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April 24 2013 4 24 /04 /April /2013 19:32


Pure Religion? What a concept! The Scripture does talk of something called "Pure Religion" (please see "James" - which should actually be entitled "Jacob" - 1:26-28, for a definition); however, after having had my gut-full of multiplied years of what turned out to be obviously false religion - teachings/preachings/"prophetic words" that were very flesh-polluted, mentally and spiritually convoluted, twisted, very impure - that concept of "pure religion" has been most difficult to visualize - or to even want to! It was a difficult task indeed for me to see either of these concepts as "pure" or "holy". However, in meditating on this concept, and listening to the Ruach - trying, with much difficulty, not to throw the proverbial "baby" out with the "bath-water" - I have heard some things that helped me understand the difficulty a bit more clearly.


I discovered that "Religion" has come to mean some things to me that were not intended - by the Author, and, ironically, I have found it to be much the same as what has happened to, or in, me concerning the concept of "Romance" over the years! (But then there are many words whose meaning have been tarnished by the deceptive ideology, misconceptions, and misbehavior of others) At first I found the comparison, of religion to romance, odd, and was tempted to consider it to be even, at first glance, almost irreverent! But then it struck me that they sort of run in tandem to one another - if on differing planes of existence! In fact, as surprising as this is to some of us, Romance - between a man and a woman - is said to be a "shadow" - an exact replica though on a smaller scale - of what is supposed to exist between God and His creation - a.k.a. - "Pure Religion"!


I found that both had come to be seen - by me and myriads of others - in a very negative light - simply because both had been used, and misused, in ways which God had never intended. Both Romance and Religion have been used in ways that have been very destructive to me. Both of these concepts, in fact, have been so misused that it has required much work and emotional healing from God Himself, for me to be able to even consider them as valid and useful ideas, much less pure or holy, or desirable to God Himself - and, more surprisingly to me - as something which was absolutely necessary - intrinsic, pivotal - to my ultimate well-being! It has been so misrepresented, so damaging to my soul for so long, that it took the Ruach quite some time of gentle restructuring, of "renewing my mind" to HIS Truth, to get me to see the original design and intention. I think I am still "seeing through a glass darkly" on that. And even that has been a longish haul! But slowly, gradually, it is being accomplished by my reborn spirit cooperating with His Holy Spirit, as I ingest His Word and act upon it.


Slowly I am coming to grips with the reality that Religion was, and is, intended to be a mere conveyor - a container - a vessel - a catalyst - if you will - of Spirituality, the way Romance is meant only to be a conveyor of our human Love. Neither are absolutely necessary, I suppose, to significant relationships. Or are they? It is difficult to communicate either of these concepts apart from the other. As my spirituality is - or should be - motivated by a deep and abiding relationship with God - and my religious expression is simply the vehicle by which that relationship is expressed. So, my Love is - or should be - motivated by a deep and abiding relationship with my husband - and Romance (which includes, but is definitely not limited to sexual expression) is a vehicle by which that Love relationship is expressed!


Can't Love and Spirituality be expressed in duty? To a point it can! Service is very much a part of caring, and sharing, but the relationship between two individuals (be they human or deity) - if diminished to only "doing one's duty"will, of necessity, deteriorate - or be "down-graded" - to one of mere "servant and master", instead of the intentional "lover and beloved"! There can be great regard, and even mutual respect in a relationship based on servitude, but little intimacy and virtually no equality can be expected to be found there, nor would they be appropriate. One must always be "less" and one "greater" - by the sheer nature of those dynamics.


I personally do not think we humans have ever fully grasped what God was after in the Garden - before the fall of man, nor in the atonement since that fall - between Himself and His created ones, nor what He intended between a man and woman in the eternal covenant of marriage! Which would reasonably explain why both religion and romance are somewhat askew in our experience these days!


{* Which brings me to a bit of a side note. This is not very popular ideology these days, but the reason the whole belief structure concerning the homosexual relationship does not work in a wholistic, realistic way, physically nor spiritually speaking; the reason that the logic, which is used to support its validity, begins to break down; is because there are parts missing in the equation of romantic relationships - pieces that are vitally necessary to the making of a whole unit - spiritually, and physically speaking - that are missing from it! It should be clear that having two men or two women - and trying to mesh them into one spiritual entity, instead of having one of each - as God clearly directed, would be like trying to make Water without either Hydrogen or Oxygen! Anyone knows that one can not leave out one of those elements and just add more of the same element! It simply will never produce the substance known as "water" unless the elements are correctly combined! We can call the resulting substance "water" all we like, but it will not get our clothes clean or be fit to drink!


