Sermons / Statements

Why do Christians say they don’t have a religion but a relationship?

What are Christians thinking?

What are Christians thinking?

Jesus never condemned religion. He condemned bad religion – whether it was bad Judaism, Christianity, or Paganism.
James 1:27 says “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.”

Religion is a word that describes a system of beliefs and actions for how one relates to God. Our habits with Jesus and our actions towards Him are how we relate to God. It’s still a religion, and it is not evil.

Sure, it sounds cool to say “I hate religion. I have a relationship.” But that relationship is still a religion.

If we join in with the atheists of the world who are espousing that all religion is evil – we are not doing ourselves any favors. Good religion is good. Evil religion is evil. The Bible describes good religion, and the Bible condemns bad religion.

To say the Bible is against religion in favor of relationship, one must fail to see that their relationship with Jesus is how they are relating to God – which is a religion.


3 thoughts on “Why do Christians say they don’t have a religion but a relationship?

  1. I don’t disagree with a thing you’ve said, Ben. I think that unfortunately we too often get lost in the labeling, and lose sight of what we believe. I know that I value congruence between what I say I value and my actions. Religion and personal faith are more closely aligned than we often seem comfortable with. I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts.

  2. Well said, Ben. And you know, the part I find most saddening and frustrating of all, is that these two principles are not mutually exclusive. To believe we might have religion without relationship would be like saying we can possess the intelligence inside a book without ever reading it.


    ~ Cara

  3. Thank you. This needed to be said. I get their point, but so many are missing the richness and depth of the Christian religion…it is about a personal relationship with Christ but it is actually SO MUCH MORE! It is being a part of an unbroken stream of witnesses who throughout history have also had that relationship. It is about being a part of a BODY- THE CHURCH – that constitutes itself, institutionally no less, as a family. It is about how that relationship with Jesus impacts us to then go and impact the world- through “religion”- to bless the nations.

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