Is Christianity a religion or relation?
I’ve noticed a lot of rants and opinions online saying that Christianity is not a religion rather its a relation with Jesus Christ. Now I agree that Christianity is about being in a relation with Jesus. No doubt on that but I maintain that Christianity is a religion.
People must not jump on this bandwagon of ‘Christianity is not a religion’ because it simply confuses people of other religions and also Christians too. Also in certain countries you must mention your religion for official purposes. Like on your birth or marriage certificate you need to mention your religion. So if you tell them Christianity is what you follow but it’s not a religion, then they will give you strange looks and say you have gone insane.
Also this ‘Christianity is not a religion’ statement must be subject to the test of the scriptures.
1 John 4:1-3 Dear friends, don’t believe every spirit. Test the spirits to see if they are from God because many false prophets have gone into the world. This is how you know if a spirit comes from God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come as a human is from God, and every spirit that doesn’t confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is now already in the world.
And it’s not just the above verses, it must be consistent with the entire Bible. I’ve noticed that the ‘Christianity is not a religion’ stuff is mainly directed at legalistic individuals but the tone that is used is often very rude. It’s good to be against legalism and ritualistic attitudes in the Christian faith. However in the fight against bad traditions we must not lose out on our heritage. By this I mean we must never contradict the Bible while going against legalism.
Someone may ask where does the Bible say that Christianity is a religion. There are verses that do. Here we go:
James 1:26-27 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The above verses are definitely not about Judaism which emphasizes on animal sacrifice. Neither are they about any other religion except the Christian faith. Here the religion of Christianity is not defined by the usual things that are associated with traditions but rather how people have self control and love God our Father and watch out for those in need. It even includes living a holy life. That’s the Christian religion!