I don’t think a religious person can ever live an authentic life because his religious mind is always disconnected from his true heart. The true human heart is wicked. There is sin, greed, lust, envy and everything bad under the sun. All human beings, provided the right circumstances are capable of doing any sin in the world. That’s a scary thought. So, people suppress that truth with a religious mask. But the point they miss is that the religion cannot bring a bit of change to the human heart.
That’s is the reason while the religion kept talking about the external mask, Jesus went under the skin and said, adultery is a matter of heart and murder is a matter of heart and it scared them.
So, why people still hesitate to move away from religion and go into a relationship with their Creator who addresses the heart issue?
In every relationship, there is a certain level of unpredictability and I think it is true in a relationship with God as well. As humans, we hate unpredictability. We don’t want to risk anything to be in an unpredictable relationship especially if the other party is ‘unseen’. So we try to find a substitute for it – religion, where everything is predictable. We build a relationship with religion. There is no risk and we always ‘feel’ safe! They say, you just come to our church, fill out our membership form, get baptized by our minister in our water in our baptistery, pay tithe to us and submit to our authority, you are all good and at the end we will give you a grand funeral to send you to heaven! Do you see any element of risk or unpredictability anywhere in that picture?
Also, I think in every relationship, there is hurt and pain and it is true in a relationship with God as well. There are moments where we feel God is not listening and we hate such moments. Religion, however, provides a (false) sense of security which does not require risking our heart. But what is interesting is, God risked certain things when He decided to have children. Are we ready to risk something to have a relationship with that Dad? Knowing that there are going to be unpredictable moments, pain, silence, disciplining, and wilderness?
If everything in life is predictable, safe and risk-free, what is the thrill? How do we know what is under the deep waters unless we dive in?
Isn’t it enough living a suppressed life which is not ours? Can we step out of our religious boat into the Sea of Galilee (Grace) like Apostle Peter, ready to explore little bit of adventure? Hey, it is true that he wavered after sometime. We may face winds, we may run of out of oxygen but look, "Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him."! Peter took a risk and tasted some thrill and more importantly he experienced the strength of Lord's hand. Though he doubted, Lord was still there!
If we are to ask Peter, he would say, it is a great adventure to experience Him, He is pretty strong!
Yes, He is pretty strong. He provides us one ultimate guarantee which no man-made system can ever give us – He will bring us to safety at the end… In the meantime, if we are willing to get out of the religious safe-zone, we can experience some wild adventures!