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What's the difference between Christianity and Religion?

Updated on April 3, 2009

Christianity is Christ Like

The saddest part of people’s beliefs today is the one where they believe Christianity is a Religion. Way out. Never!

Billy Graham once stated that if there ever was a country that would go to hell because of their religion it would be the United States of America. Why would a man who loves God before everything else make a statement like that?

There are many religions out there but only one Christianity.

To be a Christian is to be the splitting image or twin of Christ. You have to imitate Him to the maximum.

Not an easy task as He was perfect and we are striving to perfection. He was and is still perfect.

Who created Christianity? Paul or Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ, or God in the flesh, created Christianity, Paul perfected it.

Can a Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian or Brethren be a Christian? Yes they can. As all their religions follow the Triune Godhead and the teachings thereof.

The Catholics follow the Pope for their teachings and religion but Christ as their way of life. The Methodists would then follow John Wesley for their religious teachings, but still Christ as a way of life. So then how can religion and Christianity be the same, or Christianity be a religion?

Mt 28:19
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:(a) 19.(a). teach...: or, make disciples, or, Christians of all nations

Ac 11:26
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Ga 1:14
And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. (a) 14. a. equals: Gr. equals in years

Jas 1:26
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

Religion is Tradition - Christianity is a way of life.

Religion was supposed to come to an end at the cross. However, due to mans' inherent disobedience to God and not wanting to follow in His ways, Christianity isn't easy, we still have religion today. Many Catholics still follow the heathen ways taught to them through the generations, but few speak Christ on their lips or even know He has saved them.

Many other religions mix their religious beliefs with politics. Daniels states we as Christians should stand up and be counted. We should constantly strive to seek God's will. We should continuously pray to Him, giving Him praises and honour and glory.

We should strive to be righteous. In doing this we are seen as perfect in God's eyes. The angels rejoice with Him when sinners receive the Holy Spirit in their lives. They weep when a soul is lost to the fires.

There is constant bickering in Religion where there is only love amongst Christians. Just as the Muslims state that to be truly Muslim you must obey every law given in the Koran. God originally gave us ten commandments, but He reduced them to two. Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind, and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love your neighbour as yourself. All the rest of the commandments are built into only those two.

However, just as He gives you only two, He also states that should you break one the commandments you break them all.

So how do we see Christianity and religion? Religion is a teaching and a tradition. Handed down through the generations. Christianity is a way of life given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It's a means to cleanse our thoughts and hearts. It’s a means to bring us to the feet of Christ. It’s a means to make requests that only our heavenly Father can answer.

It’s that warm fuzzy we experience when we know that our Lord and Saviour is near to us, loves us and keeps us eternally safe.



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    • profile image

      James 3 years ago

      James 1:26-1:27

      26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

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      jeremy 4 years ago

      There is nothing new under the sun; as satan told the woman that she could disobey God and be like Him, knowing good from evil, we find the church today creating for them selves there own personal Jesus, by finding a gathering of people (a church) that will allow them to continue on in the sin(s) they are comfortable with. It is time that the remnant of Jesus Christ rise up and die to all of there own ambitions, and live unto Christ. Then will the world once again see the manifestation of Jesus Christ in the earth. This can only be done by eating and drinking Jesus Christ.

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      Daniel 4 years ago

      Christianity is not the only way of life but it is a life of Christ in man. Also it is a fellowship of the Holy Spirit with man continuously.Therefore christianity is a path God have made to bring man back to Himself. To God be the glory, Amen.

    • profile image

      Tee315 6 years ago

      Someone made a statement on my job about me being a religious person. I quickly corrected this person and stated that I am a Christian. I am not bound to rules and regulations. Being a Christian, I have freedom in Christ. As a matter of fact, I go to church every Sunday to be fed spiritually as well as worship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I don't attend a denominational church with all their man-made rules and regulations. I don't go to church because "it is the right thing to do." May God open the blind eyes. In Jesus's name. Amen. By the way, this is a great hub!

    • profile image

      Esomchi 6 years ago

      Never u think that religion is christianity.just as tradition teaches u custom so as religion teaches u christianity

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      Chinedu 6 years ago

      in what ever way we chooses, once we are doing it to the glory of God the Father and Jesus Christ(who became the visible expression of the invisible Father) just all for Jesus to His Glory is alright

    • Yeshuan profile image

      Yeshuan 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Being a Christian is to have a relationship with God and learning how to love like Christ loves. This is a lifelong process. Religion is a group of like-minded(usually) people who get together to carry out their perception of their god's/God's will for them. Christianity is a religion made up of many denominations. Being a Christian is a relationship. It may seem like semantics, but, the distinction is important.

