Escape the Restraints!
Presently, there are more than four thousand religions globally. Each one has its own teachings, requirements, and creeds. Many require little from their members, even altering their teachings and practices to please them. Others, however, maintain invasive policies that needlessly restrict their members’ lives. Members of one of the latter groups may feel stifled and heavily restrained. Are you part of a religion that is too strict? How can you tell? Where is the line, and who gets to draw it? These are essential questions for every person to answer.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He rebuked the Jewish leaders for the hypocritical requirements they placed on the people (see Matt. 23:13-31). The religion during His time was too strict in some areas (see Mark 7:9-13) and too lenient in others (see Matt. 5:31-32). Jesus’ teaching stood above all others because of its divine authority (see Matt. 7:28-29). His judgments were righteous and fair to all.
Jesus’ words carried divine authority because they were given by God (see John 12:49). After Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, the same divine authority was given through the Holy Spirit to the apostles and prophets in the church (see Eph. 3:1-5). The message God revealed to them is the unchanging standard followed by true Christians today (see Jude 3). Through God’s revealed message, we know His expectations, and we are freed from the clouding confusion of false religion.
If your religion is too strict or has vacillating standards, know that Christ is different. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Today, His words call you out of false religion and into His truth. Listen, obey, and be free!