Later in life, I was taught and finally understood that the Gospel of Christ was on the Earth days, months, years, before a 'religious' (a Church) was established as a vehicle to get the gospel of Christ to the righteous.
In other words, the Gospel can survive and can stand alone WITHOUT religion, however, religion CAN NOT survive or be effective WITHOUT the Gospel of Christ (the real priesthood power directing it). Trust me, there are Churches out there WITHOUT the power of Christ.
It reminds me of a sandwich with bread and meat. Religion being the bread, and the Gospel of Christ (spiritual power) being the meat.
You can have each separately without each other, however, the bread becomes a very nice, or perfect way, to deliver the meat to the individual. I have learned this, by living and by experience.
There was a time in my youth where I did not like religion any longer. I leaned towards the opposite of how I grew up. I began to see all of its faults, its wickedness, its dogmatic druggery, its imperfections. All because of its imperfect prophets, leaders, members and some dealings and stories others told me, which were real.
Was I right? Of course. Was it bad? Of course
I could see all of its bad, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Spirituality was all I needed....love was all I needed.
How could I be so right...yet so wrong all at the same time?
As I rejected 'religion' for many years, and all I was taught; i.e. prayer, the spiritual world around me, spiritually feeding my spirit which lives in me, etc. etc
I began to fall. (all the while not knowing I was falling)
Falling WHERE? You might ask.
Falling further and further away from my Eternal home...my spiritual parents...the place I was and who I was as a innocent, spiritual and Godly child. The Godly feelings, impressions, warm fuzzies etc. that I began to forget were REAL and effectively needed to keep my soul be feed and in touch with my real heavenly parents, or an unseen spiritual dimension. Life was fun...Life was stress free...Life was....
meaningless....just the way I liked it.
Little did I know...consequences were soon on their way. Really? I had heard that this kind of thing happens...but NOT to me. I was living a decent and good life...WHY would any consequences affect me?? WHY would maturing and telling these childish things that I no longer needed them...be a 'damning' thing? Wasn't I being 'responsible' and not needing to burden a 'God'....isn't this what God wanted? Isn't a parent suppose to want their child to grow up...leave and never talk to them again??
WHY would it later haunt me....leave me heartbroken?? Lead me to KNOW how much a parent can be in tremendous pain....from a lost child?
In a sick, hurting, violent, turbulent, confusing, painful world...it is a breath of FRESH AIR and COMFORT to have the Gospel of Christ in ones life....in ones home...in ones environment...in ones world. I KNOW the difference. It is the difference of sleeping on a bed of nails and not knowing that there ARE beds made of soft, comfortable, and fluffy goose down.
Many who hit rock bottom come to find out just how miserable life CAN be without the power of God in it. They become bitter, spiteful, revengeful, angry, obnoxious, not knowing WHY they are that way. Until they cry out in desperation and God sends his angels, comforters, helpers into your life and you now have the chance to either accept them...or reject them.
You might ask WHY would anyone 'reject' them? Because PRIDE always gets in the way.
I believe and KNOW that the LOVE of God, or Spiritually, or the Power thereof...is for the righteous....NOT the masses!
Not so that those without it are damned ....but to protect them.
MANY will disagree with me. I don't care.
SO, IS Religion Good or Bad??
Is the world better having 'bread' or 'no bread'?
You decide. I have my OWN story and I've said enough....
However, you may want to check out this awesome talk/speech from an intelligent, worldwide loved and very respected University President on the essential of 'Religion' (BREAD) on Society and Individuals....which I greatly enjoyed.
After listening....It might just enlighten or inspire you to ask....
Where's the BEEF?