Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is a way of life

I stumbled on a blog this morning, by name: Light Her Lamp, and the post I read is this: (click here) from which I quote:

Christianity is a Religion, but more than that, it embodies the heart of God, that He sent His only begotten son just so that you and I can be close to Him (redemption)- and that we can be broken from shackles which bound us in our past.

But we must travel beyond the walls of Religion, we must be the hands and feet, and we must have ears to hear the words God is telling our generation today. This blog is not merely about Religion. We are more than rules and regulations. We are more than Religion.

I beg to differ that CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A RELIGION. I don’t think so. If Christianity is a religion, then we would conclude that whatever God the Father, Jesus the Son and God the Holy Spirit planned for manking is a mere religion? If Christianity is a religion, then God didn’t have to send Jesus, His own Son to establish it. The objective of the plan of salvation that began after man sinned and was cast out of Eden was not to establish a religion.

No, Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is a way of life.

The Acts of the Apostles document it that the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. Please note that Jesus never gave his disciples any collective name / title / description, neither did he leave any instruction to that effect. He simply called them “disciples”. All the Pharisees, Sadicees, etc..cees at the time of Jesus never referred to Jesus / His disciples as Christians.

When Jesus was on earth, the focus was on Him – He was the center of attraction. He was the one who won the popularity contest among his disciples. If fact, He almost couldn’t be publicly identified / picked out from the disciples, thats why Judas was recruited to give “the real Jesus” a kiss – so that the right person could be arrested. Jesus was the one who preached the sermons, He was the one who healed the sick and raised the dead, He was the one who fed the hungry, He was the one who performed all the miracles. The Phariceess, Saducees, and all other religious leaders at that time listened to Jesus’ teachings, they knew there was a man named Jesus. And for every little thing that happened amongst the disciples, they came back to Jesus for the next step forward. Nobody bothered about the disciples. Jesus was the focus, not His disciples – not Peter, not James, not John, not even Judas who betrayed him.

And after Jesus went up into Heaven, His disciples were said to have continued “daily in the temple” just like Jesus did; living day in and out, just like Jesus did. Their actions, in-actions, interests, speech, association, physical appearance, spiritual state of mind; whatever attracted their attention, whatever sustained / repelled their interest, everything about their everyday life must have so resembled that of Jesus that the people at Antioch could not call them by any other name. If the disciples have deviated from the Jesus lifestyle, their immediate environment of people won’t have called them Christians.

The citizens at Antioch, after observing the lifestyle of these disciples nicknamed them Christians. I wonder: they could have thought that the name “Christian”, where the word “Christ” was inclusive(the starting point) was the most appropriate description of whatever observations they(‘Antiochites’) gathered about the disciples. The only thing that crossed the mind of the people at Antioch as they observed the disciples was the name “Christ”. The disciples must have talked, walked, preached, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, lived publicly and privately exactly like Jesus – to be named after Him.

Christianity is not a religion, it is a lifestyle: a lifestyle that is synonymous to that of Jesus; a lifestyle that reminds the world around us of just one man – Jesus; a lifestyle that reminds people of Calvary, the He who was crucified on it and the reason why He died; one that points them to the cross; a lifestyle of love and actions that spell good and favor toward all; a lifestyle of of openness, forgiveness, longsuffering, peace and harmony towards all men. Christianity is a lifestyle that seeks to do the will of God the Father – to obey God rather than men. Christianity is a lifestyle that loves to the end; one that isn’t self serving, one that seeks no revenge to wrong-doers; one that seeks to give without expecting returns – the life of sacrifice, the lifestyle of Jesus.

And is this lifestyle really new? Was it Jesus that started it? No. Several people who lived before Jesus had pleased God with their lives.

