The Failure of Religion

This week, the 24th May 2022, after being sentenced to 6 years in prison in Russia Denis Christensen was released from a Russian prison.

His offence? he was labelled an extremist and dangerous to the State of Russia, I enjoyed reading one description of him a “passive terrorist”, call it what you will this is a contradiction in terms.

He had paid his taxes, kept the laws of the land, however, his faith made him an enemy of the state. This stance was promoted by the Russian Orthodox Church leaders.

Why is this simply echoing the position of other religious movements? Jesus taught his followers to love one another, although singled out for persecution by the religious leaders of his day he didn’t say to his disciples campaign to stop them, or become involved in the political system to protect your own interests.

The principle that guides Jehovah’s Witnesses globally reflects the words of the Apostles who are recorded as saying at Acts 5: 29 “In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men”

At Jesus death the religious leaders aligned themselves with the state and the same applies today. Religions and the Political infrastructure are linked. For example in China the Communist Party now have a say in the appointment of Catholic Bishops.

In the UK Parliament Religious Leaders sit in the House of Lords, spend time criticizing the Government but what did Jesus advocate? Matthew 6: 33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.

Which Kingdom? Matthew 6: 9 “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.11 Give us today our bread for this day;12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’” God’s Kingdom.

Religions around the world fail to point to this the only hope of salvation. Using their political influence to silence and obstruct those who make it plain, we are not in control of our destiny we need external support and Jesus died for us to get that support.

So remember the words James 4: 4 “Adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God”

We are no part of the political system as Christians because we promote God’s Kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ. The countries we live in are just places to be, and supporting the religious movement of nationalism is evidence of Religion forming and alliance with those who will battle against God’s Kingdom. Religion is described in Revelation as a Harlot riding on a wild beast who will be destroyed by that beast. It is really worth examining whether we are part of the wild beast, the harlot or those whom they wage war against.

Prayerfully consider where we want to be on God’s side on going down with the billions of followers of false religion.

Jesus made it clear when he said at Matthew 7: 13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it;14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.

If we find it easy to be a Christian today, if we discover our views are popular with those around us then we need to examine which gate we have accessed and turn around if we need to.

This means everlasting life – getting to KNOW God and Jesus Christ

The time left is very short so examine the bible for ourselves and don’t let religions drag us into a war with God by opposing those who serve him faithfully.

We rejoice in the release of someone faithful and remember all of those who continue to be persecuted by the state supported by the religious leaders, this include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Communism and Nationalism

Let the truth of the Bible set us free and may we live forever because of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf.

“The undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with the spirit you show, brothers. Amen.”

Freedom from Oppression

Historically there is evidence to suggest that as one form of oppression wanes another form starts, it has become like a fashion.

Since the dawn of civilisation others have decided they will dominate their neighbours. Often exploiting the fact that the majority do not stand up for themselves.

There is a parable that comes to mind – there are two wolves locked in a bitter struggle, fighting everyday, which one will win – the one you feed most. We can see that governments, religions and poswerful commercial elements have fed oppression. Why? because the oppressor has one goal to dominate another person and cause harm. Note the words at Ecclesiates 8: 9 “All of this I have seen, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his harm.”

Is Freedom really possible?

Wherever we live on this planet we are controlled and our lives are managed by authorities, businesses and the propaganda that bombards us all. We are trapped in a cycle of allowing others to set the standards for us.

This week in the USA the great debate continues over abortion, who has the right to terminate the life of the unborn child? Does the unborn child have rights? Does the mother have an overriding say in the freedom to do what she wants with this life?

The way we live now has placed so many conflicting demands on all of us that the result is we can only look at short term solutions. Seek what is best for us as an individual. This is a real conflict. It exists because we die, always too soon and with so much unfulfilled. Therefore taking 20 years out to look after an unplanned child, or having a support circle that can help with raising the child is challenging to find.

The dilemma of true slavery. We are not enslaved or held captive by people but by death! An often quoted statement is there are two things certain in life – death and taxes are as accurate today as when they were first spoken.

We need freedom from Death to End all forms of Oppression!

