Monday, October 09, 2006

Religion not Relationship

I've noticed on many Facebook profiles that followers of Christ clarify the item where "Religion" is defined. Many state that "it's not religion, it's relationship." A popular saying is along the lines of "we all need a personal relationship with God." Where is "personal relationship" used in the Bible? This cliche, Christian catchphrase that began at somepoint in the 1970s was used to describe Christianity as more than meaningless, empty, religious ritual. I will concede that such a phrase may have been necessary at a certain time in a certain place. I pose, however, that our time and place necessitates the very opposite type of language. Following Christ is religious. It does, indeed, involve intimate conversation, listening, solitude, and other such things that may be deemed "relational with God." It does involve social action, compassion, and ministry that also may be deemed "relational with others." Are these things not also religious? Are we scared to admit that following the way of Christ is spiritual and religious?

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." The Letter of James, Chapter 1, Verse 27.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good point!

Matthew 5:38-48, NASB

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone want to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only you brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."