Someone accused me of being a religious person this week, and it offended me. Why? Because I don't want to be known for my religion, I want to be known for my relationship with Christ. What are YOU known for? #religion #christianity #socialjustice #love #election2020 #history #antiracist

Someone accused me of being a religious person this week, and it offended me. Why? Because I don’t want to be known for my religion, I want to be known for my relationship with Christ. Are you known for your religion or your Christianity?

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!

Someone accused me of being a religious person this week, and it offended me. Why? Because I don't want to be known for my religion, I want to be known for my relationship with Christ. What are YOU known for? #religion #christianity #socialjustice #love #election2020 #history #antiracist

Lessons from History Class

“Always check your sources, and don’t just believe everything anyone says,” I warned my U.S. history students. “Don’t believe a history textbook, just because someone wrote it.”

“What do you mean?” someone asked.

“Textbooks aren’t primary resources,” I explained. “They interpret other secondary resources and the occasional primary resource. Which means they might not tell the whole story or even the important parts of the story.”

“But they’re history textbooks,” someone protested, “aren’t they supposed to be right?”

“Think about it this way,” I said, “if a history textbook only mentions Native Americans 11 times in 350 pages, and ten of those times are negative references, do you think the textbook authors are telling the whole story about the history of the United States?”

“Oh. Probably not.” My students, the majority of them Native American, shook their heads.

“It’s important that we look at primary resources and draw our own conclusions, not just follow blindly along with what someone else tells us.”

Heads nodded in understanding.

Religion vs. Christianity

The same applies for religion and Christianity. People created religions based on their understanding of the world or of the Bible. We should never depend on a religion for our answers to life’s perplexities.

Religion won’t save us. Horrible things happen in the name of religion (the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials come to mind). Church ladies in the South in the 60s lined up to yell and curse at a little girl—all in the name of religion. John Steinbeck chronicled the horror of the event in his book Travels with Charley.

Someone accused me of being a religious person this week, and it offended me. Why? Because I don't want to be known for my religion, I want to be known for my relationship with Christ. What are YOU known for? #religion #christianity #socialjustice #love #election2020 #history #antiracist

If that’s religion, I want no part of it. Religion focuses on getting its own way and convincing everyone to believe the same. Instead of relying on the word of God, religion relies on man’s interpretation and projections. Religion ignores the parts of the Bible (and there are many of them), that talk about social justice.

Christianity focuses on relationship. A relationship with a loving God, Creator, and Savior.

Religion judges first, loves later. Christianity loves first, and lets God do the judging.

Religion fights for its interpretation of right. Christianity fights for love and social justice.

Religion is full of itself, its rules, and its rightness. Christianity seeks guidance from the Holy Spirit and recognizes we all need grace and a Savior.

Religion shouts loudly with vitriol and hate. Christianity acts quietly in love and compassion.

Religion locks its jaws around dogma like a pit bull. Christianity realizes that only God can judge—and we should love.

Can a person belong to a religious institution and still be a Christian? Absolutely! But never let your religion get in the way of your relationship with Christ. Never let your religion interfere with acting as the emissary of a Christ who loves his people to death.

Never let your religion interfere with acting as the emissary of a Christ who loves his people to death. #fmfparty #Christianity #truelove Click To Tweet

13 Comments

  1. Yes! Great parallels with the history book and having a religion vs relationship with Jesus!
    I homeschooled my boys and always told them to not fully trust a textbook too. It matters what we trust and lean on.

  2. Yes and Amen so true about history. Thanks for sharing and being honest and straightforward about it. I think it is very good time wise with what is happening in the world.

  3. Made me think of Ireland…

    They say they have no use for us,
    we lads have had our day,
    and now are tossed beneath the bus
    never more to play
    the patriot game that we were taught
    by the brotherhood of old,
    the hard masked men who stood and fought
    that enemy so bold!
    No more we’ll hear the Armalites
    along the Shankill Road;
    Peace has come with neon lights,
    but it’s such a heavy load
    and perhaps it is too late
    for we who were defined by hate.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…God, Satan, & MeMy Profile

  4. Great study of religion and christianity. I was a religious person when growing up. I didn’t know any different. I now have a relationship with Jesus and it makes all the difference.

  5. Great read Anita. I think it’s our responsibility as Christians to reflect our relationship with Christ in and through our Religion. They don’t have to be opposing. Our view of Christ determines our Religion since it is an expression of our interpretation of His Word, which if properly interpreted will build deep relationships between God and mankind. Religion is the organizational structure in which we work together to serve God and serve others. And yes! Relationship over structure.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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