The answer basically is no.
God is not religious. One of the definitions of religion is: A particular system of faith and worship. A system. I believe right here is where it goes off the rails.
God is not a system.
Here is a selection from Mark chapter 7 that speaks to this issue of man made systems (rules), leading to cleaning up the outside, not realizing that it’s what’s inside us that is the problem. Religion appears to clean up the outside, God cleans our hearts through a relationship with Himself starting with the inside.
Mark 7 (TLB – Adapted)
So the religious leaders asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old customs? For they eat without first performing the washing ceremony.”
Jesus replied, “You bunch of hypocrites! Isaiah the prophet described you very well when he said, ‘These people speak very nicely about the Lord but have no love for him at all. Their worship is a farce, for they claim that God commands the people to obey their petty rules.’ How right Isaiah was! For you ignore God’s true ordinances and substitute them with your own traditions. You are simply rejecting God’s true laws and trampling them under your feet for the sake of tradition. (Religion)
“… so you break the law of God in order to protect your man-made tradition. And this is only one example. There are many, many others.”
Matthew 22 (TLB / The Message)
Jesus said, “‘Love God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.”
You can clearly see the difference between religion and God. True “worship” of God is demonstrated in the love we have for one another. If you love God. this will flow from the inside out. If you are religious, on the other hand, you will likely do good to make yourself feel better about yourself , to make up for your bad, earn approval, and believe that if I do more good than bad, then God will like me.
Remember at the onset of the post, it’s the inside that needs attention. The outside may demonstrate the need for that attention, but it’s dealt with from the inside out. God changes the heart. When you have that heart change, it will naturally start to be about others much more than yourself
You may want to consider trading in your “religion” for a genuine relationship with God that gives you peace, joy and contentment. In that kind of relationship with God there is no religious striving, but rest in knowing. True faith develops, and you live your life differently from the inside out. Religion is an outward expression in comparison.
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