Are you Religious? | Religion Today

Are you into religion?

So many articles are written on "religion". What are your beliefs on religion?

Have you ever been asked, "So what are you... religious or something?" I got to thinking, what does that really mean? How do you answer that question truthfully? So I thought I would do a little investigative work on the subject of "religion" from a Christian perspective.


Religion is all the same right?

First things first:

We must know what it means right? i like to check out the dictionary to see what the experts have to say about something.

Dictionary.com:

re⋅li⋅gion- noun

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. 3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions. 4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion. 5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith. 6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice. 7. religions, Archaic. religious rites. 8. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.


Yowza...that's a big list of words!

That is how the dictionary defines religion.

Biblical definition for religion is much different

Religion in Greek is "qreskeia" and is defined:

  1. religious worship
    1. esp. external, that which consists of ceremonies
      1. religious discipline, religion

This is a noun by the way. It is a person, place, or "thing" . It is not a verb- an action.

Do you find it interesting that the use of the word religion is found only a handful of times in the Bible? Here are the only verses I could come up with-

Acts 26:5 since they have known about me for a long time previously, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion. (This is coming from Paul giving an accounting of who he was).

Colossians 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, (here the word qreskeia is used to indicate worship)

James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.

James 1:27 This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Did you find any others that I missed?

So what - what is the point?

I guess I found it ironic that the Bible-- our source of truth-- has only these things to say about The term "religion":

  • Don't worship angels
  • If you can't control what you say, this thing you call religion is worthless

and that pure religion has the following characteristics:

  • Visit Orphans
  • Visit Widows
  • Be pure

Kind of different than what the dictionary said.  So, this made me start thinking-


Do we practice religion or is it something else?

Would God have had more to say about "religion" if it was the basis of our faith? So why didn't he? Do you think it has to do with the possibility as Christians, we don't practice a "religion"?

WHAT???? That's heresy!

i know it sounds crazy...but consider this:

We don't have a specific "practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith" that "make us" Christian because our faith is based on a personal "relationship" with God.

Wouldn't this be the thing that separates Christianity from every other "religious practice" in this world? It is true there are myriads of religions in the world, all hold to lists of practices, gods, formalities, rituals, traditions, and teachings that must be followed to participate. But to my knowledge none of them claim to actually have a personal relationship with their diety(s).

Christianity, on the other hand, has at its foundation-- not a list of practices-- but a relationship in which we know God!

Consider this- we don't have a list of "practices" on how to have a relationship with our parents right? we are just are born into the family and we spend our life getting to know them. Our Father in heaven is the same way.

We are born (again) into the family of God and spend the rest of our lives getting to know him. And just as your earthly family has "rules", or a set of values, we live out as a family member (for instance in my family we try to be courteous to one another), our family in Christ also has "rules or values" for how we should live with each other and the world. But this is not the foundation for "being in the family"-- our relationship is the "being in" part.

If we aren't in a relationship with God- than aren't we just "practicing religion"?

if we can grasp what separates Christianity from all the religions of the world, i think this would be the key:

John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

So the next time someone asks you, "are you religious"? How would you answer them?


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Comments 13 comments

eonsaway profile image

eonsaway 7 years ago from New Mexico, USA

Thought provoking.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 7 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks eonsaway! I appreciate your comment.


jesusmyjoy profile image

jesusmyjoy 7 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

great


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 7 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks for reading JMJ!


Sciantel 7 years ago

I'll tell you this. God is an awesome God and He is not a religion! He is fact, 100 percent the truth whether people see this or not, that doesn't make Him any the less, just them who refuse to believe.


shazz01109 profile image

shazz01109 7 years ago from Western Massachusetts

Thanks for the kind words to my latest article. I enjoyed this article, and it reminds me of how people forget that humans created religion, not God.


jimcain207 profile image

jimcain207 7 years ago from HUMPHREY, ARKANSAS

Well said. I have always said that it is a relationship, not a religion. John ch3 tells of Nicodemus. He was religious, but lost. Jesus said,"John 3:7

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

In all there is, religion cannot offer this.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 7 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks for the great comments! I appreciate the opportunity to share with all of you!!


Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 7 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

Very substantial Hub! Informative, thought provoking, clarifying, defining, well thought out and put together. I would answer, No, I have a personal relationship with God :) Thank You so much for th


Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 7 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

Very substantial Hub! Informative, thought provoking, clarifying, defining, well thought out and put together. I would answer, No, I have a personal relationship with God :) Thank You so much for this Hub, it is excellent!


goffie33 profile image

goffie33 7 years ago from Delaware

The definition of religion that I believe is any attempt to clothe yourself from the righteousness of God. Some may agree and some may not but the truth is religion is man made and this is why there are so many religions. We see proof of that in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve clothed themselves with fig leaves after they ate from the forbidden tree. Then religious is a repetitious act to where you were raised in church so you go because it is the normal thing for you to do but yet after church your back to doing unholy things for the rest of the week. Jesus said upon this rock I build my church Not religion....


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed your fine Hub. I am religious by the definition of Webster. Somehow the word itself has been twisted to mean something sinister by the Godless and even some who are Godly. I'm not into rituals, but the rest of the definition applies to me. Thanks for the good work here.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 7 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks KB, GoF33, and JW for your thoughts! I appreciate you taking time to read what I wrote and making a thoughtful comment. Words can sure change meaning over time. That is why I like to explore what people think about definitions of things. To see if we are all thinking the same thing or not.

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