GWR01
Introduction

01PDF

GWR02
Paradigms

02PDF

GWR03
Religious Attributes

03PDF

GWR04
Religion Divides

04PDF

GWR05
Denominations Empires

05PDF

GWR06
It is Finished

06PDF

GWR07
Clergy & Laity

07PDF



"A guidebook to accessing the life of God

Without being sidetracked by religious tradition."

By Charles Pinkney

An important caveat:
A measure spirituality and expressions of heart-felt faith is found in many traditional churches today. Many remain faithful to their own familiar faith. For generations churches have sustained values that laid the moral and social foundations of this great nation, The United States of America. Historically, the moral inheritance of Christian churches not only in America and other countries has been a noble one. Today, however, we find a disturbing tendency for many denominations to depart from their Biblical roots. Worldly thought and values are gradually entering to replace the fundamentals of the Gospel of Christ.



SOME RELIGIOUS ATTRIBUTES
WHICH HINDER FULFILLMENT IN A LIFE OF GOD?

**Schisms and division in the body of Christ from denominational boundaries

**
Schism and division result from the designation of clergy and the subordinate laity

**
Some form of priesthood remains as the controlling voice in fellowship

**
Human headship a heirarchy of authority controls and imposes obligations


**
Formalistic rituals or orders of service prohibit God's interacting

**
Religious services become a form of performance or entertainment

**
Congregations (the laity) undervalued and serve mostly to support the institution

**
The members of congregations are identified as "sheep" to be exploited

**the
institution church is focused primarily on maintenance; continuance and growth

**
Religious traditions borrow worldly values and methodology

**
The doctrines of institutional Christianity may be at variance with scripture

**
All individual believers are not expected to grow, mature and assume leadership

**
Traditional religious practices lack a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit.

**Although Christianity is the outgrowth and fulfillment of

Judaic roots there is little  acknowledgment of these foundations

By Charles Pi

RELIGION and RELIGIOUS QUALITIES

It takes a lot of time and study to understand the Scriptures, we call The Holy Bible. Is it history or fable? Is it the word of God and relevant to life in the 21st Century? Is it infallible truth or not? It is only after we have studied the Bible carefully with the intent to  understand that we begin to glimpse its consistency  and simplicity. It has been called many things, such as the "Makers users manual,"  "A love letter from God," "A book that prophetically foretells things to come."  Theologians dig into the study of Scripture from a variety of motives and at times leave with a lot of knowledge but little understanding.
The apostle Paul who was highly educated and religiously situated proclaimed that scholarship, philosophy and theology are a pathway that does not lead to knowing God. Human knowlege is not Spiritual knowledge. Truth and wisdom is a Spiritually derived gift. Spiritual life is outside of religion. For it is only God himself who through the revelation of the Holy Spirit to impart to human beings the necessary understanding and revelation of the Mysteries of God. (Read 1Corinthians Ch.1&2)

In these writings, I will focus upon the attributes of the Religious paradigm which has an adverse impact upon our faith and spiritual growth. There are doctrines and practices that will likely be familiar to you. These beliefs can actually keep individuals from ever experiencing the Kingdom of God or the greatest gift of God, our redemption and salvation.

These Religious paradigms impact our faith and spiritual growth in negative ways. There are doctrines and practices that can actually keep individuals from ever experiencing the Kingdom of God or the greatest gift of God, salvation.

Though there are many religions in the world. Throughout history, wars and strife have been the fruit of religion; Christianity was NEVER intended to become a religion, - - -
Believers ever never intended to become religious. Jesus who brought Grace and Truth to humanity, spoke a parable about a new fabric or a new wine skin, the new was not to built upon the old. The preceding covenants, however, alluded to a new one. I will note some of the attributes and activities which are part of the old wineskin. These are stumbling blocks to the spiritual life that Jesus Christ offers to us. The hand and mind of man form religion. 

