Are you Guilt Ridden?
Are you Guilt Ridden?
The practice of “church” by much of the world is fueled by two ingredients; judgement and condemnation causing people to be guilt ridden and fear-mongered. People are saddled with guilty conscience if we fail and God is portrayed as being the "big bad wolf" in the sky waiting for us to do wrong so He can punish us and is we don't confess the wrong send us to the torture chamber of hell for eternity. Professional preachers in religion know how to nourish both concepts to where the pew-warming listener receives the teaching and accepts it as if it were scriptural, through the one man pipeline by which God is supposed to communicates spiritual truths that He wants the "spiritual ignorant" pew-warmers to know.
Being controlled by a guilty conscience is perpetuated by the religious idea of a “do and don’t” mentality rather than a “being” reality. The focus is on how we must do better, pray more, read our bible more, give more, go to “Church” more, be involved in the programs more...etc. Oh, they may verbalize God as loving and merciful, but He is portrayed as being loving only if we obey the requirements that are set down by religion and the pew-warmers get a sense that they can never quite measure up to the standards of being a believer and are always dependent and bound by religious performance.
These concepts feed off of one another. If God is displeased, what caused His displeasure? The philosophy is; we are not living, praying, believing or thinking the way we should, and this lack perpetually condemns us to inadequacy. No religion has the right or the power to demand its adherents to perfectly live up to the laws, rituals, liturgies and ceremonies that are man-made. This if believed, puts people in a position of debt to God, but one that we are incapable of paying. We try as hard as we can, but always find ourselves coming up short. When the right dosage of a guilty conscience and a displeased God is present, people will go to great lengths to deal with their perceived problem. Prayers will be offered, pilgrimages undertaken, and some will sign over earthly possessions to their religion in an effort to successfully go into the afterlife.
Jesus broke the bars of the religious prison asunder, forever freeing people from the burden of guilt, shame and the idea of our loving Father being displeased. Christ put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, the sacrifice was and is sufficient and He did it “once and for all”. His death was on behalf of every person, forever eliminating God’s displeasure and the need for a guilty conscience. No exceptions! No exclusions! What Jesus did is not a mere idea, but an objective reality, that can be known subjectively by those who choose to believe it.
This message, called the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ, is dangerous to religion, because when it is believed, religion and its practitioners lose their grip on people. No more believing the blame and shame game, no more intimidation, manipulation, coercion or control.
The good news of the Gospel is that provision has been made for their liberation from the yoke of their own inadequacies and the yoke of religion. Those tired and wearied by their own efforts and shortcomings will find rest for their soul. Religious practitioners will lose control once the pew warmers are no longer enslaved by manipulation, intimidation and condemnation. People will be free to live through the inner witness of their new life in Christ.
Now, be assured that religion will fight back, and for centuries, it has done a pretty good job of it, religion still has a restraining hold on God’s people. Religion implicitly mistrusts the power of this new life in Christ. Instead it continually returns to edicts and rules, no matter how inefficient they are to make people righteous. Layer upon layer of guilt-inducing rituals and requirements have been added. In fact, when looking at what religion preaches, it is sometimes hard to detect the Gospel at all. The add-on of man-made traditions are subtle but, oh, so deceptive, and they choke the very life out of the Gospel message.
People, believe it, God is not upset or angry at you, and you need not feel the guilt of the shame and blame game. Who made this possible? Jesus. If you truly believe in the Grace of God, turn from all your religious efforts to rid yourself of guilt and shame, and turn to Him, who has already accomplished what was impossible for us to do.