The Heartlessness of Religion

Religious systems are driven to control their devotees. “Do what we say and teach, or shut the door on your way out. You don’t fit in with us.” They care about their vested interests and little, if at all, for their followers. As long as people fall in line, they are treated nicely. Let them think independently and they are rejected. Leaders are heartless to those who oppose. It was no different in Jesus’ day. Mark  3:1-6 shows the true face of religion: “And He entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand, and they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath Day; that they might accuse Him. And He saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And He saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, ‘Stretch forth thine hand.’ And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. Instead of rejoicing over the wonderful healing, they placed rigid observance of a day above the sad plight of a hurting man. Their heartlessness was exposed in their plotting to kill Jesus. Joy F. Patterson authored the hymn, “Jesus Heard with Deep Compassion.” It speaks of Jesus’ love:Jesus heard with deep compassion, pleas for healing, cries of pain; cured the lame and cleansed the leper, gave the  blind their sight again. At His voice, tormenting spirits fled a madman’s tortured mind; clothed and healed, he went rejoicing, home and family to find. Jesus touched the lives of outcasts, weak or sinful, scorned or poor; gave them self-respect and courage, trust and faith and hope secure. Truly hearing, truly seeing deep within each troubled soul, Jesus healed their wounded spirits, sent them forth with lives made whole. Jesus, Lord, our true example, You have shown how we must live. Teach us how to share with others everything we have to give. Let our days be spent in service; bring us by Your grace to know healing is the church’s calling, and the path that we must go!” Selah! Jesus didn’t die to promote religion; He died to purchase redemption!   Ron

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