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      joseph obregoro  6 years ago

      It is erroneogus to believe that christianity is a religion,and a slap and insult to Jesus who gave us life.Christ did come to give us religion but relationship.It is erroneous to count christianity among religions we have.Religion is man reaching God but relationship God reaching man.

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      frikkie botes 6 years ago

      My sheep wil know my voice. All christians practicing religion are followers of Paul and not of Jesus. Paul turned christianity into a religion.

    • vogue4us profile image

      vogue4us 6 years ago from USA

      In my journey as a Christian I found it very useful when I heard this, Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God through walking with Christ; Christ like. Jesus made it possible on the cross and through resurrection. 1 John 5 and many other scriptures help us to decern what our faith is all about.

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      Otsile Kgaoganyeng 6 years ago

      Religion is the mass confusion of all nations to keep people from worshiping God who sent his only beggoten so Jesus christ and the holy spirit... Now this must realy come from a fool. He believes that satan is on this earth but he doesn't believe that there is stupid you decide. With lots of love from Jesus christ may u do ur part in serving God...

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      Glory 6 years ago

      It seems now days that whenever religion is mentioned then the little violin breaks out with the same old saying "Religion is for nut jobs", I have been told that to be religious means that you are schizophrenic, that to talk to God out loud means that you are schizophrenic. Does that mean that everyone who says anything out loud to God is a schizo? Just asking. Great article by the way.

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      Amaka udeh 6 years ago

      religion is tradition,a doctrine,a searbh to b approved by christ,while christianity is christ-like life,it is a finished work on d cross of calvary.,living a life of christ,following his footstep (looking unto Jesus,the author and finisher our faith).A typical picture of christianity is seen in psalm 119:105'ur word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path..The peace of d Lord be with you

    • orlansison profile image

      orlansison 6 years ago from Pangasinan Philippines

      Praise God its a nice hub that you have...thanks a lot.

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      Richard benson 7 years ago

      God bless ur ministry,i have been telling a friend of mine and a preacher of the gospel(innocent okon) that christianity is not a religion but he'd rather argue it out,bringing his perpective from dictionary definition of religion.thanks 4 leting many ignorant people to know that christianity is not a religion but the live of christ in man,bcos christ died 4 our sins for us to live his live on earth,no wonder the spirit inspired apostle paul to write "'the life that i life that i live is no longer mine but christ's'"so we christian we christian who are a result of FINISHED work of calvary should rejoice and be excedingly glad for christ in us is the hope of glory.

    • Bima.Purnawan1 profile image

      Bima.Purnawan1 7 years ago from Republic of Indonesia

      Christianity and religion are very different.

      Christian is the experience of living with the Lord Jesus or those who follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus and live like Jesus.

      Thank you - God Bless

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      talgoma1 7 years ago

      I would like to add that at some point in time and still someplaces now, Christianity Judaism and Islam have participated in apartheid regimes,murder for greed and castration . no one could touch their women but their own,however it's alright for them (by force)to have yours whenever they wanted. Christians or so called christians have been resposible for the deaths of more people for greed, than the other two put together, and Islam has a 600 year headstart on the Christians.

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      talgoma1 7 years ago

      God never gave anyone religion they are all manmade. no verses in the old testament mentioning Judaism as the religion taught or practiced by Abraham ,Moses Jacob or any of the prophets and none in the new testament mentioning Christianity as the religion taught or practiced by Jesus. Religion is created by man as is his laws ..manmade and selectively applied.There are nearly 600 different denominations of Christianity and all claim to be the right one and all are sinners to their core. God never gave mabn religion because he is fallible, he gave laws statuetes and commandments so that we treat each other one and all with equity if we follow them correctly. Judaism , Chrastianity and Islam are all religions that have felt it be right that you be a muslim christian or jew and yet still be someones slave. That tells me either the religion is fraudulent or the people who have advocated it are devils.

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      sryan 7 years ago

      "God has no religion." .....Gandhi

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      Doug 7 years ago

      you can't perfect what is perfect. paul didn't do anything but participate in what jesus was/is doing.

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      EnglishM 7 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this hub, mmminternational. You are certainly on the right track. I have some details that you might find enlightening.

    • herlitte profile image

      herlitte 7 years ago

      i grew up in a Christian household, and i thought of Christianity as just a religion itself. but knowing Christ personally at the age of 15 [2 yrs ago] changed my point of view. it is way different. its freedom! just knowing that there is someone who loves you so much that He died for your place [even though you didn't know Him] He did it because of His love. Jesus did it for His love for you. and it is so amazing how by His amazing grace He's saved me and not because of my works which religions require. It is only through faith. Praise Jesus!

