I’m Sick of Religion

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

I am weary of endless traditions and rules. I am exhausted by the list of religious demands I must meet to prove my worthiness. I am done feeling like an outcast because I don’t fit the mold of a certain subculture.

Wear this. Don’t wear that. Worship this way. Listen to this music. Read this translation of the Bible. Take up this social cause. Train your children this way. Eat these foods, but not those.

Hear me out. I am not saying that these are bad things. I am not suggesting that we should do away with morality, social causes, modesty, etc.

I am saying that we were made for more. 

There is a reason why religion alone doesn’t satisfy. Religion is a system of beliefs, a devotion to a divine being. God wants something different, something more.

He wants, not just our belief, but our love. He wants our companionship, not just our devotion or our penance. He wants to bring us into His household and treat us like beloved sons and daughters. He wants to empower us to know Him, to obey Him, to live in freedom.

I have spent my whole life with a religion that claimed to be a relationship. But the demands for external conformity betrayed religion’s intent.

Yes, the truth was there, but it was buried under layers of secondary issues.

Religion is incomplete. We need relationship.

Jesus had a lot to say about the religious establishment of His day. He was kinder to the prostitutes and tax collectors than he was to the religious leaders.

“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.” –Matthew 23:25 MSG

On the other hand, he reached out with compassion to those not accepted by the religious establishment.

“After this he [Jesus] went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.

And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.

And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’

And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’” –Luke 5:27-32 ESV

The religious establishment was so wrapped up in their conformity to external rules, that they failed to see the greed in their hearts. They did not recognize their need to repent of their sins and failings. 

In contrast, religious outsiders knew that they were full of failures and disappointments. There was hope for them…for anyone not blinded by pride. Jesus saw the humility and repentance in Levi’s heart…and reached out to him with love and forgiveness.

I want to know Jesus in a personal relationship, not just through a system of beliefs. I don’t want to be fooled by adherence to moral rules and traditions. I want to see my heart as God sees it…sins, warts, and all. The humility of admitting my failures allows Jesus to cleanse me from that sin and give me a different life.

A life of freedom and fulfillment in Jesus.


About Carol Dunfee

Carol is a wife, mom, piano teacher, and blogger for Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry. Having grown up in church, life made her dissatisfied with empty religious traditions and trite answers. She discovered that Jesus alone is the way to real life and true contentment. Ever stumbling and learning herself, she invites her readers to experience God’s love and forgiveness like never before. Read more at CarolDunfee.com.

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