  • Was Abraham a Christian? No, yet he talked with God, he was called Gods Friend.
  • Was Moses a Christian? No, yet God so revealed Himself to him that his(Moses) face shone. In fact, God buried Moses when he died.
  • Was Jacob a Christian? No, yet with all his ups and downs in life, he fought with an angel until his name got changed.
  • Was Elijah a Christian? No, yet he pleased God so well that God sent one of His chariots to pick him up to Heaven – alive.
  • Enoch – he was not, for God took him.
  • Was Elisha a Christian, No, yet he had twice of Elijah’s anointing. He didn’t fail to demonstrate “the God of Elijah”.

The many prophets of old were not Christians, yet they had relationships with God that manifested in their everyday life.

All the above, and many more in the Bible had spectacular relationships with God that made God do the extra-ordinary in their lives and through them.

If Christianity is a religion, then it might be no different from the many religions in our present day world where the major aim isn’t making a positive difference in the present, but following a set of rules to pass an examination for eternity. Unfortunately, such people become useless and irrelevant to their immediate environment.

Coming to the new-testament, was Jesus Himself a Christian? No, He was the son of God. He had a relationship with God. He took instructions from God.

Were he disciples Christians, No? they were called Christians because their way of life could be summarised by the words “Jesus the Christ”.

Then I would say that the ultimate goal of everyman should be to have a relationship with God that shows positively in the way we live our lives. But God didn’t leave us in confusion. Without Jesus, people who believe in God would have wandered who they could take after. Which prophet would be the guiding light? Who is the best/greatest among the prophets? We(Christians) would have been asking ourselves who we should take after. Is it Abraham or Moses or Elisha or Daniel? Who exactly should be the focus? But God sent His only Son, Jesus and set Him as the ultimate example for believers to follow.

Consider this: before a true Christian takes an action, he or she would ask: what would Jesus really do in this situation? Whatever Jesus would have done, whatever He could have said, wherever He would have gone to, whatever decision / opinion He would have chosen, whatever stand Jesus would have taken is what a true Christian would do.

OJ

Ayotokunbo Ajewole, an engineer, an avid writer, and blogger (a.k.a OmoJesus)

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OJ

Ayotokunbo Ajewole, an engineer, an avid writer, and blogger (a.k.a OmoJesus)

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10 Comments

  • Mathew 7:22 and 2john 1:9 are telling me that what yall are doing may not be true to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Also where is the repentance? The word of God is what is powerful, but it seems to me that yall arent using that. We have the holy spirit to dissern what is right from wrong but we also have the word. I don’t see yall using the word. If I’m wrong please help me understand.

  • if christianity is not a religion, how can you adress people bout the book of james? That talks bout a true Religion? Is’nt talking about christianity?

    • Hi there,

      I guess you are referring to Jam1:27 which says: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

      We cannot pick out the word “religion” in that passage all by itself.
      For a person to visit the fatherless and care for widows in their affliction and to keep himself/herself unspotted from the world – refers to a A CHOICE OF A WAY OF LIFE / living. This choice might not be popular / common. It requires daily sacrifices to be made while living.

      Note: this doesn’t mean that the person has no other business or activity that requires his attention.

      The passage actually proves my point that Christianity is not a religion, and that Christianity is a way of life.

      To put it differently, we could say James 1:27 is telling us that if there is / are anything/s we should be “religious” about, it should be “visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself un-spotted from the world” – acts of daily kindness and love to one another, while our own personal holiness is not compromised.

  • If our focus is to live the christian lifestle,rather than believing in the Lord Jesus,who ultimately is the Christian’ lifestyle,we will fall into works.Fully believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is enough,cause that takes us to fully live the Christian lifestyle and NOT the other way around.Not living the Christian lifestyle will have a person to purposely decided not to.

  • Brethren there is no confusion on the topic disicused the writer just want us to understand that to be a christian isn’t just been an orbserver of religion do ‘N’ dont but to live a crucified life Galatia 2:20

  • Christainity is more of a relationship than a Religion. Religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.” In that respect, Christianity can be classified as a religion. However, practically speaking, Christianity has a key difference that separates it from other belief systems that are considered religions. That difference is relationship.

