inspired to without fear or shame. You are encouraged to communicate with God using the language of your choice. Prayer is your time to communicate in transparency and receive the specific words of destiny Heaven has assigned to your Life.
Religion is an institution. The Kingdom is a lifestyle.