Religion: or Jesus?

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit ~ 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.

I arise early this morning with a flow of Spirit speaking what I believe to be truth to my heart over an issue that more and more becomes important to me, because it is used by enemy forces to tear asunder and dismember the body of Christ. We are called to be one, yet we are separated by religious doors. It breaks my pea picking heart, as my momma might say.

I have many friends and family members of many differing religious persuasions, and the one thing I find that draws us and closes the gap of our respective belief systems is unity of faith in Christ and common grounds of truth. Oh, I want so for this to flow to you as beautifully as it has to me. Lord, here am I, a conduit looking to You to flow through me.

I am thinking on this subject this early morn because of questions to a friend and Sister in Christ in a group we attend together where she is being asked to share about her religion of choice. Always unnerves me when the body starts talking religion. You see, as I look at this subject of religion or Jesus, what I see is that when we come together through the veil of Christ, we find bonds that bind us as one through the truth we unite under in faith of mutual belief. But religion exists because of differing opinions of truth. There is only one real truth: God’s truth; so how can this be? Where there are differing opinions of truth, at least one in a group of two is living behind a veil of falsehood.

God is truth, and in Him we find fullness of truth that unites. But Satan, the father of lies, throws little twists into our understanding of God’s truth, just enough to work separation and dismemberment in the body. A house divided will soon fall, right? Satan cannot destroy Truth, but he can throw a few wrenches in through weak flesh that is open to the allure of the lie and destroy the fullness of the effectiveness of the body to work together as one. So what is the answer?

This friend I mentioned earlier, I love her so much and I see and experience Jesus in her. It is where our bond comes from. But she was raised in and still resides in a religious faction that is very controversial in our day and is seen by the rest of Christendom as a cult. Now, from what I have been taught of that belief system, when held against the strictest defining parameters that separate the true church from the cultic practices, I cannot argue with that evaluation regarding her religion. But I can argue with any who would try to tell me that she does not know Jesus, the Savior, and God the Father, as I do.

Some others I love warn me, “Darlene, they are being taught how to talk Jesus so as to be more palatable to us Christians.” I have no doubt that can happen in any church, but the Spirit of God and the connection He brings to the equation cannot be mimicked or taught by human reason. I have experienced the sincerity of her faith. We are Sisters in Christ, I have no doubt, but we are divided by religious falsehood in some areas: whether hers or mine, God knows.

Now here is what God showed me that I found to be so beautiful as I awoke with this heartache over religion and its dismemberment of Christ’s body. I believe it is the solution to the division if we can grasp it to walk it out in the earth.

When Jesus gave His life, a propitiation for all sin, the instant He breathed His last breath of His earthly life, God, the Father, reached down to the temple of Israel and rent asunder for all time the veil that divided Him from those who seek His face. In the place of that veil stepped Jesus at the ordination and beckoning of God the Father.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; He is the only Door by which we may be saved and have access to the Father; and all who desire to enter in to the holy of holies must first pass through Him by faith in the sacrifice of blood He paid. None who go through Him are turned away. All who go through Him have personal access to God, as Jesus is our advocate; and in Him we are raised up as part of the Royal Priesthood.  No man or human institution has right to restore the veil God removed in Christ. Any who would hold another back telling them they are not pure enough to enter the holy place of God’s presence are standing in falsehood and resurrecting the old veil, lacking understanding of the fullness of Christ to the equation of salvation and sanctification. How can I say that? (1 Peter 2:9; Hebrews)

There, in the holy of holies we find the purest of love, truth, righteousness, holiness, justice—a justice wrought through grace found in Christ, peace, unity, and wholeness. As I thought on this fact, I saw myself step through the Veil, Jesus, into God’s presence with my Sister in Christ, and I physically felt all the fetters of this life fall away: sin, falsehood, division, enmity, fear, distrust, and separation fell to the wayside and the only thing that mattered in that place was the common ground of the fullness of God’s truth coupled with faith to believe. We were one in Christ. All religion swept away. We both felt this burden removed and turned with amazement to the Door we just passed through in believing faith together.

I long for a place like that. The only way I see of finding it in our earthly existence is to lay down all of our preconceived ideas of truth and walk through the veil. Only as we begin to see churches rise up with only one name over their doorway will we find it. Only as we step through the door of Jesus together and enter into the presence of God with open hearts to full truth will we find healing to bind up the brokenness in the Body of Christ in our day.

My heart breaks as I see lines drawn that seem to say, “Follow me in my religious beliefs and understanding if you want unity with me, even though our separation works disunity in Jesus’ body.” And a flipside to this that furthers the gap between us is the watch groups who are so bent on pointing out the falsehood they see in others, when all that is needed is to present truth and let God draw the hearer through the veil. What separation we breed when we raise the hair on the neck of those who feel they have to fight for their religious right. Truth unites. Speak truth and watch God bring down the veils of separation among us.

I have had the privilege through ministries God has placed me in to walk in the doors of many differing churches of most every differing religious faction. What I have found is this: though I may not agree with all I hear, when I walk in to hear from God, I will receive something, some truth I can cling to that inspires my day and helps me on my way. There I find common ground with believers in that place. When I enter those doors with Jesus-love in heart, I always find, without exception, a brother or sister connection with others who have believing faith on common grounds of truth too.

Religion: or Jesus? Won’t you come through the veil with me where we find wholeness of truth and faith to believe? Let us cast off our preconceived ideas of the things that separate us and bring them to the holy of holies where truth is found. If God is God…and He is…if He desires truth…and He does…don’t you think He will teach our hearts unity of faith to believe and be one in Christ’s beautiful body?

Father, teach us truth that we may be whole and accomplish Your purpose in the earth. In Jesus, the veil, the only true door, we pray. Amen.

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