    Most religion, theistic or otherwise, is man-centered. Any relationship with God is based on man’s works. A theistic religion, such as Judaism or Islam, holds to the belief in a supreme God or gods; while non-theistic religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, focus on metaphysical thought patterns and spiritual “energies.” But most religions are similar in that they are built upon the concept that man can reach a higher power or state of being through his own efforts.
    In that regard, Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship that God has established with His children. In Christianity, God is the aggressor and man is the beneficiary ( Romans 8:3 ). The Bible states clearly that there is nothing man can do to make himself right with God ( Isaiah 53:6 ; 64:6 ; Romans 3:23 ;
    6:23 ). According to Christianity, God did for us what we cannot do for ourselves ( Colossians 2:13 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 ). Our sin separates us from His presence, and sin must be punished ( Romans 6:23 ;

    Matthew 10:28 ; 23:33 ). But, because God loves us, He took our punishment upon Himself. All we must do is accept God’s gift of salvation through faith ( Ephesians 2:8–9 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 ). Grace is God’s blessing on the undeserving.

    The grace-based relationship between God and man is the foundation of Christianity and the antithesis of religion. Established religion was one of the staunchest opponents of Jesus during His earthly ministry. When God gave His Law to the Israelites, His desire was that they “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ;

    Matthew 22:37 ). “Love” speaks of relationship. Obedience to all the other commands had to stem from a love for God. We are able to love Him “because He first loved us” ( 1 John 4:19 ). However, by Jesus’ time, the Jewish leaders had made a religion out of God’s desire to live in a love relationship with them ( 1 Timothy 1:8 ; Romans 7:12 ). Over the years, they had perverted God’s Law into a works-based religion that alienated people from Him ( Matthew 23:13–15 ; Luke 11:42 ). Then they added many of their own rules to make it even more cumbersome ( Isaiah 29:13 ; Matthew 15:9 ). They prided themselves on their ability to keep the Law—at least outwardly—and lorded their authority over the common people who could never keep such strenuous rules. The Pharisees, as adept as they were at rule-keeping, failed to recognize God Himself when He was standing right in front of them ( John 8:19 ). They had chosen religion over relationship.

    Just as the Jewish leaders made a religion out of a relationship with God, many people do the same with Christianity. Entire denominations have followed the way of the Pharisees in creating rules not found in Scripture. Some who profess to follow Christ are actually following man-made religion in the name of Jesus. While claiming to believe Scripture, they are often plagued with fear and doubt that they may not be good enough to earn salvation or that God will not accept them if they don’t perform to a certain standard. This is religion masquerading as Christianity, and it is one of Satan’s favorite tricks. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 23:1–7 when He rebuked the Pharisees. Instead of pointing people to heaven, these religious leaders were keeping people out of the kingdom of God.

    Holiness and obedience to Scripture are important, but they are evidences of a transformed heart, not a means to attain it. God desires that we be holy as He is holy ( 1 Peter 1:16 ). He wants us to grow in grace and knowledge of Him ( 2 Peter 3:18 ). But we do these things because we are His children and want to be like Him, not in order to earn His love.

    Christianity is not about signing up for a religion. Christianity is about being born into the family of God ( John 3:3 ). It is a relationship. Just as an adopted child has no power to create an adoption, we have no power to join the family of God by our own efforts. We can only accept His invitation to know Him as Father through adoption ( Ephesians 1:5 ; Romans 8:15 ). When we join His family through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside our hearts ( 1 Corinthians 6:19 ;

    Luke 11:13 ; 2 Corinthians 1:21–22 ). He then empowers us to live like children of the King. He does not ask us to try to attain holiness by our own strength, as religion does. He asks that our old self be crucified with Him so that His power can live through us ( Galatians 2:20 ;

    Romans 6:6 ). God wants us to know Him, to draw near to Him, to pray to Him, and love Him above everything. That is not religion; that is a relationship.

  • In essence, a muslim can be a Christian because he loves, sacrifices and is humble, etc. Likewise, we can absolutely get as much as mqny people who are Christians from other religions of the world. Isn’t it?

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