    • Chris EastMan profile image

      Chris EastMan 8 years ago

      Praise God ! May the holy spirit lead you always !

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      tdawn22 8 years ago

      I love love love this. I was just telling someone the very same thing. People have so confused "Christianity" as being a religion. A great minister of God, Myles Munroe, has a great message about the Kingdom of God. He says that Jesus didn't come to start a religion, He came to create a culture; a Kingdom culture. Jesus preached the Kingdom, not a religion. The King provides for his heirs. God bless.

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      henry fidelis 8 years ago

      I am somuch excited with your explanation

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      Paraglider ~ yes, Billy Graham taught what Jesus taught.  Anyone who is a Christian teaches what Jesus taught.  If you wish to know more about the gospel, feel free to email me or anyone leaving comments on this hub thus far, for that matter.  We'd be happy to share the truth with you.  I personally wrote a hub on hell, if you'd like to see what the Word says.

      The Spirit moved me to study on the word LOVE in these two commandments. Loving God is agape love (attachment as friendship) and loving our neighbor as ourselves is agapo love, which is the same way we love our enemies (morally, socially, principled).  This is to feed, clothe and shelter them when needed and share the gospel with them.  However, to love the world in the same way we love God makes us an enemy of Christ (John 4:4-5).  The way we love our brothers and sisters in Christ is not only agape (in His love), but brotherly love (philadelphia).  For all these types of love, the world will know, and other Christians, too, that we are Christians.

      When the doctrines/traditions of men make works a part of faith, rather than faith performing the gospel of Christ, it gives Christianity the name "religion" and therefore minimizes the message of the gospel = grace of our Lord and His purpose for dying on the cross.

      When the gospel is shared with the world and they choose to reject it, I am comforted to know what Paul instructed Timothy in  Timothy 6:20-21 "O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called 'knowledge'--which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.  Grace be with you."

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      jacobt2 8 years ago

      christianity requires true faith that has guided my life. God is so great

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Billy Graham believed in hell? I don't think so.

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      lbj 8 years ago

      Religion works from the outside in, and attempt to perfect the flesh. whereas,

      Christianity works from the inside out through the helper, of which is the Holy Spirit.

      The body or flesh will be changed or perfected when Christ comes at the Rapture.

      That's one thing that separates Christianity from Religion.


    • Menopause Mags profile image

      Menopause Mags 8 years ago from Scotland

      It is so refreshing to read something written by someone who is obviously not ashamed to be a Christian. You are so right that to be a true Christian - ie to really know in your heart that Christ died for you - is not about being religious. In this country (the UK) there have been very disturbing things happening recently and I think I will write a hub about it. In a nutshell, people have been getting into trouble at work and at school for talking about their Christian faith. Britain is supposed to be a free country, with freedom of speech, but that is no longer true if you're a Christian. It reminds me of Communist countries before the Iron Curtain came down. We can still go to church, though, thank God!

    • aka-dj profile image

      aka-dj 8 years ago from Australia

      Thank you. This is a very clear explanation. One that is so easily missed, by so many. I have even refrained from calling myself a "Christian", here on Hubpages, because I (and others) get tagged with the religion, and not the "way of living" as you put it. Blessings.:)

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      Wolf Spirit 8 years ago

      So many atrocities are done in the name of religion. The Catholic faith have caused many of these, the French Huguenots, The Aztec, Joan of Arc, anyone who doesn't agree with them etc etc! All done in the name of Christ.

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      issues veritas 8 years ago

      All the Christian denominations pick and choose what they want to follow and what they don't want to follow. These choices were man made and there was no divine direction to make them.

      Many of the churches are run like corporations rather than disciples of God. Following the way of Jesus would mean you shouldn't get married or have children and not work in the later years of life (over 30). Find twelve or thirteen people to hang around and listen to your every word.

      BTW, why do you think that for two thousand years under the Old Testament that there was no mention of Jesus or the Holy Ghost. Where was the Holy Ghost during the Garden of Eden?

    • Bible Studies profile image

      Bible Studies 8 years ago from PA

      I fully agree with you. Christianity is not a religion, just as the church is not a building. Christianity is a way of life following Jesus' teachings. The church is the people who practice those teachings. It is not sitting in church or following the laws set in the church that makes you a Christian. It is practicing Jesus' teachings that makes you a Christian.

      God Bless you.