Before I begin, I want to point out that this is not a persuasion article or a piece based on truth. This is simply a topic to get you thinking outside the box.
Some may argue that these two, God and religion, go together; that you can’t have one without the other. But have we ever stopped to wonder why? Religion, in my own personal opinion, is a group of people with not only the same beliefs, but the same set of limitations and rules. I’m not saying that rules and limitations are bad per say, but I don’t believe that rules and “guidelines” must be the same for each person. So that being said, why must we all belong to a certain religion? There are many different religions that all believe in God, yet, they’re different. Why is that? It’s because they each have their own different set of rules and stipulations within their religion.
Because not all religions are the same, yet they all revolve around the same main idea (God), why then must we be part of a specific religion? Some claim to be “Non-Denominational”, yet, that group of people gather together separately from other “religions” and have gathered they’re own list of rules, thus becoming an entirely new religion! So the “Non-Denominational” group has become a denomination.
So, I suppose the real question is, why do we feel like we have to be a part of a set of rules? I know that rules aren’t a bad thing, but do we have to follow the exact same rules as our church? Why can’t we have our own personal conscience? Why can’t we simply be a group of people who come together and talk and have fun as people? No rules, no judgement, no worrying about making sure we all “follow the rules”, just a simple get together as people who all believe in God. Now, before you go thinking that I’m saying we get rid of church, back up. All I’m bringing to the table is the thought that possibly we as a people can have church without religion. Religion has brought a lot of division between believers, which, if you think about it, defeats everything that we “believers” actually believe! For example, love and forgiveness. If your religion, or even just your church, tells you that you shouldn’t associate with “sinners”, is that love? If your religion says that you have to act a certain way, and if you don’t, you’re “going to hell”, is that love? If said religion requires you to follow their rules and their guidelines, yet if you choose not to follow them they won’t let you be a part of the church, is that love? You decide, I can’t tell you the right or wrong answer, but what I can say is that I personally am not a part of any religion.
I choose God. I choose to love everyone no matter their convictions, no matter their beliefs, no matter their choices. I believe that we all have our own set of convictions, and that we should accept each other simply because we are all made and loved by the same God. I don’t go to a church simply because it’s hard for me to sit and listen to someone tell me how I have to live based on their own convictions. I have found a church whose pastor speaks on love and acceptance and family, and I enjoy listening to him because he doesn’t try to convict or instill a specific set of “God set rules”. But, just because I have a church doesn’t mean I go every Sunday. I choose to believe in God and let him tell me how to live. If a pastor can hear from God and tell us how he thinks we’re supposed to live, why can’t we, as individuals, hear from God ourselves and live the way he’s telling us to one on one?
I’m not saying you have to leave your church or stop going, I’m just getting the idea out there that maybe we can go to church simply to enjoy the friendships and not have to worry about offending our congregation or our friends. If you’re so worried that the things you feel you’re free to do are going to offend your friends, don’t find different friends, just stop caring about others opinions of yourself and if they don’t want to be your friend, I’m sorry. But you can’t decide what others do or say or even think, you can only do you.
So, which do you choose, religion, a group of people who choose to let someone else set the lifestyle and rules that govern your life? Or God, which is a one on one relationship with God wherein you talk to God and let him tell you how you should live your life, which includes you NOT judging others for living their lives apart from how you live yours.