The role of religions

I close my eyes and, suddenly, I am transported to a big room where flat screens surround me. Each screen shows me a different society and its spiritual health.
I take a seat, cause I know that this will take a while, and I watch the displayed images.
I open my eyes, by the end of this experience, and notice that I’ve written the following text:

Spiritual anarchy has arrived to our society and it threatens to linger.
What could be the root of this phenomenon?

Every single religion has its own set of dogmas by which a person (belonging to a certain religious universe) must abide to. Below I present a small eclectic example of what I’m referring to:

  • In case of divorce one won’t be allowed to re-marry in the church, nor go to communion

  • Women must restrain themselves from exposing their body and hair

  • Women shall not wear trousers nor cut their hairs

  • Men and women seat separately in a house of worship

  • Women are implicitly barred from becoming spiritual leaders.

Religious groups often politicise God by feeding the minds with dubious messages, with the sole purpose of meeting their own agenda (i.e. to govern countries). Such strategies tend to overlook people’s spiritual void and emptiness.
What's the outcome of all this? People are simply counterfeiting religion, by inventing each one its own belief system (half-Christian-half-Pagan, half-Buddhist-half-Christian, half-Jewish-half-Hindu, half-Hare-Krishna-half-agnostic, non-practising Catholic, atheist-Christmas-lover etc) because they have more access to religious information, they are more educated, they became inquisitive, they no longer accept the lack of adjustment to modern times and, as the French say “les gents se méfient”…

People don’t feel attached to religion anymore; for when they feel lost and seek comfort in religious entities, most of the times, they are reproached (without a logical explanation) for their materialistic ways.
Religions should correct the mistakes done in the past; improve their representation; reducing, thus, the number of people that flee from the places of worship.

The role of religions in contemporary societies should be: to positively induce people to cultivate a symbiosis between their lives and spirituality; to teach them the basic moral values and, finally, be the voice of the oppressed when (and only) democracy fails.

Surprised, I put down my notebook; I look outside the window and think to myself “To publish or not to publish…that is the question!”


  1. That's exacly why it's not about religion, ritual or even church.

    It's only about you and your relationship with Him.


  2. Hi Max;

    I am very happy you chose to publish…

    Since the beginning this is how it has been, humans have continually tried to replace relationship with God with dry and dead religion.

    Today as then people try to create a mosaic of beliefs that are contradictory, the major belief systems are each extremely different and cannot be harmonized, they are in irreconcilable opposition.

    The question is this: is one of the belief systems accurate; is one of them true to reality?

    Just because there are many “choices” does not mean they are all equal or true, there is no need to pretend otherwise.

    As a follower of Jesus I am being transformed by Him, He is the Designer, Creator, Sustainer, and Owner of everything. He is also Love; because of these attributes and more He is lovingly willing to assist us in transforming into the people He has designed us to be, people that are uniquely different but also complimentary. He will only do this if we come to Him seeking that relationship. One of the ways He chooses to do this is thru His Scripture, He uses it to help us be the people He designed us to be…this is not always the way we thought it would be…His ways are higher than our ways…we are finite and He is infinite…He is perfect and we are not. The longer I have known Jesus the more I realize how worthy He is of my trust.

  3. Hello Max,

    I am a great believer in religious freedom. Human beings should not be bogged down by dogmas, nor should so many religious wars be fought all around the globe.

    I find your blog very interesting, because it is bilingual, English and Portuguese.
    Mine is in English and German:

  4. Hey Max,
    A very cogent discourse. I think your phrase, "counterfeiting religion" is a brilliant term. You are right on target and point.

    Religion is a good tool, but a terrible master when people try to manipulate it to serve their own purpose. It's never about the doctrine, the real religion is the personal and sacred union between you and God. No one else comes into the equation. It's sad when relgion is used to hurt rather than enlight.

  5. Religions worry me a lot lately, and it's not because I'm an atheist myself.

    I really don't mind people believing in something that make them feel good. But I'm starting to feel that some people would have no moral at all if they weren't religious. Like if God doesn't tell them not to kill, they would do it. Huh ?

    I also feel some people think atheist don't have a moral because we have no God. Wrong ! I believe in mankind... it's it enough ?

  6. Hi Olivia Kroth nice to meet you (and welcome to the MAX ZONE), my wife is bilingual in German and English.

    Religious wars are inevitable. Recognize that I am not supporting said wars just recognizing that they are unavoidable with the state of humanity. Please note I am against religion since I am a devout follower of Jesus. I should mention that not all wars that claim to be “religious” are indeed “religious”.

    One of the definitions of dogma from is:
    A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church.
    Doctrine is described thus:
    A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma.
    When a Church (I am speaking of the Protestant Church) collates doctrine it is simply placing the overall teaching from Scripture into a “shorthand” that is quickly and easily understood (this is also a “short” and imperfect example).

    If a Church creates doctrine that conflicts with Scripture then they are in error (of course one of our major problems is most people do not study the Scriptures themselves so are easily led astray), but the creation of doctrinal statements are not necessarily bad they can actually be a quick and easy way to understand the viewpoint of a Church and/or denomination.