Weare slaves of sin. The wages of Sin are described as death, therefore, death is the enemy. Once we have clear understanding of the real issues we see the importance of the Apostle Pauls words to the congregation in Rome. Romans 6: 6 “For we know that our old personality was nailed to the stake along with him in order for our sinful body to be made powerless, so that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin.”

So relief from oppression begins with us. We have to change our personality, to discover the real freedom that Jesus spoke of the freedom of the sons of god we need to examine the bible for ourselves.

Be clear oppression, being oppress is a choice, we can opt out. How well refer to the Bible Teachings or review the study aid “Enjoy Life Forever” know the truth and the truth will set you free Jesus stated and that is the beginning of freedom from oppression.

Is Social Justice Achievable?

Social Justice highway sign Social Justice printed on green overhead highway sign with one way arrow social justice stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Thousands have set their sights on Social Justice as the answer to many of society’s inequalities and failures. On the face of it, this appears to be laudable and yet the consequences are seen in cities across the globe.

Rising crime, poor housing due to investment failures and social migration. The geopolitical impact leaves the disadvantaged to fight for survival and a meaningless battle of rhetoric is fought on college and university campuses, town halls, schools and on the streets.

The definition presents 4 principles:

  • Equity
  • Access
  • Participation
  • Rights

What does this mean?

This places the individual at the centre of their personal universe, they are entitled just because. But notice something that the Bible teaches about true freedom and equality. The contrasting models of Freedom that is based on responsibilities, loyalty and love with the choice Adam made following selfish interests.

Genesis 1: 26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Very clear Humans created in God’s image with freedom of choice and a clear duty of care. The caretaker of the home for life on earth.

Freedom, Royalty-free Freedom Vector Images & Drawings | Depositphotos®
Breaking the shackles of Social Justice for true freedom

God went further in verse 29: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food:30 and to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so.

Now that seems very fair look after the home and expand it, develop it with your children.

So free will and purpose! Achieving the balance we all seek.

Was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil a test?

Genesis 2: 9 “And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2 16 “And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

At first, it may appear that way. Think about it in these terms, you enter a supermarket to shop for daily provisions, you want basic food and the isles have thousands of varieties all branded and high quality. You head to the checkout, see in another trolley/cart a product another shopper has bought and you decide to take that rather than go back to shelves and collect the product. It is the same but it belongs to the other shopper.

God said to Adam and Eve that tree is mine, all the other trees are yours. They decided that they wanted that tree as well. So naturally, it isn’t going to end well. They knew the cost.

So why the desire to steal from God?

Genesis 3: 2 “And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.”

So “the serpent” identified by Jesus as Satan the Devil stated God’s knows if you take the product from his shopping cart he can do nothing about it because you’ll be just like him. He is withholding something that is really your right.

Humanity Gets Social Justice

So the human family achieved the desired independence – rights, access, equity. We share the same outcome as Adam and Eve, pain suffering and death. Participation mostly definitely, humans destroy humanity and the planet we live on.

But is Social Justice True Justice?

No!

True justice is focused on the obligations we have to family, friends and these form society and gel together based on the principles found in the Bible.

It is simple, we can’t be like God! We don’t have the knowledge or capacity to be like God and we certainly need assistance to sort out problems.

So what was the conclusion or solution to our problems? let one of the wisest men summarise that for us Ecclesiastes 12: 13 “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole obligation of man.14 For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.”

Now let Jesus the wisest human explain what we need to do Matthew 22: 37 “He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”

And those who want true justice and real freedom John 13: 34 “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”

True Christians promote:

  • Obedience
  • Obilgation
  • Love
  • Responsibility
  • Gods Kingdom
  • Peace
  • Unity
  • Family
  • Freedom

You can find out more about the real issues because we are in a time of decision and the informed choice is so important. Many dismiss the bible because of what they see but those who read it and appreciate that salvation is dependent on what others do but on our choices recognise that now is the time to make that choice. The invitation Christ made was be my follower and choose to Enjoy Life Forever.

Do not miss that opportunity because time is running out as it did for Adam and Eve when they exercised their friend choosing independence and alienation from our Creator Jehovah God.