This deliberate attention to minute detail, often considered mere triviality, is how God designed the universe! It is His "M.O"! Why is it so hard to see these days? But - nonetheless - Just as water must have both elements to BE water, and if you change the elements you simply create a whole other substance - so it is with that romantic relationship - that "God created, God ordained Covenant" - whose purpose was, among other things for the reproduction of other humans - called "Marriage". But an even deeper purpose for this union was to reflect the eternal relationship between God and His created ones! If that is so (and I firmly believe that it is) then there MUST be One of each gender to complete that union as God intended! Whether we all like or accept those rational facts or not!


God has put "laws" in the universe that can be discovered and analyzed, but it is clearly at our own peril that we attempt to change them (consider the harm being done by the GMO's, etc., for example)! In the beginning, He separated Eve out of Adam and brought her to him, he didn't merely clone Adam and give him a sexual attraction to himself! He made it clear that the female had been entrusted, or "down-loaded" if you will, with some intrinsically necessary parts that were needed to "complete" the man - and visa-versa - spiritually, emotionally and physically! He designed it so that we needed each other to become a whole spiritual unity - as well as to be able to reproduce the race of man! Clearly to subvert that process is to put the entire species at risk!


We can see by these examples that there is a system in everything which He designed, one which we dare not by-pass. But we have lost that formerly clear reasoning because the whole relationship became clouded and complicated as man descends ever more deeply into the realm of sin, and gradually exalts himself over God! So many things just continue to disintegrate as sin is allowed to consistently unravel the DNA of God's original design! Ideologically, spiritually and eventually physically, this path will always lead to ruin.


I am saying that I suspect that it is the very perversion of the Religion/Romance connection - which began at the fall of man in the Garden of Eden - historically - that has led to this utter destruction in the fabric of our society - of the utter unraveling of the institution of family, and the complete bastardization of the institution once known as "Church" - all once connected to make a whole picture - but which are now mere pixels of reality. This is a total picture of the difference between what God defines as Holy or Profane. It is Holy if it is being used for the purpose for which He created it to be used; and it is considered profane by Him if that purpose has been perverted or "redirected".}


I think our tendency, then, is to settle for a servant-master - sort of "role playing" situation - to avoid the painful reality of how far short we have fallen. But that is so tragically unnecessary, when He is wooing us toward a covenant of intimacy with Himself! I think we do that that because it is easier to get out heads around the lower concepts. Perhaps it is because that "lower goal" is what we have mostly encountered, or perhaps it is all that the natural man, or the "lower (fallen from grace) nature" of the "unsaved" flesh is capable of - the survival of the fittest, the domination of the strongest. But it was never the goal or the ideal to which we were created! It never even gets close to it!


Of course we might argue that this aberrant behavior, or unsatisfactory situation, does not apply to us, since "we have been saved"! But I must ponder, in observing the unhappy realities of our society at large, if that process has been as completed as we want to think?! I am thinking that we at least may have an unrealistic idea of where most of us are at in that process!? It is clear that there are some, perhaps many, areas of life, in which we have settled for something much lower, much less glorious than He intended! Is it not?!


How else can it be that we have settled for such compromises - as a duty-bound religious expression in place of a vibrant intimacy with the Most High - or for such as shallow, muddied puddles of "feel-goods" instead of deeper, clearer, beautiful wells of - "knowing-and being known" - also called "Intimacy" (read- "into-me-see") in our marriages?! Or worse, we have now fervently embraced mentally maladjusted pseudo-relationships of a sexually twisted nature - be they incest, homosexuality, multiple partners, the "freedom to kill the young produced by these "relationships", or whatever - sinful deceptions - all - that each rot all it touches - and yet we believe, or act, as though we have found freedom!


