Certain religious teachings I have very little use for any more are good at creating fear:
- Fear of having my own inner worth and wisdom
- Fear of moving and flowing to the direction of the Holy Spirit
- Fear of making my own decisions about scripture
- Fear of making mistakes that could condemn me
- Fear of Satanic influences circling like a lion around me
- Fear of not being like everyone else who is of God
- Fear of not being good enough or righteous enough
- Fear of “those people” who are not of God
- Fear of my worldly or carnal nature that likes to take the low road
- Fear of … well, just about everything a pastor or church leadership has outlined as bad or ungodly.
In short, religion often creates fear of God’s wrath, fear of our own inner compass, and fear of the ungodly.
Unfortunately, this fear-mongering attitude in any religion does three things:
- Shows God as merely punitive, controlling, and angry
- Sets up judgment, arrogance, anxiety, guilt, rule-keeping, and intolerance as a way of life
- Seeks to make God a weakling who can’t take care of his own
Hmmmm … that’s not the Christ or Christ-like life I’ve learned to embrace.
But I must admit, I did fall for all those fears earlier in my Christian life. And what a sorry person I was for it.
Liberty in Christ to me now means letting go of fear:
- It means taking a stand for what is right by living it, not by cramming my perspective down anyone’s throat
- It means trusting, embracing, and following Source, Creator, God (which for me is the three-in-one Christian Godhead of God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.)
- It means God really can take care of himself, his people, and his plan, so I don’t need doubt or worry
- It means not worrying about how “good” others are, but rather letting God’s goodness radiate out of grace-filled and gracious actions
- It means constantly reaching for that spot where I really can be the change I seek in the world
- It means always believing “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”
For me, being Christ-like or following Christ makes a positive, uplifting, and insightful impact on the world.
We can have peace if we let go of wanting to change the past and wanting to control the future.
– More on this (and sin, and obedience, and other fun stuff about spiritual versus religious) in upcoming posts! –