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!
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.
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