The Gospel of Jesus Christ Blog deals with the differences between true Biblical faith and man-made religious Christianity. This particular post explains why “religious Christianity” (Catholicism, Protestantism and the cults) is not the religion of the Bible.
Probably the best way to understand why Christians find themselves deceived and in a false religious system is through the parable of the wheat and the tares that Jesus taught in Matthew 13. Jesus used this parable to warn of the coming false church that would claim to be the true Church. Scholars predictably deny that this parable is referring to man-made religious Christianity.
A land owner planted a field of wheat. Later, his servants found out that his enemy had planted “tares” (weeds) among the wheat. The servants asked their master if they should pull up the weeds but the landowner told them to allow the wheat and the tares to grow side by side; otherwise, the master said, the wheat might be pulled up along with the weeds. This parable describes how the false “Christian” tares (religion) and the true Christian wheat (the Body of Christ) have been growing up side by side. What has not been understood by many is that the tares have been dominating the religion called Christianity for many centuries. True believers have been deceived by false doctrine and unbiblical traditions that have been around for so long that most people just assume they must be true.
Nine Reasons Why You Should be Cautious of Religious Christianity:
1. Major doctrines (teachings) of the New Testament have been changed. The two most critical changes are:
a. The definition of “salvation” was changed. Whereas, religion teaches that “salvation” is having your sins forgiven, the Bible teaches that being saved is being “born again.” Upon turning from unbelief to faith in Jesus Christ, God removes your old sinful spirit and replaces it with a brand new, clean heart filled with His Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be saved since all sins of all people for all time were forgiven and forgotten on the Cross of Jesus Christ. (Forgiveness was finished on the Cross; a new heart is what turns the forgiven sinner into a born again child of God.)
b. Religious adamantly denies that believers are actually and literally righteous. Rather, it teaches that Christians are only credited with being righteous but are still “sinners.” This false teaching goes to the heart of the Gospel message; being “saved” is being made righteous in your born again heart. Teaching otherwise denies the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (As a believer, you still live in a yet-to-be redeemed mortal “tent,” your physical body; this is why you can still sin. But, your spirit is the “essential you”; you body goes to the grave when you die but your righteous spirit goes to be with the Lord.)
2. Religious Christianity has a long and very terrible history of rejecting, hating and persecuting the Jews. Hating the Jews is the same as hating God because God has revealed Himself to the world through the Jews.
3. Religious Christianity is a divided religion. One reputable research group claims that there are 635 “Christian” denominations in the United States alone, and 9,000 worldwide. Unity is one of the most important truths in the New Testament. The divided church destroys the ministry of reconciliation; offering new life in Jesus Christ is the primary work of the Body of Christ. Unity was one of the very last things that Jesus taught His disciples right before He was arrested …
John 17:21-23 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.  The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;  I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Thus, divided religious “Christianity” hides the truth that God sent Jesus to this earth to be Savior of the world and it destroys the message that God loves all people as much as He loves His own Son. (See also 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.)
4. Most of the practices in the Christian religion did not come from the New Testament but came from the surrounding non-Christian culture of the day. The most damaging of these separates “clergy” from the “laity” so that most people just sit passively in church instead of actively doing the works of God through the power of the indwelling Christ.
5. The use of spiritual gifts is unknown to half of the Christian world; it is falsely applied to the other half. A spiritual gift is simply the way that Jesus Himself accomplishes His work through each and every believer. Spiritual gifts are essential to the proper functioning of the Body of Christ. (See Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.)
6. All efforts of “Christians” to effect political, social or scientific change are not from God. The Apostle Paul clearly stated that the “battle” is in the spiritual realm, not the physical realm. Fighting with unbelievers over political and social issues is fighting with human methods. It pushes the “harvest” away from God rather than drawing them to God.
7. Religious Christianity attempts to put unbelievers and/or believers under the Mosaic Law. Jesus lived under the Law without sin, thereby ending it. He replaced the Law with Himself; Jesus is the New Covenant. The Law, even though holy, causes sin to increase, not decrease; and, a law culture promotes human self-effort instead of walking by the power of the indwelling Christ.
8. The Christian religion rarely teaches the indwelling life of Jesus Christ even though this is the central dynamic of every believer’s life.
9. The obsession of religious Christianity is with sin, and with trying to prevent or control sin. The true Christian life is one consumed with righteousness; righteous living can only be achieved by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Christ in you).
In conclusion, it is a real stretch to believe that the true Church of Jesus Christ is built on the foundation of human reasoning, anti-Semitism, division and lies. Most people have never even considered that organized religion is not the religion of the Bible. Allow yourself permission to examine your faith. Trust only the Holy Spirit to teach you (see two posts about how to understand the Bible).
These additional verses will be helpful in understanding this blog.
All Sins Forgiven: Mark 3: 28; John 1:29; Acts 13:38; Romans 5:10a; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 1:20; Colossians 2:13; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 9:22,26; Hebrews 10:12,17,18; Hebrew 2:9; Hebrews 7:27; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2,12.
Believers Receive a New, Clean Heart: Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:25; John 3:3,7; Acts 11:9; Romans 6:1-2,6,7,11,14,17-18,22; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 5:24; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:9b; 1 Peter 2:24a.
God Makes Believers Righteous in Their Born Again Heart: Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 5:17,19; Romans 6:18; Romans 8:10b; 1 Corinthians 6:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:9.
Jesus Lives in You (Literally) as His Holy Spirit: John 14:20,23; Romans 5:5b; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:17,19; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 3:19b; Ephesians 5:30; Colossians 1:27; 2 Timothy 1:14a; 1 John 4:15-16.
Believers Still Live in a Not-Yet-Redeemed Body: Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:3; Romans 8:23b; 2 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4.
Gentiles Never Under Mosaic Law: John 1:17; Romans 2:12, 14a; Romans 3:20a; Romans 9:4; Romans 10:4; 1 Corinthians 9:20b; Galatians 3:12; Hebrews 8:6-10,13; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 10:1,9b.
The Holy Spirit Will Teach You: John 14:26; John 16:13-14; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 4:17-18,23; Colossians 1:9-10; 1 John 2:27.
No Political and Social Activism: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2-7