I Hate Religion but Love Jesus

I Hate Religion

Religion is sometimes accused of being an invention of man that is contrary to the teaching of Jesus. Some people even claim that He wanted to destroy it.

Churches and clergy are occasionally criticized for emphasizing rules while neglecting the poor and vulnerable. Religion has even been blamed for hatred, war, and violence. 

These myths lead to religious people being portrayed as hypocritical and self-righteous. They lead some to believe that churches are unnecessary and religious rituals are just worthless formalities.

But Jesus actually practiced religion faithfully. He was certainly against hollow, outward forms of religion but did not condemn it outright. 

The Bible shows that the lives of the earliest Christians practiced their religious faith with rules, regulations, doctrine, ritual, and a hierarchy.

Based on Jesus’ example, his followers encouraged others to perfect their religious desire so that it could lead them to God and help them care for his children.

Religion can be good and should be good:

In all his activity a man is bound to follow his conscience in order that he may come to God, the end and purpose of life. It follows that he is not to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his conscience. Nor, on the other hand, is he to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience, especially in matters religious. The reason is that the exercise of religion, of its very nature, consists before all else in those internal, voluntary and free acts whereby man sets the course of his life directly toward God. No merely human power can either command or prohibit acts of this kind. The social nature of man, however, itself requires that he should give external expression to his internal acts of religion: that he should share with others in matters religious; that he should profess his religion in community.

Pope Paul VI, Dignitatis Humanae, December 7, 1965

Religious people do not always live up to their high calling:

Bad religion can exist if we let it:

Jesus was against false displays of religion:

The theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity inform and give life to the moral virtues. Thus charity leads us to render to God what we as creatures owe him in all justice. The virtue of religion disposes us to have this attitude.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2095

Authentic religion develops virtue:

Good religion teaches truth, goodness, and beauty:

Jesus loves religion:

If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 1: 26-27

Pitting Jesus against religion is unbiblical:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

A rest that is deeper than the things of this world:

Share this page with friends and family to start a conversation about your faith.

Don’t miss a post. Learn more about the Catholic Church and strengthen your Catholic faith.

Find more Fiercely Catholic video issues here.

Subscribe here.

Book a Fiercely Catholic program at your next conference, retreat, or other Catholic event.