Christian denominations (around 40,000 and counting) and religious clubs that have formed over the years, came into existence, because people stopped walking in the middle of their journey with God.
They get an explosive revelation of a minuscule aspect of God, and declare: "This is it! We've got it all!". And after the the initial euphoria dies down, the newly-discovered revelation is cemented with a long-faced, "Those who differ with us, are heretics!"
This is what I call religion.
Religion is not a group of people, or an organization. It is a sincere, closed, dogmatic and an insecure mindset.
This is also how close-minded traditions are formed.
While it's fashionable to look down on traditions (while presuming "we" are on the cutting edge of God's revelation), we become Traditionalist 2.0, the moment we pitch the tent.
Humility and simple logic acknowledges the obvious - that, the elephant is indeed, much bigger than what our limited senses can comprehend.
I keep seeing people imploring others to not go see the new Left Behind movie. Despite their well-meant intentions, 'Thou Shalt Nots' usually result in bringing about the opposite effect. People will want to go check the movie out, simply to see what the hoopla is all about.
Regardless of whether one decides to go watch this movie, or not -- the most important thing to do, is to study, to see if the theology of Dispensationalism that backs the Left Behind books and movies, holds any merit.
If fear is used as the impetus for a person to receive the Gospel, then it ceases to be the Gospel. Gospel, by definition, is 'good news'.
Perfect love (God) casts out all fear. Fear is anti-God.
It is the goodness of God that draws a person to God.
Think about it -- which sane woman (a prospective bride) would want to live forever with an abusive, manipulative, judgmental, terrorizing, impatient, controlling, vindictive, demanding and a conditionally "loving" husband?
And yet, for years, we have inadvertently been (or was it purposeful, based on the interpretation that we chose to believe?) portraying God as the aforementioned husband - whether this portrayal is blatant or subtle.
“Martyrs die because they refuse to deny the Truth, they are unwilling to force their ways upon others, and they are unwilling to fight back when fighting back would deny the Love they are trying to show those hurting them. This is how martyrdom changes things: It stands up as the witness of the One who is Truth and Love, and the One who is Truth and Love can do little else but stand up and surround them with His presence. And His presence changes things.”
"One changed heart within the inner circle of leadership would forever change the direction of those hell bent on the destruction of humanity. “that’s a pipe dream” some of you might say. It is only a pipe dream inasmuch as Saul becoming Paul was a pipe dream."