Religion is mans attempt to connect with God that consists of a set of man made rules telling you how to behave, dress and what to believe. The church ends up creating a box that you have to stay in to remain connected to God. The box ends up turning people away instead of reaching them. You feel unable to measure up or that you have messed up too much and gotten too far away from the box. Once that happens, you feel you can’t go to church and begin to drift. Pastor Michael feels that religion leads to pride or despair. You feel pride when you follow the rules, but then life happens and you fall short leading to despair.
Pastor Michael read scripture about Paul and his thoughts on religion. Paul did everything that the system asked of him. He devoted his life to being good and following the rules. Paul felt that was a complete waste of time compared to knowing Christ personally. You can’t reach anyone with rules, but you can with relationships. Relating to someone can change their life. When you lead with relationships then you can see what God can do rather than telling someone what is right & wrong. The way to reach people is through truth and love. Jesus is a living example of God’s love for you. He is the religious system. Faith is what closes the gap and gets you a relationship with God.
A healthy church looks outside its doors. Those focused on the movement will fill up with Christ and then go out to make a difference in the world. The church is where you can use your burden to bless others. It’s where you can get your parachute packed and pack the parachute of others. Remain a light no matter what it costs and reach out to the lost, because through God you can change the life of one person.