Updated: Mar 12, 2019
Religion vs Relationship
“I messed up, my Dad is gonna kill me!” (Legalism - Control)
“I messed up, I need to talk to Dad.” (Love - Christianity)
There has been an ongoing condescending comparison between religion and relationship over the past two decades. I believe that an individuals’ perception of religion vs relationship is based their definition of, understanding of and experience with the two.
Unfortunately, many have vilified religion and made a hero out of concept of having a relationship with God. Here’s the understanding that I would like to convey about this matter:
The element of unhealthy control contaminates anything it encounters. Relationships used for unhealthy control (manipulation) is just as toxic as religion used for unhealthy control. The intent and method of the system is what often determines the health and experience thereof.
The way a concept or system is presented is influential on how people perceive, receive &it. There has been plenty misrepresentation of what religion and relationship in the Christian context is. For this reason, many have inherited a form of hatred for “religion.”
Traffic rules are to drivers as religion is to relationship. You need the driving handbook to understand the ethics and rules of the road. You’ll need the driving handbook to understand the language, concepts and purpose of the system. Now let’s not get it twisted, you don’t need the handbook in order to purchase a vehicle. You can get a car without it. However, you’ll need to understand the governance and guidance articulated in it in order to properly engage the vehicle and the road, especially because there are millions of others engaging the same system at the same time.
The goal is not for you to have the handbook in front of you while your driving. That would be a casualty and make the system more of a liability to those who engage it. Instead of driving with one hand and the handbook in the other, each driver should “hide the principles in their heart” so they can properly engage the system. It should become apart of who they are, the system assimilates with their culture (language, ethics, morals, interaction etc). It’s so invasive that pedestrians walk with the same discipline they drive with. When walking in a crowded mall, some people who drive in a “right side” system also walk in a “right side” system. As they look before switching lanes, they look before crossing over after making that last minute decision to walk into a store they practically passed. No one wrote a book on that per se, but it has been shaped by a “religious” system that has influenced the way we do relationships, whether intimate or surfaced.
There are things you’ll learn from experience and some things from explanation, either way, there’s more to the system than your personal experience. I believe religion has been misrepresented to the point of causing pain to some who sincerely want to get it right, but mainly to those who weren’t at peace with submission, authority, discipleship and sonship to begin with.
Humanity is in an emergency right now. Hence, God is calling for an emergence of REpresenters. Those who will present Him and His System AGAIN.
My prayer is that this blog will instigate some new thoughts, conversations and perceptions to protect God’s system from being dismissed and slandered due to repeated acts of spiritual fallacies and abuse.
We need Religion so we will best understand Relationship in the Christian context. We need it without manipulation not for the cause of control, but for the cause of guidance in love.