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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Toxic Series ~ Conclusion




TOXIC RELIGION

I will NEVER forget the encounter we had with a gentleman one cool Fall evening a few years ago. My husband and I were greeted by this couple and we began talking. Asking about jobs, children, and somehow landing on the subject of church. As we explained at the time we attended a house church and then in turn asked them where they worshipped. The gentleman puffed out his chest, and looked at us very intently and said these very words...."WHAT DO YOU MEAN? YOU DON'T SEE THE WORD ________ ENGRAVED ON MY FOREHEAD?" Um.....No sir, sorry we don't look for particular labels. He laughed and said well, we were born ______ and we will die ______ . It was clear that his point was his religion or denomination was a source of Pride and while I do not mean this in a harsh way I know only the Lord knows the depths of his heart and intent.

I pray this post is not misunderstood as it is not my intent or in my heart to speak of this or that denomination at all. It is my heart however, to speak of Relationships with Christ no matter what your denomination is.

Did you know that Religious means to return to bondage.....Christ came to set us FREE from Bondage! Halleluah...So, isn't it very obvious that we would never ever want to be RELIGIOUS. Toxic Religion focuses on our external performance not the internal.

Toxic Religion promotes spiritual pride. Thinking, speaking, and making sure everyone knows your way is right and everyones else is WRONG!

The Judiasers followed and obeyed 613 commandments! On the outside they looked very Religious but inside their heart was cold and bitter

Listen to this parable of Tax collector and the Pharisee as it is written in Luke 18 beginning in v.9

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.


Religion says DO ~ do this and God will love you, Spend such and such time in prayer or bible reading and God will have favor on you, obey this and God will bless it! etc. etc. etc.

Relationship says DONE ~ Christ has done all that we need. There is NOTHING that we can do past or present that will make God love us anymore than HE does right this moment! He emphatically adores you and me. We are sinners and will never be able to DO anything to earn favor, or gain success.

We are found righteous through Christ! NOT in OURSELVES! It is our Faith in Christ NOT our works that brings righteousness.

When Christ looks at you or at me HE sees all God has made us to be....not our sin, not our wrongs and mistakes. He longs to have a Relationship with you...heart to heart. To spend time with you, listening to your heart, sharing HIS Heart & ways with you in return!

I have been told numerous times from people...when you have a relationship with Christ and go to church you have to "GIVE UP" everything??!! HUH! That is the CRAZIEST thing EVER! THAT PEOPLE IS RELIGION! Will your Life and Lifestyle change???
YOU BETCHA!! But can't that be said if you were to get a new job, or start dating someone new? We change our thoughts/ways by those we are around ~ so it would only make sense that having a true relationship with Christ will bring changes into our lives but I for one can testify.....It is the best change you will ever know. ever experience. and you will want the whole world to have the same!


Thank you all for sharing in the Toxic Series with me! I have learned so much and loved this Series! Looking forward to what God has in store!!

13 comments:

Beth in NC

Great post Loren! I can only imagine your face when that man spoke out.

I pray he will see the difference between his "denomination" and what that means versus a personal relationship. He may have the relationship with Jesus, I pray so.

Nana's Nuggets

Good Morning Loren, this post was wonderful! I have enjoyed so much this series that you have shared, You know that one-on-one relationship with God is the only thing that matters. We have to have it. You know God says that some worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me!(don't wanna be there).Thanks for the sweet comment that you left, and hope hubby gets to attend that FB game! Hope you have a Happy:), Joyful,& Blessed wk-end! luv ya! girl:)

Ruth

what an important lesson to take note of... thanks for this post Loren. Blessings,
Ruth

Denise

Praise God. Awesome words sis.

Debbie

Oh AMEN to all of this Loren. You have explained it all soo very well. Relationship...not religion. It is soo sad to me that soo very many people miss this...spend their lives striving to please a god they don't even know. To know God in a very personal real way is what He desires of course, and our salvation has been all taken care of. Thanks for sharing this. Have a good day. HUGS, Deb

Sandy

I have really enjoy these lessons,
Loren. Thanks so much.
Blessings,
Sandy

NanaNor's

Dear Loren, I say Amen to your post today-when we get to heaven we aren't admitted by the denomination but by the blood of the Lamb. It is completed in Jesus. Thank you for sharing His truth today.
Hugs, Noreen

Cindy

Great post Loren.

This is my first time here, but I will be back. Gonna have to check out some more of your post.

Hugs,
Cindy

RCUBEs

Amen sister Loren! Everything must point to Christ!!!Not to ourselves!

Thank you for your prayers and gentle hugs and encouragement :) I'm feeling better. All my tests came negative [PTL!] so I must have strained a muscle I didn't know exist on my upper back [by my shoulder]. So, this 90 yr. old is 90! LOL. I'm in my early 40's but feels that way! :)

So, just trying to rest more here and I do the same, keep you and other sisters/bros. in Christ in my prayers. God bless you always and may you have a wonderful rest of the week. Hugs back at you :)

Renee

Loren,
I heartily agree! Denominations are man-made. The Holy Spirit is who we should be following. With Him, we aren't under the law anymore. And He is all that matters.

That's not to bash anyone who is in any particular denomination. But denominations should never come before anything God says in the Bible. He is all that will remain at the end of time, so He is all we should put our effort and our lives into!

Great post, my friend! :)

Renee

Renee

I just wanted to add one more thing:

...there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
(Colossians 3:11)

:) If it's Jesus, it's everything. If it's not, it's nothing.

Renee

SophieMae

Great post! Years ago, I had a friend who was offended because a Christian bookstore carried a book that called her religion a cult. At the time, I thought how sad it was that she - or anyone - is competely focused on her religion and isn't the least bit interested in knowing The Truth. I, for one, would NEED to read that book and everything else I could find, coz I sure don't want my 'religion' to be wrong!

Have a JESUS-filled day! ^i^

jayayceeblog

Beautifully said. I've met a few Toxic Religion folks and they always seem so backwards, talking about how religious they are, but really doing the opposite. Love this line ... To spend time with you, listening to your heart, sharing HIS Heart & ways with you in return!

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