“You will know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:16

For the majority of my life, my spiritual security rested upon a religious cruise ship and adhered to regulations that produced an inauthentic version of Christianity. Religion sells counterfeit Christianity by marketing the convenience of trusting others with our spiritual well being. A sort of, ‘We’ll point the ship in the right direction- all you have to do is remain on board and follow a few provided guidelines.’ It’s similar to bowling with gutter bumpers. Religious laws ensure that you remain within point range and will pledge that you hit at least some of the pins at the end of the alley. Unfortunately, religious spirituality can only judge the fruit of our efforts by observing actions and providing feedback as it relates to what fruit should look like. But, this dismisses the primary benefit of fruit- the property of essence, which can only be judged by He who is truly worthy of our focus and effort. Religious law produces a whole lot of inauthentic fruit that is crafted to look just like the real thing.

Why is it worth promoting fake fruit to the masses?

Power and monetary gain stand to be primary factors. Religion is big business and takes advantage of those who don’t know the difference between false and authentic faith. “Religion in the United States (alone) is worth $1.2tn a year, making it equivalent to the 15th largest national economy in the world…. and has a higher value than the combined revenues of the top 10 technology companies in the US, including Apple, Amazon and Google.” (The Guardian (Sherwood), 2016.)

Furthermore, as seeing-is-believing organisms, religion infers a sense of holy security. There is no doubt that authentic faith requires discipline and focus. Religion serves to relieve that burden by providing step-by-step fool-resistant directives that mimic the actions of authentic Christianity without the hassle of learning to recognize and listen to the distinctive purpose each of us can obtain by distinguishing and following our Creator’s voice and heart. Where religion constructs the mold for the masses to simply submit to on the outside, authentic faith allows the one true sculptor to chip away the impeding excess in order to enhance the purpose in each of us uniquely. Authentic faith demands no need to extinguish individuality for inclusion. Authentic faith renders religion inadequate to judge since each individual carries a unique pattern, purpose, directive- which is why it must rely on outward appearance and actions. Religion produces a lot of impressive looking fruit, but sacrifices the organic texture, flavor, nutrients, and aroma of fruit for streamlined production. Authenticity requires divine focus on God outside of cloned religious practice. For that, we must train and yield our focus to know the voice of the Creator- or we will fall for anyone who claims authenticity or true north.

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