Religion May Be Holding You Back

Many people feel that their religion gives them comfort, But for many others, religion represents an antiquated faith system that at its best is a collection of superstitions and myths and at its worst a method of mind and behavior control.

I have first hand experience with religion, having been a member of a conservative, evangelical christian denomination from the time I was six years old until I was 40 years old. After a very rigorous period of study which included taking courses at a school for Biblical studies, reading church history and studying New Testament Greek, my doubts about religion and god/gods were confirmed. It’s nothing more than a scam.

I understand the need to search for meaning in your life. But why do we think that believing in a god or gods is the only way to do that? I am acquainted with a large number of individuals who don’t believe in a god, but are fine, moral, compassionate, good people. Religious people would have you believe that without the help of a god, you can’t be good, and without a god looking over your shoulder, you won’t do what’s right, but that’s just not reality. Studies have shown that people engage in altruistic behavior because it makes them feel good about themselves, because they get an intrinsic reward from it. You can get that intrinsic reward whether you believe in a god or not.

As human beings, we need to face reality head on, with the confidence of knowing that we can solve our own problems. And when we’ve done everything we can to solve our problem, being at peace with whatever happens. This is good mental health. As a behavioral health rehabilitation specialist, I can tell you that there are many tools for coping with life; some adaptive, some maladaptive. Religion is a maladaptive way of coping with life. It allows you to believe in a fantasy world and trust imaginary beings to take care of your life problems. There is nothing healthy about that.

There is also nothing healthy about being told that you are broken, defective and lost, and that only an imaginary being can save you. The only positive thing religion has to offer is the sense of community and support one gets from attending a church. But you can get that from friends, family, or a support group. There’s a support group out there for every problem. Or just join a Meetup group or start your own. You don’t have to resort to joining a group that wants to control your every thought and action.

Don’t believe they want to control you? 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” So they are very up front about their agenda. If you insist on thinking for yourself and applying logic to questions of religion, you are not acceptable. You must suspend all rational thinking to believe what they insist you must believe.

And yet, it is ironic that many people who attend church don’t even believe what their church teaches. They only go there to maintain relationships with family and friends. You would probably be shocked to know how many clergy people who are leading churches are atheists but don’t feel they can leave that life. For people in that situation, visit The Clergy Project, a supportive community for non-believing ministers.

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