Religion or Relationship: A Christian Dilemma
By Barrett Wolf
Religion has been a dirty word, in my Christian community experiences. I was raised as a non-denominational Bible-believing Christian.
I’ve always been taught that religion and religiousness is bad, but Christianity is good; that my faith and church experiences are not “religion”, but distinct from religion because it is based on a “relationship” with God.
However, there are just as many elements of religion that exist within the Christian church communities with which I’ve associated my whole life. I’ve been just as religious as anyone else in any other religion. I’ve realized that Christianity is a religion and it grows/changes/evolves like every other religion. It also sets social rules, expectations, and judgments and mandates behavior just like any other religion.
If you are reading this and you also have been taught that Christianity is not a “religion” but a “relationship”, I’d like to know your thoughts here. Also, keep in mind that many other people of other religions claim as well to have a “relationship” with their god(s). Many of them pray, meditate, serve and study just as much as you.
Can religion produce a relationship with God? Or does having relationship with God mean that you should not/cannot be religious?