Cultism in Nigeria now has a great competitor, religion. These religious organisations do a lot of good, but like anything consistent of men, they also perpetuate a lot of evil. Ensure that no religious establishment is leading you into folly in the name of faith. The Bible says that we should rightfully balance the word of God, this means not to take things out of context, exaggerate or undermine. We are called to be radicals, not extremists.
The purpose of any religious organisation is to create a community, an interactive community where Christians of like mind can come together to fellowship and study the word of God. It’s thus a surprise to find that a lot of religious organizations have lost their way and no longer serve their purpose and the original ideas behind their existence.
A lot of times we are bamboozled by the fireworks and can’t see behind the smokescreen to spot faulty theology. In benign cases what we have is the traditions of men, dress codes and mantras and structures that do not necessarily negate the word of God and in some instances are inspired by it. However sometimes these “traditions of men” become less like software which utilizes the hardware of the will of God, and more like malware, malicious programming that undermines and is harmful to the spiritual maturity and functionality of the believer.
These things are sometimes backed by scriptures, scriptures that are similar to what the devil use while trying to tempt Jesus, are taken out of context and used manipulatively. Our apparent leaders brandish these scriptures, and perhaps even throw in some convenient arguments against their position, only to use choppy theology and persuasive psychology shortcuts like “praise the Lord” and “Hallelujah” to make the faults in their scriptural interpretations go unnoticed. As believers, we must move beyond being spoon fed, and take the time to consider the biblical ingredients of what we are being fed. If you’ve realized that what is taught on the pulpit sometimes leaves you with unanswered questions and you wonder if you should go with the process or wrestle with them on what and how you think it should be. Then those are not demons leading you astray, those are spiritual alarms, letting you know that God’s people perish due to a lack of knowledge. That you are potentially being thrown to and fro by winds of doctrine inconsistent with Christ.
One of such red flags is preaching that leaves you feeling condemned. The word of God does not leave the sinner guilty and condemned, but convicted and empowered to overcome the sin. Similarly, prophecy is for the building up and encouraging of the saints, it should not inspire fear, or make fictional characters out of satanic altars and witch covens.
Will the devil tempt us into something that is going to glorify God in the end? No! This should be our guide. Anything that does not lead you back to Christ, the lover, saviour, and keeper of your soul, is very likely faulty. Also beware of pretty words, things that pat you on the back as you cook in a cauldron of disobedience. God corrects whom He loves, let no man deceive you into believing God is fine with actions He knows are harmful to you. He forgives yes, but God would rather have you wear a helmet and knee pads, than comfort you after you’ve fallen and hurt yourself. He would rather see you go uninjured.
Jesus is scripture. Scripture is a person, not a set of rules or actions. What is Jesus saying, what is Jesus doing, what would Jesus have us say, what would Jesus have us do. This is our faith, relationship, not religion. Selah!