God is Greater than religion because God is One, God is Love and Love is undivided. Love is greater than our cultural views and the comfort of our traditions. Anyone searching for His Kingdom will find that it is Greater than any of our ethnocentric divisions.
I could not believe it myself, there I was walking to the front of the church with tears streaming down my face. Normally I would have been heading for the back door but it seemed like God’s Spirit was speaking directly to my heart. Just the thought of His Love was more powerful than my self-consciousness. I had never been to a non-denominational Christian church before. Even though I had previously rejected religion because of its divisions there was something, all inclusive, about this message of love that was able to break right through to my inner most being.
That moment of clarity changed the direction of my life and was the beginning of my search to know more about the Unity of this new reality of God’s unmerited Love.
If I were born in another country I may have experienced and searched to know more about my experience by going to the nearest Temple, Mosque, Synagogue or whatever place I had been taught or observed to be the right one.
God’s Love is greater than our cultural views and religions.
I knew Christianity was based on the teachings of Christ so I devoted my time to learning about what Jesus taught. The more I searched and began learning to spend time in prayer the further I noticed it was taking me from the traditions of the Christian church. Our religious beliefs are only able to point us to God, it is His Spirit that leads each one of us individually to know Him, Jeremiah 31:34.
You will seek Me and find me when you search with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
For anyone who is not familiar with Christ’s teachings it may be enlightening to know exactly what Jesus really taught. Jesus was able to sum up the entire Law (Torah) and the Prophets by quoting only two instructions: Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18: Love God with an undivided heart and Love others as yourself. Matthew 22:37; Matthew 22:39; Matthew 22:40
When Jesus repeated Leviticus 19:18 we named it ” The Golden Rule”: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NIV
“By this everyone will know that you are my followers, if you love one another.“ John 13:35
“God is Love.” 1 John 4:16 “If I view my religion as the only true religion but miss knowing God’s Love, then I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3
Leviticus 19:18 was known in Hebrew as the Royal Law; If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. James 2:8
God’s Spirit Dwells in People not Buildings. 1 Corinthians 3:16
Jesus taught theses Words of God wherever people gathered, including the Temple, outdoors in the fields, on the water and in various homes. The word Church simply means any place where people assemble. Where ever it is we meet it is to encourage one another. Hebrews 10:25 Anyone, anywhere, will find the Truth when they search with all their heart. Deuteronomy 4:29 God’s Spirit is One and there is unity in His Love that does not show partiality, or any separation that divides or segregates. His Spirit dwells in people, we are one Spiritual body with many parts, together we are the church. 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 12:12
To Enter the Kingdom of God you must become childlike, Matthew 18:3.
Jesus showed us by an example of a child what Love looks like: Love has a childlike attitude, it is humble, it has no arrogance, it does not hate or hold grudges, it is quick to give mercy, it gives generously, it is quick to serve, quick to laugh, it is pure, sincere, impartial and does not criticize.
Without knowing God’s Love it is humanly impossible to love Him or others with the same kind of Love.
Humans have to pass from death to Life in order to love beyond natural Love. “Anyone who does not love remains in death.” 1 john 3:14
Death is a separation. Without Love we remain separated from God’s Spirit no matter what our cultural views have taught us to be true. Baptism is a symbolism representing our death to this world and being raised to new spiritual Life in God’s Spirit. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12
Following the Way of Love that Jesus taught is greater than religion.
Ethnocentrism shows partiality, favoritism, bias, it makes distinctions and judgments between rich and poor, wrong and right, good and bad. God’s Love is impartial, showing no favoritism, unbiased and non-judgmental.
The root of ethnocentrism is ego. God’s Love requires a daily choice to forfeit the temporary for the Lasting. It is only by yielding our right to be offended that the power of God’s Spirit makes it possible to love our enemies and bless those who insult or curse us. When we obediently pray for those who mistreat us instead of retaliating we are able t humbly serve others the way Jesus did and then we are His true followers.