    In this way people are actually not “bogged down” by dogma or doctrine they are actually buoyed or assisted by it.

  7. Hi Alexys;

    I would say:

    Religion is a tutor, sharp stick or giant neon sign telling us that we cannot possibly get things right with God by being religious, that is all it is good for, it is NOT good for morality, I expect religion to hurt. Religion creates slaves whereas relationship with God creates freedom. Clearly I want no part of religion since I am a follower of Jesus.

    Doctrine is not itself evil it is just a concise logical list of beliefs based upon a Sacred document (as is the case with Jesus followers). They are evil when they stray from what Scripture says (read an earlier comment I made on this point if you would like a more thorough explanation.

  8. Max great post as always. I agree with you. I am at the point that I just believe in what is necessary to believe, all the materialistic stuff is just unnecessary inventions. I got married about 10 years ago, and while I was planning my wedding, I just couldn't believe what I could and what I couldn't do, and it was all about church rules. I was getting really fed up. I think people sometimes use religion to do certain things, and they know as long people believe it is easier to convince them - and I think that is what my mother tried to do, so I had to put stop to it, but sometimes I still hear it, lol. I am catholic, but whatever make sense in other religions that is common sense I will follow, example is buddism. Anna :)

  9. Hi Zhu;

    I think you make some interesting points.

    I was an atheist for most of my life so I understand where you are coming from, and very much appreciate your comment

    Religion does not have the ability to transform the heart, mind, or soul so it cannot therefore transform actions (provide morality), it may for a time give the illusion of morality and virtue but in the end it is bankrupt and impotent.

    A set of moral rules and religion says “thou shalt not murder”, a genuine relationship with Jesus transforms who you are, and permeates into your life so that “love your enemy” is who you are, it is not a rule it is your being.

    When I was an atheist I had my own moral values, I was the standard by which I measured good and evil, and to as lesser degree my culture informed my decisions on these matters.

    I humbly suggest to you that those kinds of standards are in actuality not real standards in the absolute sense. For who would you be to say my individual standard is not equal to yours, or vise versa? Who is to say one set of shifting cultural rules are better or worse than the other?

    Yet…if there is One true genuine God Who is Love, perfect and pure, the Creator and owner of everything…then He is the standard, a standard that grows and changes the heart, mind and soul. I will take that over believing in mankind or woman kind for I understand what lurks in the shadows of the human heart.

    Without this God we cannot say in an absolute sense why it is wrong to murder.


  10. GREAT post, Max!

    I love your words "to cultivate a symbiosis between their live and spirituality". Touche!!!

  11. Hi Max, not sure what the eightfold path is (I will look it up), and I usually don't follow anything in particular, I usually pick what make sense. I studied martial arts long time ago, and do tai-chi right now, and teachers like to teach sometimes a little things that applied to exercises that is from buddism, and I like it. In addition, I read many zen related books, some of the stuff is just so logical. btw Thanks for visiting my blog. Anna :) PS now you got me going with the eightfold path, I will definitely check it out, thanks.

  12. I agree completely with Livingsword that religion doesn't make a person good...the person has to have a personal relationship with God in order to be able to be changed by Him from the inside out.

  13. Wow, now that I read all the comments twice, you people make lot of sense here. Livingsword, what a transformation. I never discriminate against no body, or believes or faith, as long we are all good to each other. I also think God shouldn't be telling us not to kill, its something as humans we should know. I was born Greek Catholic (not orthodox), means we follow the Greek culture and pope. As I grew older I would see crazy church or religion politics, I decided to ignore that aspect which was just evil destruction. Sometimes others ask why I still go to church when its all about donations. The truth is if you get yourself involved in the politics, at some point you will look for other alternatives or you will stand against your church, but if you can recognize what is important and what is not, you will stand by your church, religion, faith and believes strongly. And like I said to Max once, whatever make sense in other religions I will take as example and learn. Anna :)

  14. Hi, Girl,

    I hope you don't mind that I'm tagging you...I think you'll like this one.

    8 Facts about Grandma Meme

  15. I am glad you published as well there was much for me to relate to in your post!Most of the people that I know that attend church faithfully are not always such nice people!What is up with that ???

  16. I don't think religion has any relevance in our current world when we are opening up to true spiritualitie sfound in our inner seves. religion has failed to take people up a spiritual path, and so, is a troden and closed avenue. The messages have been lost in layers golden and red clothes vovering men like us, with all our defects showing and pervading the organizations that they represent. I have no faith in reliigion a sit is commonly practiced, unless I see teh high priests clothed in humilty and doing something for their fellow sisters and brothers of all races , birth, and situations and giving up their weath fo rteh sake of humanity.

  17. Max,
    Funny, I found this post by looking at your "Religion" entry on SlogBite........I'm going to make use of my own site. What do you think about that.

    I have nothing to argue about with this post. You and I are in total lock-step here. Very nicely put.

    BTW, You do need to post one of my SlogBite badges on your site.


  18. Hey Mel,

    LOL I think it is a great idea to make use of ;D!

    Thank you!!! :D!

    Consider it done, mate! I will put it right away!

    You are welcome!



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