In a FB post, a very nice woman posted the following, “when I talk about God, I am talking about relationships and hearts, not religion. God doesn’t care about your religion, He is only concerned with your heart and love for each other.”
With her claim about God caring about religion, I wholeheartedly agree! The second claim I would also accept if the word “only” was removed. God is concerned with our hearts and our love for each other, but He is also concerned that we worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). That is what Jesus said, and I tend to think that He knew a lot about God.
So, what did He mean? Well, I could spend a ton of time getting into the nitty gritty of the exchange Jesus had with the woman as described in John 4:6-28, but I must needs be brief. Please read that chapter for yourselves and draw your own conclusions.
From a religion vs inner spirituality perspective, Jesus was clearly teaching that where you worship is not the big deal, but who you worship and the nature of salvation is of HUGE importance. Literally, He told her that salvation was of the Jews, so the religious practices of the Samaritans were not getting them right with God. God gets to decide that, not humans. Worshiping is spirit means what is going on inside of us is the key, not the outward circumstances. Worshiping in truth means worshiping according to the truths God has revealed to us. He wants both.
Clearly, Jesus wants us to love. It was a huge part of His message; but not all acts of love indicate that there is a mind of truth behind them. Loving is good. Loving is what we all should do; but not all loving comes from truth and therefore does not impact our relationship with God nor is carrying out His will for us.
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For His glory,