Amid the modern Christian culture catchphrases and the hype of churches that are just self help groups has emerged a thought that has taken hold and is repeated even by those who solidly believe in scripture.
The thought that is repeated?
Christianity isn’t a religion; it’s a relationship.
That statement is neither logical nor is it biblical.
Now, before I address the logic or the scripture behind my argument, first let me say that I understand the spirit in which this saying is used. The idea appeals to Christians in order to make a distinction between Christianity and other religions. I give credit for the desire to set Christianity apart for what it is: a deeply meaningful relationship with the creator. But, intentions behind its use don’t negate the actual flaws in this idea.
Let’s address those flaws.
Logically, the claim the Christianity isn’t a religion is flawed.
The definition of religion courtesy of Google:
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
synonyms: faith, belief, worship, creed;
Does that not absolutely, undeniably describe Christianity? Do we not believe in and worship a controlling power with superhuman qualities? In our belief system He is not human, but how else would one describe the qualities we believe He has if you were unfamiliar with the concept of God? You’d describe them as superhuman. Can we then honestly claim that Christianity is not a religion? And how does it look to those outside our group when we deny something that’s so plainly obvious? It looks like we are truth deniers and that we unreliable to stand for truth. This hurts our testimony with unbelievers which is ironic because its proponents are trying to use it as an outreach tool.
Biblically, the claim the Christianity isn’t a religion is flawed.
Be it far from me to ever deny or contradict what the scripture clearly states. As a Christian, I ought to take what the scriptures say very seriously. I claim sola scriptura, but do I actually mean it? The truth is in how I respond when I find that something I say or do is not aligned with scripture. Do I ignore it? Or acknowledge it and change?
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James clearly describes Christianity as a religion.
Who am I to say it is not?
I should never –not even with the best of intentions– contradict what the Bible says. This is a dangerous and slippery slope which I should stay far away from.
What we should do is call Christianity “True Religion” because all other religions are worshiping false gods. All other religions make life about rules, but Christianity –the true religion– is about a relationship with God Himself.
This argument is both logical and Biblical.