Religion has been the deadliest thing throughout the entire history of the world. It’s the ugliest thing today as well. Convictions around specific doctrines, practices, and ideas coupled with intolerance for any other doctrine, practice or idea, has shed more blood and aroused more hatred between peoples, countries and races than anything else except maybe money. If you want to get a picture of that just study the progress of Christianity from the first Century to the present. Fox’s book of Martyrs tells the protestant side of the story but consider Constantine’s bloody conversion of the world in the name of Christ, the Holy Roman Empire’s battle with heresy and the inquisition. The Islamic move to convert the world with the sword, an effort not totally abandoned in some circles today.

Jesus did not come into the world to set up another religion that would put itself at odds with all the rest of them. He hates a system which promotes war between Protestants and Catholics or Christians and Muslims. I am convinced that Jesus hates religion! God loves the whole world. He loves all of His children, red and yellow, black and white; Hindu, Buddhists, and every other title you might slap on a “religious” system. He came, apart from Religion, to bring every one of His children into a loving relationship with the Father. No religion is any better than any other. They all fail! That’s why Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man can come to the father but through me.” Salvation has nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with God’s love for us as expressed on the cross.

Only grasping the Love of God will change us or the world. God’s greatest command has always been to love Him and each other. But it’s not that we loved Him, but “He loved us first.” We cannot give love away if we don’t have it. God lifts up His son on the cross and says to us “I love you with an everlasting love.” There will be a time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. We will have a new Jerusalem; a new order when He is acknowledged as the king of kings and Lord of Lords and will dwell together in harmony as intended from the very beginning. It’s not religion and rituals that God wants! Jeremiah doesn’t applaud their religion. He condemns it and explains that God truly wants love. Consider this when you read Jeremiah 7:5-7. It says, “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.”