“If we really understood the goodness of God without any religious baggage that held us back, I guarantee you, all of your problems would be over.”Andrew Wommack
We called them pew races. My brother and I stood on a back pew, he said, “Go!” and we were off. The goal was to climb over each pew, reach the front of the church, and climb back. Our family lived across the street from our church, a building that was always unlocked. The purpose was for people to pray and seek solace any time of the day or night. It was a beautiful concept, provided kids weren’t playing inside at the time.
Regardless of our free rein of the sanctuary, there was one strict rule my brother taught me: never step behind the altar. The huge table was draped in a different-colored cloth based on the Christian season, and only the priest was qualified to walk behind this most holy object.
So, what would happen to a kid who walked behind the altar? Well, my brother told me that God would strike me down…with lightning. Really? Pew races were okay, but walking on the wrong side of a table would be my undoing? No matter how absurd this sounded, I still believed it.
That’s how religion is. It sets up rules and traditions, urges its followers to live by them, and then uses God as the punisher of the rulebreakers.
In Andrew’s teaching this week, Killing Sacred Cows, he refers to Mark 7:13: “Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition” ( New King James Version). He says, “It’s our religious traditions that make the statement…that God is a good God not have its full effect [in our lives].” He says this series is “about countering these religious concepts that void [and] negate the power of God.”
During my pew-racing days, I also attended events at another church. I “got saved” every night at a kids’ crusade. I also tried to read through my King James Bible and felt guilty over my failure to even finish Genesis. After watching a series of ‘70s-era end-times movies, I began to fear the guillotine. Lightning strikes, the guillotine—would these be my fate if I messed up? The idea that I must “get right, stay right—or else” was drilled into me. And whatever I did, it would never be enough.
But what would be enough? Andrew’s current television series will help answer this question.
If you haven’t been watching Gospel Truth this month, I encourage you to go back and watch the Killing Sacred Cows series from the beginning. In it, Andrew touches on many of his powerful teachings, such as Living in the Balance of Grace & Faith and The True Nature of God, and he’ll continue the series through the end of May. And check out our blog this Thursday for the conclusion of this story.
In the comments section below, feel free to share your own memories of how God’s grace set you free from religious traditions.