When religion impedes spiritual growth

Except you are more spiritual than the religious class (scribes and Pharisees), you will never enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus warned his listeners. Now that was a severe rebuke to the holier-than-thou crowd!

Elsewhere, Jesus accused the lawyers, apparently of the same class, for having "taken away the key of knowledge," refusing it for themselves, and hindering those that that were striving for it!! (Luke 11: 52) No wonder they wanted to get rid of him.

What does this mean for us, today? Each one is responsible for his own entry into the kingdom. Watch out for assuming those higher up in the religious echelons, those who enjoy the esteem of the world, are spiritually advanced. Submitting to this falsity actually impedes your own spiritual growth. 

“Christianity is not dishonest, but our religions are; to rule mankind and conciliate society at the expense of Truth, yea, to be popular is the weakness of the world. He that leaves all for Truth, and is falsely accused and hated because of Christianity, is wise; the world will believe error and be slow to admit Truth.” (1st Edition of Science and Health)

To those struggling for a higher understanding, dissatified with the status quo, the Beatitude applies: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."