Are You Religious or Are You a Christian ?– Part 1
Awhile back, I was on the telephone with someone I had not spoken to in quite some time. We chatted about this and that, and then she said to me, “I know you are religious.” I sort of chuckled and said, “I am not religious, but I am a Christian.”
We continued talking, catching up on our lives, and then we said our good-byes. Long after our call had ended, I kept hearing in my head, “You are religious." It was stuck in my claw and I could not seem to let it go. I prayed about it and I chewed on it for weeks.
One day, as I was again pondering this comment, I heard my spirit man say, “Janet, what do you expect? Many who do not know the Lord view everyone as 'religious'. They simply are not aware that there is a BIG difference between someone who is religious and someone who is a Christian. Unless someone points out the difference, how will they ever know?” So true! Didn’t I think everyone was "religious" before I knew the truth?
No doubt a book could be written on this subject, but, for now, I just want to highlight the difference between "religious' and "a Christian"on the off chance that you do not know it. Since the person who referred to me as religious has not spent much time around me, I take no offense in what she said; however, had it been someone that knew me well. . . someone that is in my circle . . . someone that proclaims to be a Christian herself . . . who had referred to me as "religious", not only would I have been offended, but I would have had to do some internal house cleaning. I would have had to take a better look at me and my walk. There is such a gap between being religious and being a Christian that to confuse them is difficult if you are knowledgeable in His Word.
I have left relationships because of religious behavior. I have lost friends over religion. Religious behavior drives people away. It is what has turned so many from wanting to attend church. It has made many refuse to take a second look at Christ. It has kept people from having a desire to know more . . . to learn the truth. Religion is not a true relationship with God.
Religion puts you under the microscope and seeks the wrongs in your life. It points fingers. It accuses. It lays out for you all the things in your life you should not be doing. It judges you. It measures your walk with Christ on whether you are doing this or that. It is full of man-made laws.
One day, I was having a conversation with this guy who was having issues with his son. This man is "religious" in every sense of the word. He gossips. He stirs up strife. He sees only the wrong in people. He was trying to get his son to go to church with him, and he was feeling very frustrated over his lack of success. He was giving me examples of all the things in his son’s life that needed to be corrected. He said to me, “I came home the other day, and he had this rap music blaring from the speakers. I was so irritated. So I ran in the house, cut off the music, and said to him, ‘Son, this is wrong. It is a sin to listen to this type of music.'” As I listened to him further share things he had said to his son, my skin was cringing. I thought to myself, “Seriously! How in the world do you ever expect to win your son to the Lord like that?” I finally had heard enough, so I shared my thoughts with him. I tried to share scripture to show him that judging was not our right. We are to win with love. This man would have none of it. He wanted to point out the ten commandments and preach to me about why this world is so full of evil doing. My heart hurt for him because he truly thought his way was the way of Christ! His behavior was typical of a religious person.
Come back next week to read part 2 of my testimony.
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