Is there any wonder that confusion between Religion and God seems inevitable in a mix of over 4,000 religious faith groups and denominations throughout the world? It is speculated that within the United States, 75 percent of the over 300 million population participate in religion.
Conclusions on the phenomenon of religion are that it is a universal practice found in all nations, though widely differing in its teachings, rituals, and commitments. Historical reviews clearly show that religion is probably one of the most powerful influences used by humankind for good or evil. Its most recognizable quality is that it worships, reveres, honors, or pays homage to humankind, angels, deities, objects, and idols--visible and invisible.
Religion reminds me of Grimms’ story tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Although it was published as a children’s fairy tale, its storyline is quite frightening. A wolf pumps an innocent child for information about her destination. Ultimately, he uses this information to disguise himself as the child’s grandmother, and the child and her grandmother meet an unfavorable end. Since the original, different versions have emerged which introduce a huntsman as the hero who slays the wolf.¹
Like the fairytale, religion has originated from humankind which makes it an object of change and reckless interpretation.
It is commonplace for religions to contain the existence of a superior power to mankind, the distinction between good or bad behavior, and an afterlife destination determined by conduct during a lifetime. Despite these various prevailing beliefs, there is only one God who remains personal, Holy, loving, just, forgiving, and merciful.
He is not a philosophical or abstract principle of the mind and is impossible of being captured in an object which uses the materials created by Him to form the object. He is the Creator who sustains and orders all. (Colossians 1:16)
The true and living God does not evolve into a different version. He remains the Divine personality yesterday, today and forever. He is the essence of truth manifested in the heavens and earth who provided a fail-safe solution through His Son for sin, forgiveness, and eternal life.
There should be no confusion between God and religion. If you find yourself confused, reflect on the true and living God who promises never to lie to you (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2), will never leave you or abandon you (Hebrews 13:5), will supply all your need (Philippians 4:19), is faithful (Psalm 57:11-12), will give you strength (Philippians 4:13), and so much more.
Religion will never promise to love you unconditionally and eternally, but the God who calls us sons and daughters, always will.
¹ american literature.com.