But why would we ever do any of that if we were aware that we had a choice of something better? I think it is because we haven't pressed in far enough to have seen the choices clearly. I think it is because the filth of sin clouds our vision. I think it is because the preachers grew weary of doing well, and have abdicated their authority and anointing to "preach the Gospel to the afflicted" for the approval of the masses! The prophetic cry goes out in Scripture, "How can they believe if they do not hear? And how will they hear without a preacher?!" Yet in our day the prophets have gone soft, and the shepherds have been stricken blind, deaf and dumb! Or have succumbed to cowardice or greed or lusts! And we are left with a sub-standard quasi-intellectual gruel - topped with a pseudo-spiritual whipped cream to make appear lavish and inviting! And, consuming it, we have starved to death spiritually, until we have been reduced to a nation of spiritual dry bones! "Can these bones live again? Lord, you know!" - I echo the impassioned queries of Ezekiel!


Religion should not be confused with, or used for, a selfish, hysterical, emotional, vent-fest, designed to attempt to relieve the stress of a guilty conscience; or as a voo-doo mantra - designed to manipulate God into doing what we want; or as a vaudeville quality performance - designed to convince the general populace of how very saintly we are - anymore than Romance should be used for our own self gratification, by manipulating our partner into sexual servitude - in order to get our proverbial "rocks" off - and then discard the children it was meant to produce! Tragic misuse of privilege!


It should have become obvious to us by now that Religion or Romance - without a selfless dedication to the object of our interest - is unacceptable! It is worse than nothing, it is an empty, harmful, vicious lie - the point of which is always self-gratification - at the bottom line - and always at the expense of another! It is a death toll for real growing relationships - and eventually a death toll for society at large! I have pondered for years - often aloud - on how we can have ever expected "unity" in the institution known as "The Church", when the divorce rates among those involved have soared as high or even higher than the general populace? I have argued for the solidarity of family within those institutions; and fought hard and long against the fragmentation which their designs and paradigms unwittingly encourage - especially in my own family! I have tried, to no avail, to expose the deceptions that have been slowly introduced into our teachings under the noble sounding names of "tolerance", "relevance" and "political correctness" - bought at the price of "holiness", "reverence" and "scriptural correctness"! Trading the Gold standard of Truth, for the fool's gold of popular deceptive philosophy! Empty twaddle and as unsubstantial as the Emperor's New Clothes!


Religion as it stands today, the twisted, rigid, broken mess that it is, and Romance - the foggy, soggy, useless emotional roller-coaster ride that it has become - the wicked, self-oriented witchcraft that has defined, and deified both - are a total misrepresentation and warped communication of what God designed and intended. We have been robbed of the purity, the wholesomeness, the life, the joy, the purpose of the relationships between God and each other. We must make Teshuvah to the Word of God, we must dig into His instruction manual to find where we have deviated from His plan, His design, and return to Him and His ideals! We must be willing to cut off and throw out what does not line up with His will and plan! We must be willing to believe what He said and do what He recommends! Only then can the fabric of our rotting society be healed, restored, strengthened - unified! It is our only hope!


It is said that "The whole earth groans waiting for our adoption as sons..."! I personally believe that means that the Earth is, waiting on us to come into authority and use the anointing that comes with that - spiritually speaking - to be able to implement His plans on the earth - so that it can return to the real "normal", the first "normal", the "normal" that defined life in the Garden of Eden - because it agrees with God's original design and definition! That is the true purpose of Religion, and also, I think ultimately, the true purpose of Romance. The world could use some pure religion right about now. But the question is, who is willing to pay purity's price and make Teshuvah? They had the right idea back in the 60's, when they plaintively sang, "We gotta get back to the Garden" - but the problem they had then was that they left God out of their equation! We must first get back to the God of the Garden - and be willing to implement His righteous standard! I, for one, think that it is worth whatever effort necessary to obtain the purity of relationship which He intended, both with Him and my husband! I am willing to work for it! I am willing to pay for it, with my blood if necessary! I think it takes that kind of commitment. Our Lord already paid that price for us! Does that exempt us or commit us? That, I guess, is the question we must answer, individually and collectively!


"Oh, who will come and go with me, I am bound for the Promised Land" ...of "Pure Religion" and "Holy Romance"! Hope to see you all there some day!



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  • Sandra Carlton Duncan
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37  years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog  (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37 years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.