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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559 thoughts on “Organised Religion versus True Religion

  1. If true religion is indeed about relationships then it is obvious that the quality of relationship with have with others and the world around us begins with the quality of relationship and understanding we have with ourselves. The beautiful thing about this is that our relationship with ourselves is not dependent on anyone, anything or anyplace else so can be honoured in all that we do feel and say.

  2. This is music to my ears, I’ve always found it strange that people could be the chosen ones, or that only some would be saved for when I looked at people I saw we were the same so how could we be so exclusive and different in this, in our religions. This never made sense, and what you share here does, that at its core religion is about a relationship to us and to God, to love. That simple.

  3. “It is a bit like people really; each person has a different story but at the core we are all the same.” It is true, the core story of all religions is the same. So why is there so much comparison and war going on about these different stories when the key message of all religions is the same?

    1. Good question Lieke. To me it feels like because we are avoiding the truth and with that the unity that religion actually brings. Through this separation we end up in the struggle between one another, on the small and large scales like quarrel and war.

  4. I could never understand why every religion seemed to have a different truth, one that they fervently believed, held on to and wouldn’t stray from. It just didn’t make sense to me and left me totally confused. My confusion remained until a few years ago when I was presented the truth of religion by Serge Benhayon. After squirming in my chair for a while as what he was presenting collided with all that I had grown up believing, I finally was able to feel that what was being presented was actually what I had always known, but hadn’t trusted to be true.

    1. That is exactly what all these institutionalised religions do. They bring divisiveness into humans and with that we lose trust in one another and specially with the word religion while deep down we all know there is so much more then these institutions allow us to know. As long as we give our power to these Religions, they can wield their power. Otherwise, without our buying in they would quickly cease and disappear from our societies.

  5. To me religion is the connection with my inner most and with that I have very intimate connections with the All and through that everybody that I meet because we are all one and the same, from the same source.

  6. Even in something that is true like religion and God, humans put together a marketplace, where several options compete with each other to respond to the different types of relationships we want to establish with them.

  7. Until we will see that the word religion tells us actually about our relationship with our divine being the institutionalised religions will dictate how to live life and with that will keep us away to simply connect to the divinity that already lives within in each and everyone of us.

  8. What if the differences between religions are just means of distraction for us to be misled from the fact that all of us are, want and deeply feel the same regarding to God? What if there is no difference indeed within us? How about letting go all the pictures and differences and come back to the simplicity of Love where we all are just One?

  9. I’ve heard that the different religions are petals that lead to the same central point. So rather than focussing on the differences in those petals what if we were to focus on the central point. To me that is our personal relationship to God, to truth and something more than just ourselves. The world would be a different place if we gave this element as much energy as we do fighting over the differences.

  10. A relationship with the love we are and thus with God as we are from God … that makes sense to me as religion, and in that we relate to others. Nothing else makes sense, as presented in most institutionalised religions, they do indeed feel like they’ve strayed from that basic tenant, that religion is our relationship, with us, others, God and the Cosmos.

  11. I had never considered the word organised before in relation to religion, but it stood out to me today. So, I went to the dictionary to get a sense of what it means. Words like group, sort, order, and categorise were listed. I think this is where one of the fundamental flaws of organised religion. There is no grouping or separation as we are all one, all God’s children so to speak. Organising into groups is completely at odds with this notion and allows things like discrimination, prejudice and wars to occur in the name of religion.

  12. I love the simplicity you represent here and when you meet people about the different ways of how religion is lived in todays world. It is indeed simple as that. Religion should only unify not feed separation. So something must go totally wrong in the way religion is lived today.

  13. Pretty much every organised religion I have come across talks about the immense love of God and says we are all God’s children. So where on earth does all the choice to promote ‘us’ and ‘them’ as well as the fighting among them come from? This alone proves to me that there is something amiss in the foundation of these organisations.

  14. “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?” Yes, what if God loves unconditionally? How come orthodox religions are always trying to fight their own corner – ‘us against them’? No unconditional love there.

  15. Truth is within our bodies. The truth that moves within you is the truth that you are met with by the answers of these people. So all we have to do is to move according to the truth with ourselves, with verbal expression we may have an explicit confirmation, without verbal expression, truth will also be felt and is touching upon every person we meet.

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