RELIGION – The recipe is perfect, but the proof is in the pudding

Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

What is ‘religion’ but an organization with a title and clergy and a building and dogmas and doctrines for membership, etc., each often differing radically from other denominations with the same basic beliefs. What religion would I fit into? I am a Jew who is accused by Jews of being a Christian, and accused by some Christians of being a Jew because I do not celebrate Christian holidays or a Trinity or a Sabbath changed to Sunday, but keep the Jewish holy days of the Bible and, like St. Paul, call myself only a Jew, one who honors the king of the Jews.

No, without denying the need for believers to gather together, it is not a Religion, but a Relationship. It is a living relationship with the living YHVH that manifests by grace as a practice and lifestyle right down here on Earth in our daily lives of honesty, faithfulness, loyalty, liberty, purpose, vision, courage, integrity, compassion, joy, gratitude, shalom, forgiveness and love in Spirit and Truth. I would think that might make for a happier world. If that is not the result, it is merely another Religion or religious movement in the marketplace of religions that have brought us centuries of strife and religious wars, persecutions, inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, burnings of heretics and other horrors in the name of He who commanded ‘v’ahavta’- ‘you shall love.’

As we sadly behold the blessing in America being stripped away before our very eyes, and the Old G-d and His requirements pushed out of conscience and consciousness and replaced now with many others and their religions making America not even one nation, but a divided and shattered entity under many and no gods, I pray that some might see through the rising chaos and understand and return in forgiveness to that loving  relationship with their Creator on the ark of salvation. Especially for the sake of the little children of a new generation being trapped and drowned in a rising flood of sewerage.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.