Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Peace vs. Religion

Yesterday we explored Jerusalem. We saw the Garden Tomb and the Church of the Holy Sepulchur. What a difference there is between the two! The garden tomb is peaceful, tranquil and you can feel the presence of God. Its a place I would like to spend all day, resting and at peace. 

The church was the complete opposite. Crowded with people, chanting, smokey incense, and a heavy religious and oppressive spirit. I wanted out as soon as we got in there. 

Andrew wrote down his thoughts and I wanted to share some with you:

"Today in Jerusalem, we experienced religion. Its for certain that is not what God wants for and especially, from us.
Chanting or saying specific prayers not only to a god but people (saints). Or praying at specific times like its just a ritual
Or setting up shrines and kissing things or bowing down to them.
God, the one and only, wants us to have a relationship with Him, pure and simple. And in that, we are called to live righteously. So how do we do that? 
Well to start, theres the 10 commandments. To make it even simpler, do everything through love! Not man interpretation of love but Gods perfect and everlasting love. 
You cant go wrong."

While walking through the church, I was praying and asking God "Are you here? Do you feel honoured with what is going on here? If you are here, please, show me!"

And I felt so strongly "I am not here, this is not what I want from you!" The God I serve does not want religion from us. He loves us and wants us to know his heart for others, for the nations! We do not have to work for our salvation, salvation belongs to our God.

We are not asked to light a candle, kiss an entryway, donate money (etc etc) to receive salvation. Salvation is freely given and I am so thankful. 

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