Welcome again to another study of the Bible. I am Dreamwalker1960.
Today’s podcast will be longer than usual, but the message that is within it is very important to hear. So let’s get into it.
Today I wish to talk about something people have not heard described in this fashion. It is “forced righteousness.”
What is “forced righteousness?”
It is what most people have experienced in going to the buildings called “churches.” Especially those raised in a religious household. Please note I am using wording like “religious.”
This is one of the biggest problems with the relationship between God and humanity that is causing the creation of what is called the “lukewarm church,” or more appropriately the “apostate church.” Which explains why we are in the era of the lukewarm as defined in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
Let us define the word “apostate” so we can have a clear understanding of where I am going within today’s Bible study.
Apostate or apostasy is an act of refusing to continue to follow obey or recognize a religious faith per Merriam-Webster.
But what can cause this to take place?
The answer: Forced righteousness.
Forced righteousness occurs most commonly from the children of a religious household as I mentioned before.
Now again I say “religious.”
Why is this?
Being religious is an act of going through the motions and behavior associated with a religion. This religion can be of any type. From Buddhist, to Muslim, to Shinto, to Jewish, to Christian. A prime example can be seen in one of the oldest Christian based sects, the Catholic Church. Here we see ceremonies, rituals and actions that are repeated time and again. Now don’t get me wrong. There have been some great people that are truly Christian that have come from within the Catholic Church. It is the religiousness that is the issue, not the faith.
It is the religiosity of a religion that is causing forced righteousness.
People fall into a routine. Just going through the motions. Then they have children in most cases. These children are taken to church and indoctrinated to the rituals. Yet no one in most cases truly explains to them the reason why this is being done. They assume they will just come to know why they are going to church. Which is the act that Jesus Christ did for all that Passover day just under two thousand years ago. So, they slowly, due to being forced into a righteous existence, rebel against it, because they really don’t truly understand.
This is why it is so important when choosing a religious leader. If their children rebel and misbehave the Bible states this religious leader must be replaced if their rebellion can be traced back to this leader. Yet I hear of stories where this rarely if ever happens in today’s age. Why must they be replaced? Because if they are not teaching their children the true relationship between God and humanity, which in turn causes them to rebel against the religion. Then how can they be a good shepherd to a flock of church goers needing true guidance to God.
But back on the main topic.
Those that live in a religious household see how their parents live and act. They see the weakness of humanity. They see the sin that may enter into their homes, which creates doubt within the minds of these children. As they grow into adulthood, they question religion due to what they have witnessed firsthand from their role models.
The main issue is that a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is not something that can be addressed with religious behavior. It is a personal relationship with the Creator of all. However, how can they establish a relationship if all they have known, in their lives, is the rituals and motions of religiousness? Thus, when they are told that they must live a righteous life without sin. They have no true concept of how to truly live an active vibrant, yet righteous existence.
Why? Because no one truly explained to them about who God is. About who Jesus Christ is, and how He can affect their life and all of humanities lives by His willing sacrifice upon the cross.
All they know is forced righteousness.
They are told they must know this. They must do that. Never having anyone just sit down with them and explain why it is necessary why they are required to do these things.
They are not given the option or even the opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, they are told of Him. Yes, they are given opportunities to accept Him. But has someone set them down and truly explained to them the torment and anguish Jesus experienced the moment He was arrested till the moment He died upon the cross? Did they describe to them the destruction to His back the whip caused, which was a major reason He was unable to carry His cross out of Jerusalem?
Many don’t even understand that it is not rituals that form the relationship for as the Bible states rituals without faith is death as witnessed in Matthew 6:5-15. However, it also states that faith without works is death, as explained in James 2:14-26. It is a combination of works and faith, not one or the other.
Works done with the true Holy Spirit do not include rituals. They are actions of faith. Like helping those in need. Trying to explain how messed up and unnecessary religious rituals are that causes a forced righteousness is an example of a work in faith.
Communion and the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ are the only ceremonies given to us by Jesus Christ. So they are all that is required in the realm of rituals.
Due to a forced righteousness many go through life saying they are Christian. Living a life, they believe is righteous, and in some cases this may be so. Yet when you look into their lives you see it rampant with sin, or lacking a crucial element, a relationship with Jesus Christ. They believe they are saved when they have not even genuinely sought out their Savior. They are living in an apostate life without even knowing they are.
Living in religion doesn’t make you holy. None can make this boast even those that know their Savior and do strive to have a righteous life. For all mess up and sin at some point in their life. It is this element that makes it hard to establish if you are living a life formed from forced righteousness or a true relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Being indoctrinated into a religion, thus making someone go through the motions of a religious lifestyle does not a Christian make. It makes them religious but not truly righteous. For true righteousness comes from faith and faith comes from knowing the existence of God and the belief there in. For living a religious life is like living in the Law of Moses, which we no longer need to do.
Romans 3:21-26 – But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He, Himself is fair and just, and He makes sinners right in His sight when they believe in and accept Jesus as their Savior.
It is this faith that is key to our ability to identify ourselves as “Christian.” Without this faith and in turn relationship with Jesus Christ and His Father our Creator a person cannot truly call themselves this title. Yet millions do call themselves this, yet they do not truly qualify for this designation. Because they lived their lives in a forced righteousness, thinking they are “Christian” when they are not truly so.
Is this fully their fault?
That is the dilemma. Each person has a different experience with their relationship or lack thereof with Jesus and His Father, God. For many that don’t have a relationship it goes back to having grown up in a household that professed to be religious. They grew to hate what they were seeing and being forced to do. So, they rebelled against this. Why? Because they perceived it to be authoritarian to some degree. In a religious environment that is very possible. However, that is not what is offered by Jesus Christ through believe in Him and His Father.
We are offered freedom. A freedom that was so crucial to people that a few hundred years ago hundreds then thousands fled the countries of their origin. To seek out a new world free of the doctrines and demands laid upon them by the churches and governments they left behind that were filled with forced righteousness. A freedom that was so important to them that when the parent nation they fled tried to impose restrictions upon them they revolted and started a new nation. A new nation with God’s ideals at the forefront. Ideals for this freedom, though not fully attainable for all at first, was their ultimate goal. For through their belief in God, again for the most part, is what inspired these people. Why?
Because they knew that for freedom to be achieved. There must be individual freedom to seek out God or not to seek out God, and not to be locked into a ridged system of rules and rituals. Which in time would become mandates and then laws.
However, due to forced righteousness this nation lost its way. Once causing a Civil War to occur to help return it to a course of freedom for all. Nevertheless, they never removed the forced righteousness, blinded by their own views and in some cases lusts and desire as well as greed. As a result, this mentality of not teaching their youth to seek a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and through Him His Father. This nation faulted and pulled further and further away from whom they sought to honor and worship in the first place. Now due to not setting down with their children and causing them to come to understand the truth and reality of what took place upon the cross, they are in turmoil.
Due to forced righteousness they allowed people to come to a place of power that did not seek it out of duty but out of lust. For the Bible states that those that wish to lead must have a servant’s heart. (Matthew 20:25-28) Instead many in places of responsibility are there to control and dominate. Their hearts and souls never truly seeking to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son and our Savior for they are of the world and not of God.
Because of forced righteousness “they will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly…….. (2 Timothy 3:5)