Sunday, June 26, 2011

Religion vs. Christianity

I feel like I may make some people angry with this post, so we'll see how it goes..

I often tell people that I hate religion and almost every time, people retort "Ha, yeah right Ashley. You're probably the most religious person I know". I try not to let that get to me, because I know they see religion differently than I do. But really, I hate that response.

To be part of a religion means that you believe or follow a particular system of faith. A system is "a set of procedures according to which something is done". It's more about the procedures. Sort of like a check list of sorts.

  • Am I going to church?
  • Am I involved in the church?
  • Am I a "good person"?
  • Do I help people?
  • Do I know church songs?
  • Do I dress appropriately?
  • Do I believe in a god?
It's like if we answer "yes" to all of those things, then we're good to go. I think that this is the start to lazy Christianity. I'm not saying that none of those things are good. In fact, they are all good and I would hope that Christ followers can answer "yes" to most, if not all, of those. But we don't end there. There is more. 

The God that I believe in isn't a god made from humans, dependent on us, needing anything from us. In every other religion, it seems to be about humans trying to connect with God. Humans making sacrifices, humans being "good", humans trying to make a god love them. In Christianity, it's the other way around. It's about God trying to connect with humans. It's about God making the ultimate sacrifice. It's about God sending His son to die for them so that they may be saved. It's about a God who loves people and trying to bring them back. 

To go beyond that, many people get caught into a trap. Here are some common mistakes about religion, specifically Christianity:
  1. It's inherited
    1. John 3:3-6
    2. Just because you grew up in the church or your parents are Christians doesn't mean you are
    3. It's not about who you are or where you're from.
  2. It's just a belief
    1. Easy to say you believe in something because that doesn't require much change or action
    2. Actions need to match words, or words don't mean much. 
    3. James 2:14-16
    4. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  3. It's just an action
    1. You're not a Christian just because you don't drink, smoke, swear, etc. 
    2. It's not just about doing
      1. It's about believing and doing
    3. John 3:16--belief of Jesus must be there
  4. It's about perfection
    1. There seems to be a myth that once you're a Christian, you have to be perfect. 
    2. If we could be perfect, there would be not reason for Jesus. 
    3. Romans 5:8
In essence, Christianity isn't about us. It's not about what we can do or what we have done or where we came from or anything like that. It's all about Jesus. It's about Him dying for us and loving us. 

"We are not religious people who have it all together, rather we are people who are desperately loved by Jesus and were radically transformed by Him."

You see the greatest lie every told is that the Christian life is boring. It’s meant only for old people who want to try to get into Heaven or for the whack job who doesn’t have the mental fortitude to muddle through their difficulties. If that’s what Christianity is I wonder what Bible I’ve been reading…I must have some how got the unrated version where men and women live passionately, fight zealously, and die without regrets (recognizing they will never die). Or maybe we’ve just been blinded for so long we’d rather settle for lies than grasp the Truth. (Found on:

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