Religion, that is the man-made variety, is inherently evil. True religion which is the quest for the truth. Or, as according to James, the half-brother of Jesus, true religion is to "Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world." (Message Bible)
Some time ago I got acquainted with a group of people who had left the Potter's House movement. These people explained to me that the reason why they left this movement. From what I was told it sounded like this religious group was was a man-made religion and not a God-inspired movement. The reason I say this is because these people told me that many people were abused by the manipulative tactics that were used to control members.
The other night I popped into a Potter's House meeting. The ""P-A-S-T-O-R"" came over and introduced himself to me. He seemed quite amiable, but there was a sense of urgency about him. Another person came into the doorway, so I let him greet the next person. This person he made quite a lot of fuss over, and seemed to make a big point about a very small issue the person was having. This gave me the impression that he was overdoing the "concerned-for-you" bit and this man titled "pastor" either lacked a sense of proportion or was disingenuously making out he cared.
The service began and two songs were sung twice. The plate was passed around, and another song was sung. The pastor gave his sermon. Then there was a prolonged call for the unrepentant, the sinners, and the back-slidden to come forth and receive what God had ordained for each person to receive that evening. Since there were only eleven other people in attendance besides the pastor and his wife, I assumed he was talking about me. And since he had this inspired word that we were all present because God had ordained us to be there, I was obviously in the right place-- only I definitely felt no need to respond to his invitation, since I already have peace with God and have the joy of salvation.
Since I was not forthcoming, so as to appear not a complete goose for making such a prolonged altar call, the pastor decided to pray for two of the young Filipinos, so they might receive the Holy Spirit. This he did by mumbo-jumboing while he laid hands on them and encouraging them to mumbo-jumbo after him, so they might then have the evidence of the Holy Spirit. He then told them to keep practising their mumbo-jumbo so they will know how to do it better, and not lose the gift he had imparted.
Afterwards they brought some biscuits and chips out for everybody to have a snack and offered a cup of tea or coffee. As it happened, the pastor and I got to talking and he asked me to describe my religious experience. I asked him which version the complete version or a shorter version. He said he would settle for the abridged version. So I gave him a snippet of the introduction to the abridged version.
Evidently, having the joy of the Lord is insufficient for salvation, according to him. Having a genuine experience of receiving salvation as I have had is invalid unless I receive in the proper way. I needed to have a ""Potter's House"" experience and do ""The Potter's House" thing.
On the basis of the conversation, it appears to me that the Potter's House movement is in need of serious overhaul in getting its theology right and learning what the truth about God is really. Just chasing people in the streets and telling them they are going to Hell, if they do not repent and be saved the Potters House way, is not salvation. In fact, Jesus warned people about going all out to make converts and making them twice as much a child of Hell as themselves.
On the noticeboard, as I walked in the door, I noticed a letter from the chief of the hierarchy explaining how complaints against Pastors have to be processed. But it is not really scriptural because it is like the peers judging peers. If pastors were true pastors they would care for their flock and not abuse them. Evidently, the problem of abuse has been an issue that warrants letters from the hierarchy. In reality, a true spiritual movement should not really have this problem. A man-made organisation obviously does.
Moreover, I am of the conviction that if someone is really living for God, then that person would be very much a representative of Jesus Christ and people would seek that person out. I am sure that if people are demonstrating the characteristics of Jesus Christ, their reputations would go before them.
As we continued talking, it became apparent to me that ""THE POTTER'S HOUSE" is a man-made religion that gives people who produce growing congregations a self-righteous sense that they are serving God by saving people as they become members of the "THE POTTTER'S HOUSE" religion.
Essentially, the movement holds to the belief that God creates human beings with the sole intent of throwing them into an everlasting fire, unless they cry out in fear and scream out, "God have mercy on me!" After you have done that, by learning how to speak mumbo jumbo, you have the evidence of the Holy Spirit.
The truth is this:
You did not ask to be born into this world, so how can God throw you into an eternal lake of fire to be tortured for ever and ever, if He is a righteous and just Creator.
Furthermore, Jesus said this: "Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice!'"
If Jesus says that God desires mercy to be shown to him, then most of these fire-and-brimstone evangelicals who condem all men to hell-fire unless they repent of the evil of being born a wicked person, and false-baptism-in-the-Holy Spirit Pentecostals, need to be set free from their deception.
The reason why God says He requires mercy is you can judge him for causing you to be born into a sinful, wicked world. Think about it. This is why Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy! Man-made relgion is all about sacrifice, never about loving, caring, giving, forgiving, and understanding the purpose of the Creator, so that life is worth living.