Organised Religion versus True Religion

Why are there so many different versions of religion, with each one saying they are the correct path to God?

This is the question I have each time a religious milestone is celebrated worldwide – Christmas for me is the greatest example of this.

I was at a major shopping centre just recently, in fact two days before Christmas, when a young woman of Muslim faith asked me if I celebrated Christmas. To her surprise I answered, “No I don’t.” She paused and then asked me if I celebrated Eid Al-Fitr? When I responded with no again she was perplexed. I continued on and said, “I do not believe in or practise the beliefs of the organised religions today. I do however have a deep connection with God. I know that there is only one God and that God is Love, and not the emotional love we are sold but true Love – Love that is non-judgemental, it does not condemn or separate races. This God is where each of us come from, and where we will all one day return to.” She said to me, “I have never met anyone like you,” and I replied with, “There are many that know what I do, they just don’t allow themselves to live it or dare say it out loud.” I said, “You know it too,” and she nodded with a quiet but firm yes.

I walked around the corner to my next shop and met with another young woman, this time of Christian faith and she asked me the exact same question, “Will you be celebrating Christmas on Sunday?” When I replied with, “No, I don’t celebrate Christmas,” she went quiet and wasn’t sure how to continue the conversation. I asked her, “How about you, will you be celebrating Christmas on Sunday?” To my surprise, she said, “No.” She explained her family were Orthodox Christians and they celebrate on the 7th January. To which I asked the question, “Really, how is it that there can be two dates for the birth of Jesus?” She said, “I don’t think there is and I don’t believe either one of them is true, it is just what my family believes.” I then said, “Maybe the whole message of Jesus is lost on us today?” She agreed and said, “Yes, it definitely is.”

What if true religion was about relationships? And the first step to being truly religious is to first have a loving relationship with yourself, and then naturally with all others.

I was raised as a Catholic and, as such, attended a Catholic School for 12 years. In years 11 and 12, I chose a subject called Study of Religion. In this subject we studied not only the Catholic Religion, but also many other religions. We were required to apply the theological study tool of Ninian Smart’s Six Dimensions to learn about each religion. It was broken up into six different areas: Doctrinal, Mythological, Ethical, Ritual, Experiential and Institutional.

I remember thinking at the time (and confirming this as my studies progressed), if we can apply the same six categories of study to each different religion, then all religions must be the same, they just have a different story. It is a bit like people really; each person has a different story but at the core we are all the same.

What if at the core of each religion, the message was the same? Did Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammed all not bring us the same message? Different story yes, and in a different time, but at its essence it was the same message.

What if organised religion, or religion as we know it today, has strayed away from that original message? What if I was practising true religion when I spoke with the two young women in the shopping centre? That is, I know who I am and I know who God is – Love.

What if true religion is just simply a relationship with the Love that you are, the Love that is God and therefore the Love that everyone else is, innately so?

By Terri-Anne Connors, aged 40, Melbourne, VIC

Related Reading:
Waiting for God…
Sin, Confession and the True Religion of the Ageless Wisdom
Living religion: my livingness is religion

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605 thoughts on “Organised Religion versus True Religion

  1. “What if true religion is just simply a relationship with the Love that you are, the Love that is God and therefore the Love that everyone else is, innately so?” – this takes away the institutionalized versions of worship outside of yourself and makes religion and God accessible to the lay person instantly. Anyone anywhere at any time can then access God through the love that they are – a simple choice to do so. Thank you Terri-Anne for laying it out as simply as it is.

  2. “What if at the core of each religion, the message was the same? Did Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammed all not bring us the same message? Different story yes, and in a different time, but at its essence it was the same message.” – and so it is…we get given the message over and over again till such time that we finally are ready to hear it and then live it.

  3. Terri-Ann I simply would answer your following question with – for me it is not a what if, for me it is exactly so: “What if true religion is just simply a relationship with the Love that you are, the Love that is God and therefore the Love that everyone else is, innately so?”

  4. “Why are there so many different versions of religion, with each one saying they are the correct path to God?”
    I feel it’s because they all want to own and control the word God, and there lies the fundamental mistake God cannot be owned by anyone, God is the space that surrounds us, the air we breathe, God is the universe, God is the particles that make up our body, we are Gods because we are made up of the particles of the universe he is us and we are him. So for me religion is the one to one relationship we have with the space that surrounds us and flows through us.

  5. “What if true religion is just simply a relationship with the Love that you are, the Love that is God and therefore the Love that everyone else is, innately so?”. I love the simplicity of this….and I think you might be onto something here 🙂 I know that I feel much more connected to God when I live the Love I am.

  6. I love how you have turned what could have easily ended up being an everyday small talk into an invitation to, and confirmation of, the truth that the other was also part of. Very inspiring.

  7. If you look at religion from an atheist perspective you can feel how they simply have a different way to organize their lives. Yet, there is nothing in what you see that makes you feel to join. They transpire no truth. At least that bit you get it right even if where you stand is not true either.

  8. Reconnecting with our true expression, feeling what is there deeply inside us to express when we do, is the foundation of any religion that is based in truth rather than belief.

  9. Terri-Anne I met someone recently they were a patient at a hospital and we got chatting about their condition and why they were in hospital and we got on to the subject of the world, politics and religion. This person told me about their life and admitted they had never come across someone so open and understanding. That they had felt isolated in what they felt because it seemed that no one shared their views except their son. It was great for this person to just talk and get everything off their chest as it where and feel more settled in their body that they didn’t have to give up and withdraw there was light at the end of the tunnel.

  10. It is exposing to our choices to see both women you met innately knew the truth as you do Terri Ann but both have none the less conformed to the religion as it is passed down within their families. It exposes how we conform but even more so that we all know what true religion is and we all know religion is about love and connection.

  11. Terri Ann both conversations you describe in this blog are an example of how we can transform religion back to what it is in essence as they were open and honest, daring to question the ruling beliefs and igniting the truth that we all hold within.

  12. I love the authority in which you spoke in to the young woman of Muslim faith, no holding back in what you felt and shared about a day that has so much ideals/beliefs around. It is a gift to hear truth spoken like that, and then it is up to the other person to open the gift or not, but at least that have heard it.

  13. Religion is about relationships, and returning to our essence of who we truly are, and beliefs only take us further away.

  14. There really is no organised religion versus true religion because there is only religion. Any deviation away from what religion actually is a bastardisation of the word religion.

  15. When true love is the founding essence of religion, every being on the earth is included and has access to knowing how to live true religion, for then all that is required is for one to willingly connect to their essence within and all that is lived from this point is religious. The religion of the Soul is one that transcends time, age, gender, race or culture where all is lived in honor of the all we are equally from.

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