Read Why I Hate Religion: 10 Reasons to Break Free from the Bondage of Religious Tradition Online

Authors: Creflo Dollar

Tags: #RELIGION / Christian Life / General, #RELIGION / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

Why I Hate Religion: 10 Reasons to Break Free from the Bondage of Religious Tradition

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Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead
men’s
bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

MATTHEW 23:27–28

I
hate religion! That’s right. I’m a preacher, and I said it myself. Why? Because “religion” portrays the image of what it defines as godliness but has no power to back it up. It thrives on the concept of attaining right standing with God through self-effort while downplaying what Jesus has done for us. Unfortunately, religion has caused many people to actually turn away from God and the promises contained in the Bible. A concentration on religion has been responsible for death, destruction, and strife among people of all ethnicities and backgrounds. It is why denominations cannot get along, and it is what provokes extremists to carry out suicide missions in the name of God. Religion is the counterfeit of having a real relationship with the Lord.

Now, let me make another bold statement: God hates religion, too! Jesus used every opportunity to blast the religious leaders of His day for carrying out vain traditions that meant nothing. Just read Matthew 23, where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for saying one thing but doing another and for following blindly after rituals and Law-based traditions done only to make them look good.
Religion is made up of man’s ideas, interpretations, and prejudices based on selfish desires, attempts to control others, and a stubborn determination to be right. Where is God in that? Religion completely takes God out of the equation and replaces Him with the god of “self” in the form of self-effort, self-righteousness, and self-gratification.
True
Christianity is not a religion; it is a
relationship
with Christ. Now,
that
I love!

True
Christianity is not a religion; it is a
relationship
with Christ.

In this book, we will explore what religious tradition teaches
about
God versus what a relationship
with
God is all about. I will give you my top ten reasons why I hate religion and show you how religion actually hinders your relationship with God. I may step on your traditions, I may contradict what you’ve been told all your life, I might even make you angry; but just stick with me until the end. After I present the difference between religion and a real relationship with God, I believe you will see things in a different light. You may even find you hate religion, too!

Now, more than ever before, people need to hear the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a message of hope, not condemnation; liberty, not religious bondage; grace, not self-effort. Most of the things we have grown up hearing about God are completely incorrect! We have come to relate to God as an angry taskmaster who is waiting for us to mess up so He can strike us down with a lightning bolt. We have gotten so far away from what Christianity is really about and have presented a picture of God that actually turns people away from wanting to know Him. It is time for us to get back to the simplicity of the Gospel
and share the truth about the love and grace of God with the world.

It is time for us to get back to the simplicity of the Gospel and share the truth about the love and grace of God with the world.

When I reflect on my own life, my journey as a Christian, and my understanding of the Word of God, I thank God for continuing to enlighten my understanding on this topic. There are religious ideas that I grew up with that I have come to find out are simply flat-out wrong. My hope is that you carefully look at the religious misconceptions that you have heard and internalized and discover the truth about what it means to have a real relationship with Jesus Christ. It is through relationship, not religion, that we are empowered to do the works that Jesus did and more. Join me on this journey as I share with you why I hate religion.

The love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I TIMOTHY 6:10

Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause; yea, let them say continually, Let the L
ORD
be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

PSALM 35:27

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In titles and offerings.

MALACHI 3:8

V
isit any barbershop or beauty parlor on a Saturday morning and you will see people from all walks of life discussing any number of topics. You’ll hear the latest gossip as well as everything from politics and sports to finances and religion. Religion and money always seem to be the hot topics. Saved or unsaved, almost everyone has heard the saying “Money is the root of all evil.” This phrase has shaped the mind-sets of millions and has kept them in financial bondage.

The notion that money is the root of all evil comes from 1 Timothy 6:10, which says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” This is one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible. I’ve heard preacher after preacher use this Scripture as their basis to support the teaching that Christians should be broke or that money shouldn’t be talked about in the church. This erroneous teaching has kept many people in financial bondage and has caused them to live under the burden of lack and debt.

These preachers teach their congregations that God uses poverty to humble them. They tell them to be content with what they
have because money is evil, and it will ruin them. I’ve even heard statements such as, “It’s godly to be poor” and “It’s not God’s will for His people to prosper.” These false doctrines have been passed down through the generations. It’s no wonder that people are wary of ministers who preach the true Gospel where prosperity is concerned.

Most people think that prosperity is money. While that is not incorrect, it is incomplete. Biblical prosperity encompasses every area of your life. This includes your mind, will, and emotions, as well as your physical body. It also includes your marriage, family, business, and finances.

Biblical prosperity encompasses every area of your life.

Third John 2:2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” Like any father, God wants you to have well-being in every area of your life, including your finances. Religion has trained you to think that it’s okay to have success in other areas of your life, as long as you’re broke. The sad thing is that many people have bought this lie.

Many people are okay with hearing sermons on salvation or on renewing their minds, but they don’t want the minister to preach about money. What confounds me is that the problem most people have is money—or the lack of it. The majority of church folks are broke, busted, disgusted, and up to their eyeballs in debt.

Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor” (Luke 4:18
AMP
). What is
the good news to the poor? It’s that they don’t have to be poor anymore! And the only way to be delivered from poverty is through hearing the Word of God on prosperity and then doing what it says.

Religion teaches that although we should trust God in all other areas of our life, money is something we need to handle ourselves. Well, we all know our own track record of handling money, and for some of us it’s not so good. To us, money is a big deal; but to God, it’s a small detail. He wants us to prosper financially, but His Word says to trust Him enough to loosen our death grip on it.

To us, money is a big deal; but to God, it’s a small detail. He wants us to prosper financially, but His Word says to trust Him enough to loosen our death grip on it.

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). Money is the least important way we show our trust in Him. When we can demonstrate to ourselves that we can trust God enough to give monetarily, we’ll know that we can trust Him for the really big things, such as peace, joy, abundance, prosperity, and all of the other promises He’s made to us.

We get so fearful of the shysters of the world hiding out in the pulpit and posing as honest ministers, that when we get to the point in church when we hear it’s time for the offering, we freeze up. We think, “There’s no way I’m giving anything to this guy and let him line his pockets with my money.” Did you catch that? “
My
money!”

Child of God, everything is the Lord’s, including money. He
doesn’t need yours! But He does need your trust, and when you give because you want to, instead of out of a sense of duty or obligation, it opens up the floodgates of blessings He wants to pour out on you. “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:6–7).

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