Religion V. Relationship
Is Christianity a religion or a relationship?
I believe that Christianity is about having a relationship with God.
And here's why...
The Bible refers to God as our Father, Christ as his son, and believers as his children. Notice the emphasis on relationships? Religion is a form of moral identification; whereas a relationship is a way in which two or more people are connected. God sent his son to die for us because he wanted to reconnect with us. When sin entered the world we were separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). However through the resurrection of Christ; the veil was torn (Matthew 27:51), and the connection was restored. God has extended himself to us, and it is up to us to maintain a relationship with him.
Religion occurs when we accept Christ as our savior and identify as Christ-followers. However, we will never be Christlike until we build a relationship with him. Religion isn't a bad word; however, God doesn't covet religion. Instead, He craves our fellowship, attention, time, commitment, and trust.
Religion sets the traditions and the culture; however, those things alter with time. Remember the Pharisees? They knew the in's and out's of religion, yet Christ wasn't pleased with them. They knew the laws more than they knew the Messiah (Matthew 23). Entering the religion is the first step, but a Relationship should be the outcome. It's great that we as believers have religion in common. However, we each have a unique relationship with God. We are set apart and each of us has a different role in the body of Christ. Although religion brings us together, our relationships with God allow us to function as a body (1 Corinthians 12:27). If I know religion, but don't know God; how can I contribute to the kingdom? Religion isn't bad, but Relationship is better.
We have been made in the image of God, Therefore we desire relationships just like him. God has established various types of relationships here on Earth. For example, Marriages, families, and friendships. Each of them are illustrations of how God values relationships. Needless to say, relationships are something that we are all familiar with.