To me, the word “religion” is synonymous with “institutionalized
beliefs.” Therefore, to my way of thinking, one’s religion has little
to do with one’s character or whether, or not, one is “saved.”
Perhaps an individual’s rigid adherence to a doctrine, which doesn’t
follow the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking teachings of Jesus for
the whole of creation, can impede maturing in faith in God and have the
opposite effect to the sought after state of “salvation.”
Blind adherence to dogma imposed by humans claiming to have special
knowledge of God can have serious negative spiritual consequences,
unless it is truly based on Jesus’ teachings that seek to bring God’s
will to earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
Doesn’t it make sense that the life of a person who is truly “born
again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit” would exhibit the “fruit of the
Spirit” as listed in Galatians 5: 22 and 23?
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians continues with –
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
~ New American Standard Bible
How can truly kind and gentle people take pleasure in – or condone,
or excuse – the killing of any of God’s creatures? The simple answer is: