Jesus: Religion, Relationship, or both?

“Being a Christian is not a religion, it’s a relationship.” Heard that before? Probably. And you probably ate it up.

Religion: a particular system of faith and worship. Originally in the sense ‘life under monastic vows’.

monastic vows: their (monks, nuns, etc.) manner of life, or their religious obligations.

Religion is a personal thing. Our beliefs and faith reflect on us. While a religion can and will be impersonal, to a person, it’s quite personal. Conventional Muslims may perform “honor killings” while Christians may disown children over certain sins.

Oftentimes, you’ll hear that Jesus Christ wasn’t a religious person. If so, why was he baptized when it was, and still is, a religious action? Actions speak louder than words. Yes, Jesus did condemn religious leaders, but he also showed the higher standards God had for His people. True religion involves one thing: worship God.

Worshipping God comes in many forms. We aren’t limited to a particular stance (i.e Islam and half prostration). It is true that religion has been used as a tool to manipulate, brainwash, and dominate humans. You don’t have to believe that even Christianity is this way, just take a look at the views of women throughout Christian history.

Despite all the good and bad that can be found in any system of beliefs or faith, the core Christian belief is religious. Being a Christian means being religous. Jesus set the standard higher with marriage. So to follow marriage as Jesus said is to be religious and is worshipping God.

The only one difference that sets Christianity (under Christ) apart from other religions is the relationship. Muhammad’s Islam, for example, does not allow their god to dwell inside humans. This makes his religion impersonal. While followers of Muhammad can talk to their god, he cannot talk back. He can improve their lives, but their beliefs only allow for monologue during prayer.

Christianity teaches differently. You can speak to God and He can speak to you, although, many Christians only hear His “voice” when they read the Bible. The Bible states that God will pour out His spirit upon all flesh. That’s quite personal.

Following Jesus doesn’t stop at relationship, it follows through via religion.

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