The reason I started this blog rests with the truth that Jesus is real. Meeting, living with and for Creator, supervised by Paraclete, goes beyond mere intellectual assent.

Now any relationship requires effort. At a wedding the couple may say words, but if respect, compassion, loyalty and friendship don’t follow in practical terms, the words become empty hypocrisy. Verbal expression of a mere idea or hope does not lead to the realization of that idea or the delight of proven hope.

That is why I am so hard on religion (which, I point out, I use to describe the system of belief and bureaucratic organization which denominations and congregations adhere to). Jesus was hard on religion. Religion replaces a relationship with a real and alive God with criteria for acceptability to human systems. The rituals, if not done as an expression of intimacy with the Almighty, replace the freedom in Christ with bondage to form with no substance.

Sorry, I do get carried away, but this is a matter of life and death. No religion can save anyone. No belief system can offer a heavenly address. No bureaucracy can express the deep compassion of the Saviour.

Recent studies in both Canada and the United States show a degradation of respect for Jesus, an increase in the number of people who overtly deny the existence of God, and a paralysis of churches to live the love of Christ.

Jesus is real. And those who know that live love, despite creeds and organizational demands to live according to religious expectations. The apostles were persecuted by religion before the Romans ever pitched in!

I leave the last word to Abraham Heschel (1907-1972), as posted on Facebook by “Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented”.