“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” That’s how Jesus’ apostle, James, defined religion. Seems it’s not quite what he thought it was anymore.
See, James felt (and I rather agree with him here) that religion was meant to be about encouraging people to be kind and help each other, to help the individual be a better person, and teaching people how to build a relationship with the Divine.
So many people feel that religion is man-made, that it’s about controlling others, or about profit, or... *shrug. I don’t know, but it can make a person wonder- What happened between then and now?
My suspicion is that someone (or maybe a lot of someones?) got the bright nasty idea to take religion, this blessing to mankind… and use it to their own ends. I don’t know what that first corruptible was trying to accomplish. I don’t know if he/she achieved what they wanted to achieve. But a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and twisted God’s tool into something that it wasn’t meant to be… and ruined the whole idea.
But that’s ok- I still love my Father and I’m grateful for my relationship with Him and for all He’s given me... Including the religion/church I attend.