When I was being raised as a child and taught the Judeo-Christian morals that our American concept of society is based on, my Spiritual Mentors at the time consisted of Family, various Pastors and other Clergy, along with a few neighbors who were recognized as being true 'Men and Women of God'.
Looking back on my experiences while I was being indoctrinated by my mentors into organized religion, I now realize that the one thing that my 'teachers' had in common was that they were believers in the Baptist Religion and were more interested in teaching church rituals rather than the Biblical Truths (God's Holy Scriptures.) This did not make sense to me logically at that time and I still hold on to the same view to this day.
Man is not a 'perfect being' because of his disobedience in not following God's commandments, therefore, anything that he puts his hand to will be flawed. This is especially true when it comes to his various forms of religion. God has placed in man's heart the desire for man to seek Him and nothing that man does can satisfy that strong 'homing desire'. Since the 'natural man's spirit' is in darkness in this earth realm, then when he tries to find God through his own devices (religion) and appease Him by doing good works, he will always fail in his attempts. None of this is scriptural or possible.
Many people depend on organized religion to give them guidance and understanding concerning God's WORD but the truth is that every person must read the Holy Scriptures for themselves and ask the Holy Spirit for true interpretation to get the real revelation of God's will. A pastor is a man too and subject to the same shortcomings as the rest of us. Be sure that your pastor does not deviate from the written WORD of God. I believe that this is where the saying 'The blind leading the blind' shows its validity.
The Holy Scriptures says that 'We must seek God in Spirit and truth' and He will reveal His will to us. Like anything else in this life one must put forth some effort towards this goal. There is no easy way to accomplish this task and it must be done individually and consistently. Each one of us will be held accountable for the life that our LORD has provided for us. Remember that He gave us a free will to make correct choices.
There was a time when I walked in 'spiritual darkness' as many do today and did not understand what my problems were. I rebelled at my early teachings about God from my 'religious mentors' because of the hypocrisy that I perceived was being preached but not demonstrated. Those persons that I thought (incorrectly) that were the most religious would talk the talk but not walk the walk. I figured correctly that there was no truth to be found there (in the church at that time.)
I can remember earlier on in life that I attempted to try to read the Holy Bible (King James Version 1611 Edition) like any other novel and it nearly blew the top of my head off! It had not been explained to me properly that it was 'The Living WORD of God.' That was the main reason that I did not open that Book again for over 40 years and relied on gleaning scriptural information from other men (some were men of God and others were imposters.) Big, big mistake!
Finally in my second half century of life it was revealed to me, by the grace of God, that Jesus is LORD and Savior, the Author and Finisher of scripture and He gave me the Holy Spirit to make sure that I had true discernment when reading and hearing His Holy WORD.
I do not profess to be a bible scholar, but I am confident that I have a firm grasp of His WORD and I can find what I need to resolve whatever issues I may face on this side of Heaven in His WORD.
I recommend reading some scripture daily to renew our minds and keep us focused on the real issues of life.
God bless America,and Israel, troops and our leaders.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW