There are many religions, denominations and cults worldwide. Also, there are many people who do not belong to any religious groups. Each of these groups has their own rules and practices and some rules and practices overlap among groups.
In the Caribbean island of Jamaica we are said to hold the Guinness World Book of records for the most churches and bars at every square mile. Yet, our country is riddled the murders each and every day. The largest denominations are the Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witness; the largest religion is Christianity with Islam on the rise. Apart from the Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witness, other denominations present are: Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostals, Methodist, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Revivalism, and much more. Religions and cults or religious/spiritual groups include: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Rastafari, Baha’i, Hebrew Israelites and more.
When we give too much credit to the rules and practices of a religion, we are locking ourselves into a system, an order in which we expect, even without saying it, a reward for our good deeds. Some of us believe that we are Christians just because we are baptized.
We forget that without faith, baptism is meaningless. Being baptized means we have put on Christ. We become agents of the oppressed leading them to freedom, we become holy just as Jesus was holy, drawing strength from him, imitating him and his works. Jesus’ dying on the cross made us free and if we submit to the cross of Christ we will never be burned to the yoke of slavery.
Religions can be systems of slavery, subjecting their followers to harsh and inhumane treatments and proclaiming that God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Brahman, or any other Supreme Being requests or demand these services. Religions were responsible for periods of annihilation in the past and we are still seeing annihilation taking place. Take a look at ISIS and the destruction they continue to causing in the Middle East and the world. Not to mention Boko Haram in Nigeria capturing girls to convert them to Muslims while destroying villages in the process. Remember Jim Brown and the catastrophe he caused in Georgetown, Guyana getting everyone there on his compound to commit suicide as that would ensure them dying righteously.
The flesh and the Spirit are always at odds against one another. The flesh is always materialistic while the Spirit looks on the inside. The Spirit of God is concerned with charity, joy, peace, patience, understanding, kindness, gentleness and self-control. The Spirit helps us with our spiritual living. We help to save people, helping them discover who they truly are in the sight of God. We are able to confront the forces which keep us subjugated and alienated. We must live the Gospels authentically. Do not get caught up politically and lose sight of our duties as Christians. This happens a lot in countries. Once a minister enters into the political sphere, he or she begins to neglect his or her duties as minister and agent of the Word of God.
Let us not be fooled or deceived. Let us sow good thoughts and deeds so we can reap good thoughts and deeds. If we sow just for our benefit that is selfishly we will reap corruption and death will befall us. But if we sow in the Spirit of God we will reap what is eternal in the Kingdom of God. Let us keep on doing well even when we are discouraged. Let us remain steadfast and our reward will come in due time.
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Wow! Did not know that about Jamaica! I wonder if the number of churches plus other houses of worship plus all the religions there along with the denominations and fellowships were all added up, how it would compare to the native population of Jamaica. Sad to hear Muslims are there.reply 0