“For Religious Reasons”

The phrase “For religious reasons” (or “protection”) is getting used by many. We hear of decisions and behaviors, and then hear these acts are done “for religious reasons.”

Christ tells of a story related to this and related to His comment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”, when asked “Who is our neighbor?”

Luke 10:30 – And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The Samaritan didn’t act “for religious reasons” but showed mercy. The priest and Levite who passed the injured guy by, in effect were demonstrating actions taken “for religious reasons,” and chose not to help him.

Christ’s life wasn’t what it was “for religious reasons”. Christ’s life wasn’t about honoring “the religion”, or acting “for religious reasons”. His decisions and actions were regardless of “the religious reasons” because God (the source of mercy, forgiveness, Loving kindness, and understanding) is beyond religions. Religions are simply established ways of believing, which mankind has assembled together in hopes of learning ever more.

We humans go to war for religious reasons, and have done so for centuries if not millennium. Mankind has innumerable examples throughout recorded history of the willingness to kill one another for religious reasons. ISIL kills for religious reasons.

For centuries and millennium, people have been acting against one another “for religious reasons”. When we decide to act to separate ourselves from an act of good will or mercy, and instead act to protect our own sense of our religious beliefs, we are placing our own sense of our self before our neighbor’s well being. No one has ever been heard saying, “for reasons of compassion and oneness, I’m going to distance myself from helping another human being.”

When we decide to act “for religious reasons”, we’re not necessarily acting for the best reasons, sometimes we’re acting for the worst reasons as if we were to say, “God, it’s more important for me to go to heaven than for me to help someone else.” Religions are not higher than loving kindness, or patience, or understanding. Religions are not greater than God. Religions are meant to help us to come to know God.

We have even made religion a god, if that is possible to do. We have made our beliefs into our God – holding our beliefs to be more important than oneness and mercy towards our neighbor. Christ’s message all along has been that our Oneness with God is paramount and our Oneness with one another (our neighbor) is even more important than our beliefs.

By saying, ‘I’m choosing this for religious reasons,’ we’re not saying, ‘I’m doing this for forgiveness reasons.’ It’s not the same. I’ve never heard anyone who said “for religious reasons” also say, “I’m doing this for patience reasons, or reasons of loving kindness, or reasons of compassion or brotherhood.”

The actions of the Samaritan spoke loudly, “I’m doing this for reasons of compassion.”

Jesus chose to live his entire life, not “for religious reasons” but “for reasons of God’s Love”.

*******

“For some, Love is what they talk.  For others, though, Love is how they walk.” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 2009-2014, Jodie Senkyrik)

“Here is a good prayer: ‘Lord, help me be good soil.’ ” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 2014, Jodie Senkyrik)

“We cannot heal our consciousness by harming someone else’s.” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 2009-2015, Jodie Senkyrik)

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