I hope the topics which follow will shed light upon things which most of us have seen or done which constitute "religion "or religious practices. Religion in its traditional forms, takes away from the fullness of the life of God, the "living way" by giving itself over to externals, superficial formalities and habitual practices modeled from human headship. Not only denominational churches but virtually all institutions of "Christian" worship have become encumbered with some form of religious traditionalism which begins to depart from the simplicity and authenticity of apostolic roots. 

The often-ignored negative attributes of the Religious paradigm, described throughout these writings, are elements which impact faith in negative ways and in fact can actually keep individuals from ever experiencing the Kingdom of God or even the gift of God's Salvation.

All of us whether we are "religious" or not, need to evaluate our beliefs and especially our sense of really knowing God. If we are to be children of God we need more than just an assent to an idea or a doctrine. Doctrines do not change us on the inside. We need to experience God. I believe that I can say with assurance that God does not favor religious institutions or traditions which substitute worldliness for spiritual fellowship or the liberating truth of God's Word for a human understanding.

Religion is man's idea of what God wants us to do to please Him
Church People or The People of God?

If religion were only pure and good and brought forth good fruits such as personal joy, and liberty, there would be no need for the Lord to issue an exhortation to religious people.

When Jesus (Jeshua of Nazareth) came to minister to the people of Israel in his generation he came with signs and manifestation of God's favor and He came with the impeccable credentials, that of prophetic fulfillment. Jesus brought a message that was Spiritual because God is Spirit. A spiritual message is always contradictory to worldly forms of worship or to tradition for its own sake. The Kingdom of God promotes spiritual relationships, sharing, and community within the body. The agency of the Spiritual life is partaking in God's "oneness."

The true messenger of the Kingdom of God, comes as Jesus came with a spiritual mission and a spiritual message. Jesus was more than a good man. He was the man sent from God, a man who was more than a man, more than an anointed prophet, he was the very Son of the Living God! Yes, he was all of these things, but in the face of this he was not received, he was not believed, especially by the 'religious authorities.' He was called an imposter, the rabbis and teachers of the law, religious authorities confronted him and resisted his mission, his ministry and his message.
They called "Good" evil and purposed to kill him. "He came unto his own and his own did not receive him, but to as many that received him He gave the power to become the sons of God." (John 1:11,12.)

There is a spiritual force of resistance above merely contrary human wills. This spiritual force aims to hinder the making of a righteous and unified family a reality. God has taken this force of evil resistance into account and has given us instruction on how to persevere against it.

Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon your shoulders" Why? So that we can do what? So we can be further burdened? No. Because he intends to become a burden bearer on our behalf. "You will find rest and help, - - for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 29:30)

Religion has among its attributes the tendency to establish duties or rules of conduct which are somehow supposed to please God. However, these so called righteous deeds are not able to establish our righteousness before God. The hardest thing for a religious person to unlearn is that we are free from duties to perform, from obligations and from laws of any kind to establish our goodness and acceptance by God.

Works and obligations are not a factor in bringing us to God nor in determining if we receive any of the kindnesses which God has promised us in His word. We can't earn any gift. Once we go to Him to become forgiven and to be cleansed, our most fruitful Spiritual efforts would best be applied to thanksgiving and gratitude for His mercies.

The works of faith are a reality but they remain less our work than His work. It is not God's intention for us to do His work with our limited abilities. Once we become a child of God and establish a life of intimacy and familiarity with our Spiritual Source and Supply we are transformed sufficiently to be able to offer the kind of witness to the world which can be of value to God.

Christians are always trying to do things for God. It is He who wishes to do things for us. (a foreign notion to religious thinking.) It is Christ in us who is to do the work though he chooses to work through us.

Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon your shoulders" --so that we can do what, be burdened? No. Because he intends to become the burden bearer. "You will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Jesus declares. (Matthew 11: 29:30)
 
 

Attributes of Religion

 Charles Pinkney
1995 - 2013

nkney