Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – religion is repulsive but still present manipulating people for its own advantage. Beware!
Mark 12:38-40 TPT
 Jesus also taught the people, “Beware of the religious scholars. They love to parade around in their clergy robes and be greeted with respect on the street.  They crave to be made the leaders of synagogue councils, and they push their way to the head table at banquets.  For appearance’s sake, they will pray long religious prayers at the homes of widows for an offering, cheating them out of their very livelihood. Beware of them all, for they will one day be stripped of honor, and the judgment they receive will be severe.”
Power, position, prestige, cash – religion establishes itself based on man made rules, from self made positions, so as to take advantage of people. Jesus says “Beware of the religious scholars.” They opposed Jesus in his day and they are present today hungry for the same personal outcomes. They always oppose the freedom that Jesus came to bring, freedom to be right with God without paying, behaving, or getting it right. They can’t make this freedom work to their advantage for it strips them of manipulation, and the use of fear and condemnation motivators. Religion always uses these to get people to walk their lines.
“Beware of them all,” Jesus says. Beware today of every time that anyone leans on a religious position as a place of power, position, prestige. Those that serve in the way of Jesus posture themselves very differently. They are servants of all, they choose to be last, least, lowly, and their motivation is love and freedom. They have no need of cash for their God is not broke. They motivate behaviour that flows from people’s intimate interaction with God, and never pull the trigger on reward and punishment, fear based manipulation.
People do one of two things when confronted by religion, they submit and carry its heavy burden of obedience and conformity, or they rebel and walk away blaming God for what man has done using His name. The one who came to destroy religion and to heal us of our religious obligations and torments has been blamed for its presence. What a travesty!
People gravitate to religion for it is easier for those in charge to manage those who will submit to religion, and it is easier for those who follow to know the rules and rewards of behaviour, it gives them control also. Others who follow religion are those who are abused and trapped by its fear and punishment. The freedom that God offers His people becomes scary to many for He removes the usual levers of control. But grace and mercy and the good news of God is not focused on management but intimacy. Religion manages behaviour from a place of power, privilege and position, God enables His people from a place of love, mercy and freedom.
I will grow in my awareness to the subtlety of religion and diligently and violently repulse it from my life. I will not become it’s instrument or it’s servant. I will “beware” of its attempts to use power, prestige and position and call it out when it confronts me. I will live in the freedom of the intimacy of Gods love, grace and mercy.
Thank you for the warning and for stamping out religion. Thank you that you destroyed all the power of religion and packed it up as an outdated, no longer to be used, heresy of mans making. Thank you that you enable me to walk in your ways from the beauty of your love and the power of your presence. Blessed am I to walk with you in this freedom.
Are there areas in your life that God wants to bring an awareness of the manipulation of religion, or your use of religion for personal power, prestige, power?
Are you walking in the fullness of the freedom of the gospel?