How much suffering has come upon you because of your faith in Christ, and how much of that suffering has either been self-imposed nonsense or sufferings implied only within your own mind. Many religious organizations have implemented what they call penance, a way to show God through your actions that you are sorry for your sins, pure foolishness and damnable heresy. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Not if you count so many beads, not if you say a certain phrase a certain amount of times, confess once with a broken and contrite heart, (Psalm 51:17) accept the forgiveness, get up and get back to work for Him.
There is no end to the religious nonsense on this planet and there seems to be no end to the foolish people who will believe almost anything that is told them. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Gal. 3:1) Silly women being led away captive. (2 Tim. 3:6) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5) Nowhere in the Scriptures does it tell us to pray to any dead person, all are called saints at the moment of their salvation, it takes no ridiculous conclave of man to pronounce another of such, there is no planet waiting for the faithful so that they can become as God, you are not going to come back as a better person, there are more than 144,000 special chosen people in the highest part of heaven. It is amazing just how easy it is to deceive the simple minded, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” (2 Peter 2:12) They remind me of small children who can be made to believe almost anything, who trust without conscious debate or any verifiable truth.
It is a form of brainwashing, and it has been shown throughout the ages to be a very effective tool, it is evil, we are commanded to fear God, which means complete and reverential trust in Him and a hatred of evil. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (Prov. 8:13) But we live in an age where we are expected to be tolerant, where all who believe differently from what the inerrant Word of God preaches are to be accepted. Entire countries have been based in part on the freedom of religion, not in direct and obedient service to the will and way of Almighty God.
Why should it surprise any of us that demonical notions would take hold, that you can pray people out of a made up place called purgatory, that we should pray to whomever we hold as a “higher power,” that you have to be baptized or perform some other works because what Christ did on the cross wasn’t enough. Close is never close enough. “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:34) Any god you are looking for, you can find, as a woman I witnessed to just yesterday said, “It doesn’t matter where you plant your butt on Sunday morning to God.” Unbelievable.
Keep counting the beads, tell the guy on the other side of the booth the sins you have committed instead of going directly to Almighty God, keep believing that if you continue to do good things you can earn your way into heaven, keep knocking on doors, make sure to reach your quota, make the pilgrimage at least once in your life and your in the front door of eternal bliss. I simply cannot comprehend just how easy it is to fool people, but then, “The truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Try to reach them, try to talk to them, give them tracts and pamphlets, but be forewarned, not only is it an uphill battle, but many of these religious organizations have been informed that it is perfectly justifiable to kill those who oppose them, you might be surprised at just how many.
Keep your armor on, go with the sword of the Lord, be prepared for battle, for there are many principalities and powers, rulers of the spiritual darkness, who have taken the form of human beings, and they do not care to have their lies exposed. Do not attempt to enter into any battle that you have either not been commanded to enter, or have not been trained to enter into. “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16) But do not fear the battle, the war has already been won, your King reigns eternal, always has, always will.