Q & R “Religion Burnout” – Greg Albrecht
Is it possible to have a personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ without the religious ties? The reason I ask is because I have been involved with different religions that are cultic in nature since the age of 15 years, ranging from Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventism. I’ve been told that SDAism has strong tendencies towards cultism, so as far as things go for me, it’s very difficult to get involved with any church of any kind. I guess that’s what they call church/religion burnout. Is there such a thing called that? Would any materials you may have dealing with religion burnout? And where someone can go to deal with this dilemma?
Religion and its “ties” as you phrase it can have a positive impact on a healthy, Christ centered relationship with God, a negative impact or it can essentially be neutral, with no impact whatsoever.
In its positive side, it can place a focus on Jesus Christ, pointing people to Him as the Bread of Life, our Living Water.
On its negative side, it can minimize, obscure and even corrupt God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As a neutral force, it can serve as a club where people have coffee and talk, and hear self help talks about being better people – but even in such “harmless” non-legalistic, non-authoritarian, overbearing environments religion might be slightly negative, because if the place calls itself a church then people think they are being directed to Jesus Christ when in fact they are “going nowhere fast.” Perhaps we might, in such cases, describe it like a sugar pill placebo handed out by religious institutions and authorities, a counterfeit for Jesus, our Beloved Physician, who alone can heal and give us everlasting life.
I have lots to say, but not enough time here, re the three experiences you have had. As you know, one can avoid the deeply toxic influences within traditional Mormonism, the Watchtower and Adventistism by having a nominal, arms length relationship. Trouble is that those movements, as you know, strive to control all aspects and most of the time of those who fall into their tangled web.
We have a wide variety of print resources we would be happy to send you, no charge, on behalf of the many who donate to our ministry to help people such as you… providing you live in the US or Canada. We help people whether or not they attend a building … the membership Christ followers have is in the universal body of Christ, which does not depend on denominational membership.
Please let me know if we can send you some resources and thank you for allowing us to serve you in the name of Jesus.