Why I Quit Religion

why I quit religion

Before you start picking up your stones and pitchforks, just hear me out for one second. I was raised on religion my entire life, specifically Christianity. My family and I have been Christians ever since I can remember. During my 25 years on this great green Earth I have visited many different churches and have listened to sermons by all types of preachers. Let me be clear, I still identify myself as a Christian, but my views on religion have changed.

Religion. What is that exactly? Webster defines it as an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a God or gods. Herein lies my first issue. I do believe that God created man, but man created “religion”. As humans, we often have a tendency to over-complicate things by finding solutions to problems that don’t actually exist. I honestly think that the original intention was for people to have a personal relationship with God and receive His love and carry out a fulfilling life.

Religion causes issues for me because, depending on where you are or who you’re listening to, the message you receive can be completely different. In one place someone might tell you that you need to complete a specific set of actions and tasks before you can be deemed “worthy” of deliverance and in another place you could be told that you should believe everything that the pastor says simply because they are the head of the church. That’s crap. Seriously. James 4:10 says: humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. Personally, that tells me that I should come before the Lord myself and develop a relationship with Him rather than just base my entire spiritual experience on the words of another man. It doesn’t say “humble yourself before your pastor, and then the Lord will lift you up”. This is not me saying that you shouldn’t listen to your pastor, because I believe that the men and women called to these positions of teaching are invaluable resources of knowledge and you can learn a great deal from them. What I caution against, is accepting everything that they say without doing any of your own personal research and spending your own time with God. Pastors are essentially teachers, and they are teaching their interpretation and understanding of God’s word.

So many people miss out on salvation in today’s time because they are turned off by the church. It’s usually not the message that they hear that turns them away, it’s more often the people instead. They listen to sermons that say “you need to act this way and do this and do that”, but they see the people in the church doing the exact opposite in their own personal lives. It’s unfortunate because I really believe that God doesn’t want us to go and try to shove religious teachings and moral values down peoples throats just for the sake of “I’m right and you’re wrong”. I think He would really prefer that we show people His love and favor through the way that we live our own lives. No, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be willing to humble yourself and live your life for Him, everything else will fall into place.

The last thing that turns me off about religion is the judgmental attitude that a large number of people adopt. I see this as a direct contradiction of God’s word. 1 John 4:7-8 says: …Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. There is no reason why we should turn our backs on people who live their lives differently from us. If they are in fact living wrong, love them anyway while you live your life right and maybe your example will redirect their path. Jesus surrounded himself with all kinds of people, sinners and saints alike. I also feel that no one really has any room to judge others because most people just pick and choose which parts of the bible they want to live by. You might see someone bashing homosexuals one minute and then having premarital sex the next. Only God can judge, so leave that up to Him.

You may not agree with most or even anything that I’ve said, and that’s okay because it’s just my opinion. I know that I’m not a perfect person and I will never pretend to be. I love God, and I know that He loves me. And although I am not the biggest fan of religion itself, I will always go to church because I believe that helps to further my relationship with God. As long as my relationship with God is strong, my life will always benefit.

Because, at the end of the day, it’s all about the religion. Relationship.

                                                                        
God loves you, thank you for reading.

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12 thoughts on “Why I Quit Religion

  1. Mikaila G says:

    I am a Christian but In te bible simply believing isn’t enough but it says that your salvation is a gift but God does expect to transform your thinking and way of living and be a part of the body, which is the church. but i think that you have to find a church that is follows the bible not simply religious tradition:)

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  2. thatiponce says:

    Derrell, I saw your article in the Huffington Post, and good thing your wife encouraged you to write! I totally agree with you, and being raised as a catholic here in Brazil I felt the same way at some point in my life. I usually say I need no operator to talk to God, I have a direct line 🙂 Let's judge less and love more. Keep on the good writing!

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  3. Derrell Jamison says:

    That is definitely true, our ideas about religion and relationships with God are definitely personal in nature. Everyone's will be different in some way or another. I certainly believe that the idea of having a relationship with God has been tarnished over the years by mankinds misguided uses of 'religion' within society. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  4. Summer17 says:

    not a christian nor believe in jesus but agree that relationship with god (whoever she/he is) is personal. religion is man-made and often detrimental to people / society. great article.

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  5. Rae Wright says:

    I agree your focus should be on your relationship with God not the religious stuff, the legalism of it all. Jesus set us free from legalistic religious stuff. He calls us to have a personal relationship with him.

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  6. Derrell Jamison says:

    Honestly, I'm not too sure how much it matters that we identify ourselves as a Christians. Being an actual “believer” is much more important because there are people that go to church and claim Christianity but they don't even believe what the bible says or spend time with God at all. You are a believer in God and in Jesus, so if anything I would say that is definitely a step in the right direction. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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  7. Jasmaine Payne says:

    Yes Religion is man made. Yes Your focus should be on your relationship with God as he is the only person who can and should judge your actions. Unfortunately your reasons are exactly I do not go to church that often. Do I pray? Yes. Am I a Christian? No. But I definitely believe in God and his son Jesus Christ and I strive to be a good person not according to the man made interpretations of Christianity but according to actions that determine what a good person at heart should be.

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