Who Needs Religion?

What really is religion?

While in a counseling session recently with a young couple, one of them was heard to say that they really have a problem with organized religion. That got me thinking.

Sometimes I have a problem with organized religion, too. And I am a licensed and ordained pastor. The truth is that many horrible things have been done in the name of religion throughout history. Wars, corruption, abuse—the list goes on.

And the list of evil is really enough to turn anyone away from an organization that has perpetrated such heinous acts.

On the other hand, organized religion is also responsible for numerous acts of love and kindness that have improved the human condition. Most churches have outreach ministries that give back to both the local community as well as the global community.

Each year millions are fed, clothed, given shelter and medical care from religious organizations. Those less fortunate are cared for, counseled, and even given freedom from human trafficking. These actions do not make the headlines—they are not as newsworthy, but they do happen.

So organized religion can be horrible. And organized religion can be wonderful. It is so confusing. And if organized religion can be so hard to understand, then disorganized religion could only be worse!

What is the answer? What is one to think of religion? What really is religion? Let’s take a look at how a religion defines itself. 

According to the New Testament, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27)

I suggest reading that statement multiple times to let it sink in. It seems that real religion is caring for those in society who most need help, and not living a corrupt life.

That seems quite clear. That is real religion.

And it would be wise to separate real religion from the poor choices of human beings throughout history.

Real religion is caring for others and living with integrity. If we did that, what would society be like? If leaders and politicians truly cared for others and lived with integrity, what would our world be like?

So who needs religion? I do. How about you?

I would love to hear your opinion at randy@randymoraitis.com.

Website: randymoraitis.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Barton Mac Leod July 04, 2012 at 03:13 AM
There are approx 10 major Religions in the World. Which one is the correct one ...
Barton Mac Leod July 04, 2012 at 03:16 AM
When someone knocks on my my door from a Church .. I always ask ... There are approx ten major Religions in the World. Which is the correct one. No one will give me an answer ... they side step with a no related comment ...
angela barneby July 04, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Nice blog, some great insights.
bbq July 04, 2012 at 07:56 PM
My belief is that money is not the "root of all evil," organized religion is.
Tom Berney July 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Organized religion was needed a long time ago to control the people, and it worked for the most part. It is Outdated and many people are leaving it, after all which one is RIGHT? if you don't believe this one or that one your not going to Heaven, looks like no one is going then, There's no one up in the Sky and Hell does Not exist, no such thing as the devil, God lives in and through every one, we are an expression of God and see it in others, the Qualities are the same, Religions are good in that they show how us how to become more Spiritual, and that's what it's all about just. look at the first form of Religion Nature Worship.
wendel wilkie burdine July 10, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Ecclesiastes 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
Kevin Mcbride July 10, 2012 at 03:59 PM
President Abraham Lincoln said it well when he quoted Jesus from Mark 3:25 "A house divided against itself cannot stand". Think about it. If there is a satan, he would not want people coming together to help others by serving Jesus. Although if Jesus was a false God he'd probably let it slide. Ever notice how it's mainly Christ based religion under scrutiny? I think satan turning people from organized religion is a good way to divide and conquer. ANY organization of humans will have plenty of defects. It's ok because being a true christian is more about serving others for Christ, than about being a perfect person. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.
Kevin Mcbride July 10, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Hi Barton, Christianity is the correct religion. Jesus is the one true God. If you want to know Him all you have to do is ask Him to come into your heart. If you are sincere, you will be set free and you will know God. However if you're not WILLING to believe... I'm afraid it's going to be pretty tough to find Him. Jesus loves you. All you have to do is open your heart & mind to experience it. He won't force you to believe against your will. I will pray for you my friend.
Betty Menden July 10, 2012 at 05:48 PM
You are right. Money is not the root of all evil. "Love of money is the root of all evil". It is the loving of money over all else including people that is so hurtful.
Andy K July 10, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Since my "church" kicked me out nearly a year ago in a time of dire need, I too pondered what good "religion" was when it rejected me. As per the question from Barton, assuming it's not merely bait, I will attempt to offer some personal insights and positive feedback: Which religion is the "correct" one you ask? Well, of the ten most popular and hundreds less popular, I believe any of which can take their aspirants to Divinity of earnestly sought. Problem is, not many practice their faith by the book, and most Christians think they somehow get a free ride (well, that's what the church teaches) so long as they continue showing up each week with another dollar. The "church" or organized "religion" is first and foremost a corporation, hands down. This may come as a shock but this is also its first priority - no building ... no place to save souls .. no salary for the messenger ... NOTHING! The largest corporation on Planet Earth is a church, lets see if anyone can figure out which one it is? I believe nearly all world religions based on a premise of love tell the same story. It is "our" individual responsibility to get beyond the narration and politics of the story to the "non-evident" meaning behind the sacred narrative. I sought out the message of Jesus from the Dead Sea Scrolls and was awed by what the church had kept suppressed and hidden from me all these years. How far will you go to learn of a God with whom to have a relationship?
Steen July 11, 2012 at 05:17 AM
Good question. Christianity because it is backed by solid evidence that proves Jesus was who he claimed to be...the one and only son of God. No other religion has a Jesus. The bible is back with key eye witness accounts and has 24 thousand manuscripts that it is compiled from. That is more manuscripts than any book ever compiled in the history of the world. The bible has thousands of prophesies with specific predictions that came perfectly true even hundreds of years later. The bible has credible and well documented miracles that Jesus performed. The bible has been repeatable corroborated by archeology findings of people who are not Christians. There is also well documented information by historians that mention that Jesus delved into the super natural proving that he is the true son of God. Hope this helps. I am confident that if you investigated the bible and Jesus you would not only believe, but know for certain that all the evidence points to him as the true son of God.
bbq July 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Sadly, many, many people I have met who claim to be "good Christians" are more gossipy, intolerant, back-stabbing evil-doers than those I've met who don't practice any particular religion. Most of the wars in our world's history were fought in the name of religion. I do believe there is a higher being, but man created religion. Science has debunked biblical beliefs. It's ludicrous to think that a person who has lived a pious life serving others would go to hell because they were not Christian.


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